It Is One Hundred Years Since Our Children Left
You hide your pain behind your back—we only see its shadow.
Bellatrix Sakakino perpetually craved her favorite food. Her problem was that it was a rather unconventional favorite. The food she loved most of all was the fruit of the Nilgiri holly.
Though their dull pinkish hue was unexceptional beside the lascivious black of cherries or the lucent green of juice-pregnant grapes, the very thought of the berries filled her with a longing she could no more explain than subdue. She needed them. They were necessary to life as she understood it.
What was wrong with that? First of all, Nilgiri holly fruit was slightly toxic to humans. When ingested, it induced vomiting and diarrhœa. A proper bellyful would guarantee her a trip to the emergency room for a dose of activated charcoal.
But no matter what she ate, nor how much, Bellatrix was never satisfied. No meat, fruit, vegetable, cheese, legume, bread, grain or drink hit the spot for her. Her only hope of satisfaction was the Nilgiri holly berry. The craving began even before she could remember. It was as if she were born desiring this fruit above all others.
Of course, she had never tasted it. The Nilgiri holly went extinct in 1859, more than a century before she was born.