The man who lived next door to my family had died. Our other neighbors were saying it was a heart attack and that when his elderly mom came to check up on him, she found him lying on the stairs. The body had already been there for two weeks. I never really knew my neighbor well. He was in his mid-forties and didn’t have a wife or kids as far as I could tell. The only time I ever saw him was when he was rolling out his garbage bins. I remember my parents telling me to stay inside while the ambulance took the body away. “Can’t you smell that?” My mom asked my dad. “It smells like death.”
I opened a window in my room after she said that. I wanted to smell “death” just to make sure that if I smelled the same scent again, I’d know that there was a dead body close by. But I smelled nothing. It smelled how it always smelled when I opened the window that faced the backyard in my bedroom. It was the scent of the persimmon tree. There weren’t any fruits yet since it was just at the beginning of summer, but there was a promise of them.