It smells of cinnamon, chocolate, and apples inside our small yellow kitchen. Outside, the ground is speckled with yellow, brown, orange and red; I watch Jasmine’s cat paws lightly crunch the leaves as she trots into the treeline in our back yard. I draw my shirt sleeves over my hands and turn my attention back to the kitchen as my mother draws a tray of six cinnamon buns out of the oven and puts them on the counter to cool.
I’m eight years old and quite reserved on this October Sunday morning. I’m perfectly content watching my mother work in the kitchen and my father read the paper in the living room. I’m thinking of questions to ask them about the world and how it works, thanks to my pure, child naiveté, but I’m unwilling to throw a rock and cause a ripple in the peaceful quiet that fills the house.
My sweater is too big for me and my hair needs a desperate brushing but all my concern goes to Jasmine, who I suddenly can’t see past the treeline. I’m about to turn around and ask about Jasmine when she wanders, her freedom without borders, but my interest shifts as my mother places a roll in front of me. It’s topped with an abundance of vanilla glaze and some chocolate shavings.
The taste envelops me instantly, like a blanket. My mother gives me a napkin to wipe the sugar off my mouth; I can’t say I’ve never been a messy eater. She smiles at me wordlessly and still seems to say everything. I have just enough time to smile back before I am torn from the memory.
I feel a sudden, hot pain on my fingertips. The match I’m holding, lit still, had burned completely down.
The candle reads “Autumn Morning”; even without it, I can still smell cinnamon.