It happened three years ago, four days after my husband’s burial. Two short sounds of the doorbell caught me on my way to the bedroom, just as I wanted to deal with his stuff.
I opened the door, there stood a petite woman with short grey hair – smiling – two plums, one in each hand. She entered without an invitation, spoke a language I didn’t understand. It was rich in vowels that resonated awkwardly in the flat that had far too long been ruled by silence.
She headed towards the kitchen as if she knew the layout of my flat perfectly. I followed her. Standing in front of the sink, she washed the fruit under the tap. Then she pulled out a knife from the nearest drawer, cut the ripe fruit in half and put both halves on the plate.
Still smiling, she offered it to me. I smiled back and we ate in silence. We’ve done it every morning ever since.
Today, though, she didn’t come.
I sat at the kitchen table until it got dark outside. I tried to eat yesterday’s plum, but it tasted differently. I’d never really liked them.
Still, I’m smiling, just in case.