Each Bag of Salt

Translator's Note: According to regional superstition in Brazil, in order for a love story to last, lovers need to eat from the same bag of salt.

She kept her hopes up for two bags of salt. She wasn't sure if each bag had a pound or only half a pound of salt. The thing is that her hope had only lasted for that long: Two bags of salt.

His lack of conviction led to her certainty. The wedding was off. It was never going to happen, she thought, trying to be fearless. 

After he left, it was time for clean up. She purified her soul and all the nooks and crannies in the house. She was sure it was worth to start a new cycle, so she made arrangements to sell everything. She had a garage sale and sold every item they had bought for the house: Bed, bath, and beyond. Her savings, that were once intended for a wedding reception, became a new car.

The last item left was the set of rings―he had left both with her―the outcome of the engagement-indecision. They were certainly the hardest thing to sell. It is easy to buy wedding rings. Selling them is another story. She would have a hard time getting rid of them.

She put on a happy face, placed the rings in an envelope, and got in the car. Destination Surubim, a municipality in the State of Pernambuco. She sold the set of rings for $200. She chuckled for her little mischief: Handing in all that gold for only $200. It wasn't a matter of how much they could pay her. After all, she wanted to undervalue that moment.

After the deal was done and the rings were gone, she allowed herself to remain silent. She kept her silence to herself and to the world. He was part of the world, so her silence was aimed at him as well. And he took her silence as absence―an absence that made him appreciate her. Now she was valuable. Now she represented love to him.

He came to his senses! He rushed to buy her roses. He put on his cologne and declared all his love and best intentions. It was imperative that he married her. He wanted bed, bath and beyond, he wanted to have a wedding reception. He ignored the déjà vu.

Oh, hope... Damn hope! Hope made her leave the house to buy more bags of salt. As many pounds as necessary.

MELISSA PONTES was born in September 1977 in Recife, State of Pernambuco, where she still lives. 

She graduated in Computer Sciences and is an aspiring author who loves books. Reading became one of her favorite activities at an early age, when her father read comic books to her at bedtime. She often revisits this childhood experience by reading bedtime stories to her son.

She currently works as a computer instructor and speaker, and has also written technical articles for national and international publications related to her professional background.

To expand her horizons and meet the need to express herself, Melissa has been writing more about the facts of life under the pen name of "Maria Flor." 

She submitted a micro-story to the 2nd Humorous Flash Fiction Literary Competition in Piracicaba, which was later published in a collection associated to the event.