Sometimes, quite unexpectedly, Di will catch Fiamma’s scent. Perhaps a book falls to the floor, pages fluttering open. Or a scarf, stuffed to the back of a drawer, catches her eye, and she pulls it out, the pattern like stained glass as the sun shines through the fine silk. It stays hidden in an old pair of gloves, in a ribbon from a hat long-discarded, in a perfume bottle she’s had since she was a child.
Di’s visited places and people and she has an adventurous spirit, but sometimes, quite unexpectedly, she will catch Fiamma’s scent, and then vividly, so vividly, she’s back at school, with endless passion burning inside her, love and hate and jealousy and the light, bright purity of friendship. When she thinks of those days, now, as an adult (and she tries not to), it all seems so silly, so ridiculous so... unbelievable. But she catches that scent, and closes her eyes, and she’s there. She can feel the sun on her face and hear Rosie laughing or Poppy reciting a poem, or they’re in the water, cool and safe, as they swim and dance, and it’s so real.
But then she opens her eyes, and Di’s in Prague or New York or Casablanca, a world away, a life away, and she pushes away the book or the scarf or the gloves or the bottle, because that is her past.
Di never gets rid of those things. She never could.