Six

Behind the door, six pots of honey, mustered neatly as plump old soldiers awaiting decoration. Doreen’s mother bought them for a special occasion, thirty-two years ago. Christmases came and went, but the special occasion never came, and Doreen’s mother went, eventually.

Over the years the pots assumed a significance that sat uncomfortably with their terracotta humbleness. Dusted monthly, each base needed always to be precisely in place (marked by a pencil dot discernible only to the initiated). They became ornaments, inadvertent heirlooms. Doreen cannot bring herself to open them.

She is not sentimental, it’s just that she doesn’t like honey.

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