“Ready to go?” I hear my mom ask. I’m digging around in my purse, trying to situate everything inside. I pull out my sunglasses.
“Yeah,” I answer. In the process, I take a breath. I’m working on some weird summer cold, my nose just runs. I’m breathing mostly through my mouth and sniffling. I don’t smell her perfume, I taste it and then smell it, “You put perfume on?” I try to sound nonchalant, just stating an observation, looking for confirmation but she must see my nose scrunch up. I must wince in pain.
“Do you want me to change?” she asks, “It’s on my shirt.”
“Please,” I reply and take a step away, heading outside for fresh air.
It didn’t spark a migraine at the moment but I couldn’t imagine forty minutes in the car with her and not developing some sort of head pain from it.
She walks outside a moment later, keys in hand. She changed her shirt, no more perfume.
“Nice shirt,” I say.
“Thanks,” she replies.