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I watched the old man examine the onions carefully. It was my first
week on the job and I couldn’t help but notice that every afternoon
the old man came to buy half a dozen onions.

Today was no different. There the old man was, hefting the onions,
examining them for defects. After choosing six plump onions, he would
ask me to dice them and put them in a plastic bag. I always cried. Our
manager told us to humor an old man’s whimsy, but didn’t explain

It was a slow Tuesday afternoon, and my curiosity got the better of me
as I chopped the onions. “Excuse me, sir, but I’ve been wondering

He looked around. Seeing no one else in the store, he turned to me.
“Why I buy so many onions?”

I pulled a chair close and gestured. He settled into it, turning the
uncut onions over and over in his hands. “My wife… She loved onion
soup. We must’ve fought about it for thirty, forty years, but she
always won. Who wants to eat onion soup every day? Her hands always
smelled like onions, too.”

“But now… I don’t know how to make onion soup. I wish I could. I
miss her.”

With that, the old man gathered up the onions and left, tears
streaming down his cheeks.

(in reply to flashxer prompt 2004.09.03: Love)

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