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Goldie Kohli Goldie Kohli
Recommendations: 4

I can smell you in my clothes

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She had a friend.

“I can smell you in my clothes when I go home” she giggled. “I feel scared my husband will pick the smell too and he will become suspicious about us”.

'My husband', that's what she called him. Never his name. Never criticised him. He always existed in the background. It was as if he helped her decide where to meet me.

“My husband and I went to this restaurant” she said as she pointed at the computer screen. “They have good service, maybe we can meet there during your lunch break”

“My husband was reading the review of this movie and he says he would give it four stars out of five, we can watch it when he is on tour overseas next fortnight”

He was always there with us. Even when she spent those nights at my apartment while he was away travelling. Going overseas, making his company successful, making his boss happy. I had never seen him and, she told me,he had never heard of me.

Did his being around her, when I was there, mean she loved him? She had never said so and I never asked. I loved her and was with her even when she was not with me. That was all that mattered. I waited for her and enjoyed the wait. When she was with me I enjoyed that too.

“I can smell you in my clothes each night”. She repeated. Laughing guiltlessly.

That morning I woke up to the sound of the phone alarm. It was seven o'clock. I went to the bathroom, brushed my teeth and put the kettle on for a coffee.

I opened my wardrobe, and picked up my folded track suit to go for a run. I had a busy day planned. I opened my track suit and put it on. I saw myself in the mirror and noticed a long vertical tear in the track top. I touched it in another place and the fabric shredded as I lifted my fingers. I held the collar and it separated from the track top.

I slipped into my track bottom, pulled the draw-strings to tighten them and they frayed and broke. I tried to hold the track bottom with my hands but instead the fingers tore the fabric like a newspaper.

I got out of the track suit and picked a business shirt and trouser from the hanger. I slipped my arm into the left sleeve and withdrew in pain as a sharp burning sensation singed me on my biceps. I threw the shirt down on the floor and saw small wisps of smoke emerge from it. A large hole burn hole appeared on the culprit sleeve.

The trouser was a similar story, as I put my right leg in and it burnt me at the knees. I threw that too on the floor as it behaved like the shirt and burnt a hole through the knee.

Each of my clothes were either tearing into shreds or burning holes. My tee shirts, business attire, dinner suits were just dropping into strips. The floor looked like a sea of mangled coloured threads. I quickly turned and nearly tripped, as my foot was caught in the heap of shreds, and the phone rang.

I was naked and noticed that it was a cold morning. I picked up the phone. I did not recognise the number.

“Yes?”I said breathlessly.

“It's me. Her husband. There is a new clothes showroom opening today. Are you taking her there?”

“What?...” I asked and the line disconnected. I waited for it to ring back.

I tried calling that number. The recording said it was some restaurant.

The front doorbell rang and a sweat bead trickled down into my eye.

I asked “Who's this?”

She said “It's me. Is it too early?”

I turned the key and locked the door.

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