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Earliest Memory

I'm too small, I can't reach the shelf.

I'm in the small room, mum is in the kitchen, cooking, the door to the living room is open and I'm trying to reach a book on the shelf before me, but I'm not tall enough. I get a little stool; yes, this should do.

I reach for the book and slide it out - it's a story book with strange pictures. There's a woman on a barren field under the dark sky standing, wrapped entirely in white paper except for the face. The book is missing the cover and a few pages, but I'm not here for it. I reach into the gap the book left in the shelf and retrieve a cheese sandwich.

I'm dismayed to see that the cheese has shrunk and became hard and oily, the bread is dry and the butter smells funny. I poke my finger through a hole in the cheese.

Mum's calling me - I hastily replace the sandwich and the book back on the shelf, hop down from the stool and run to the kitchen. It's a sunny day and things smell nice. Mum meets me at the kitchen door smiling at me, looking very pretty.

I cuddle her but all I can think about is the cheese sandwich... and feel a bit guilty.
____

I'm sorry mum, I don't remember if I left that sandwich there forever or if I threw it out later.

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