When I was ten, I told Mother I liked her lavender perfume. I said it made her a real mother.
“What the fuck does that mean?” she said.
That was the first time she yelled like that. I apologized. I meant that the perfume smelled like love. Mother said that was typical. Everyone expected her to love. No one asked what she wanted. Mother wanted to be a singer.
She stopped wearing the perfume. She withdrew into singing lessons. She drank and sang at night. A year later she left, the note reading: “I have gone to love myself.”
Mir-Yashar is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. A native of Boise, Idaho, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as Sinkhole Mag, Gravel Magazine, and Ink In Thirds. He lives in Fort Collins, CO.