Treasure I Cannot Posses

The sun hits my eyes and gently shakes me out of sleep. I groan and welcome the warm sunshine, slowly slipping out of bed. I glance at the clock and mind the time. As always, I wake up before I need to open shop.

After freshening up and dressing I walk downstairs to the front door, switching the closed sign. As I wait for customers to flood in, I quickly take inventory of shelves that house various glass perfumes. I take note of the ones mostly gone and make a mental note to order more.

I’m broken from my thoughts as I hear the door open, followed by a brightful jingle. I turn and smile when I see it’s one of my employees. She smiles back and walks to the counter.

“Slow day?” She looks at me politely as she takes off her jacket. I turn back to the shelves and scan my eyes of their numbers.

“Hmm I wouldn’t say so… The day has just begun.”

The door jingles again but instead of a customer I see a man in a brown suit, moving a rack of boxes.

“New shipment for you Justine.”

I walk towards the delivery man and smile at him politely as I sign the clipboard he hands me.

“As always thank you.”

He nods in appreciation. “Have a nice day.”

He leaves as I see Racheal picking up a box and bringing it to the counter. I help her and open a box. Inside are several carefully packaged boxes of glass perfume bottles. I reach for one, opening the case carefully to reveal a beautiful and delicate piece of white foggy glass. I run my fingers over the surface, feeling the bumps and curves that morph into vines.

Racheal watches over my shoulder. “Wow these must expensive… what’s their profile?” She tilts her head, glancing down at my hands that hold the perfume.

“Don’t know, let’s find out.”

I open the bottle and begin to spray the essence into the air. In the sun light I se the substance trickle down. Racheal puts her head into the light mist and she lights up.

“Oh wow… it’s smells sophisticated. I think it has notes of jasmine and powder.”

I feel a tinge of confusion dwell in me. I didn’t smell anything, even despite the fact that I sprayed the perfume in front of me. I was about to say something to Racheal before a customer came in.

I spent the entire day trying to smell the shop but nothing came to me. Even at lunch my food tasted dull and flavorless. I didn’t worry about it at first but a sense of dread washed over me. What if I couldn’t smell at all? How could I own a perfume shop if I can’t even smell what I’m selling?

I pushed my thoughts away and tried to sleep. Thinking that if I rested my sense would come back to me. Only when I woke up it was still the same. I started really panic. A train of thoughts and questions rammed into my brain as I began to think about what caused or what may solve my problem. Later in the afternoon I scheduled a doctors appointment


About two weeks later I parked my car in the driveway of my local clinic. After a dreadful wait in the main room I was brought in a small and senile room. If I could smell I knew I’d be suffocating in a medicinal stench.

“What seems to be the problem?” My doctor glanced over to me.

I take a loud sigh. My voice is dull and tired.

“I can’t smell.” My doctor looks at me with a look of pity.

Another few hours of waiting. Then tests, then more waiting. There’s nothing more I hate than the health system.

After a long day I’m sent him to wait patiently for the benevolent words of my doctor to tell me what’s wrong. What’s a load of bullshit. I want to know now, I need to know.

I dread going home, I contemplate closing my eyes all the way upstairs to my room. At least then I wouldn’t have to be reminded of everything I held dear. A treasure now out of my reach.


In the time between waiting for my results I start being accustomed to no smell. I try to hide the fact that I can’t smell, though I think people are starting to catch on.

Every time I need to smell something I pretend to sniff before giving it to Racheal and asking for her opinion. I’m glad I trained her well.

The oddest thing I found was that even despite not having a sense of smell, I could work the same. Whenever a customer came buy and I ask what they were looking for, I knew exactly what they needed. It helped that I always profiled each perfume with their notes.

The moment I handed the perfume to them, their faces lit up in small surprise. ‘That’s just what I needed!’

I was equally surprised as them.

I never thought I’d be ok with not smelling. It’s my job after all. But seeing the pleasant faces of people in my shop reminded me what I loved, why I opened up a shop in the first place. It seemed it didn’t matter whether or not I could smell, I did my job damn well.

I only wondered if I’d keep my sentiments when my results come back. Knowing how the system works, I didn’t hold my breath.

A/N: not proof read :,)

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