Blueberries of Change

Sicily Nissen

"House"

Gillian Lenth

 

The rich taste of bitter chocolate and a combination of sweet, sweet berry meld into a swirling duet in your mouth. You’re standing in your Grandma’s kitchen, the cold tiles of the floor pressing into your stockinged feet as you stare out the window over the kitchen sink. You reach into the light bag of dark chocolate-covered blueberries once more, and the poignant smell wafts its way to your nose. In that instant, your world seems to parallel and your view out the window becomes blurry. 

 

You know that life continues outside that glazed over window; your dad continues raking the crisp leaves into neat piles, your mom yanks at the stubborn weeds in the garden, and your cousins trim the overgrown bushes along the cracked and buckled sidewalks. The methodical tick tick tick of the clock behind you grounds you to the moment, yet somehow everything has changed and you can’t quite figure out how. A memory rises to your mind as the leftover tang of berry in your mouth fills you with homesickness for the past, reminding you how your family used to visit the blueberry fields every summer, returning home full of sweetness, clothes wrinkled—covered in blueberry juice. When had that changed? When had you grown up and left behind the sweet traditions of years past? 

 

Suddenly, your vision clears, and your brain zeros in on your surroundings. In that moment, you notice how long and soft your cousin's hair has grown, how your baby cousins don’t look like babies anymore, how your parents' faces look so different from what they used to. You notice that your little brother has started styling his hair and your older brother is on his way to becoming an adult. How had you never seen it before? When had everything changed? It couldn’t have been all at once or else surely you would have noticed. 

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But then a door slams somewhere in the distance, and the moment is lost. Nothing has changed, and you are still you, holding a bag of dark chocolate-covered blueberries in your grandmother’s kitchen. 

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