Push and twist.
Like magic, the spring-loaded board pops up, allowing him to see the little box tucked into the hollowed spot he made so many years ago. In its former life it had been a music box, playing “Lara’s Theme” from “Dr. Zhivago” on its little tines when opened. Now, the music long gone, much like her, it simply holds his dearest treasure.
Just as he lifts it out, voices drift up from the first floor. Startled, he spins, his gaze directed at the bedroom door. But the scare has pulled his mind back into its murky fog, and now he’s not a clue what he’s looking for. Or why.
He turns back, only to find a small box in his hands.
Thinking it surely must be important, he flips it open, releasing the fragrance of Jasmine into the closet.
And then he knows, for it’s both her namesake and her favorite scent.
In the box there’s a note – the last one she ever gave him. He wraps his hand around it, but a voice shouts out from behind.
“He’s up here.”
A policeman stands in the doorway, his call to someone below. Two others – a man and woman, who look familiar for some reason – quickly arrive, both smiling.
“Mr. Bennett,” says the lady, “we’ve been looking for you. You know you can’t be here.”
Shaking their heads, they help him up, then follow the officer down the stairs.
As they pass through the front door, a young couple, eyes wide, stand along the sidewalk.
“How’d he get in?” they ask.
“The spare key’s under that planter,” answers Bennett, pointing.
“Mr. Bennett,” the lady says, eyes rolling, “Don’t you remember? Your daughter sold your house to these nice people so you could get the care you need at the manor.”
“She did? Wait...who are you?”
“Let’s get you home. We’ll talk all about it.”
They place him in the van and strap his seatbelt, the man staying while the lady returns to talk with the policeman.
“We must be going on a nice ride?” Bennett asks.
“Indeed. Back home,” replies the man.
“Home,” he repeats. But something bothers him. If they’re going home, why is he here? Why does this feel like home?
His mind begins to swirl. Where is his wife? Why can’t he even remember her name?
Angry, flustered, his eyes begin welling with tears. As he reaches up to wipe away his heartbreak, a paper falls from his hand. He opens it, and it fills the van with the scent of Jasmine. And then, for that moment, she’s with him, holding his hand like she holds his heart.
Jasmine. Her name is Jasmine.