Green Tomatoes

“In time, even dreams fade.”

Harriet — Hattie — wondered how that could be. Sure blue jeans fade from wearing, from washing, from hanging on the line in the sun. The bright red paint around the windows and doors had faded to a friendly terra-cotta which was actually prettier than the red had been. But dreams? There was nothing tangible about a dream. How could it fade? It could come true or not come true, no gradual wearing away of intensity there, a clear binary. Here today, gone tomorrow.

“I had dreams once,” her mother sighed and continued peeling the potatoes. “I thought life would bring me…” She sighed again, more deeply. “Go on outside,” she said to Hattie. “See if there are four or five tomatoes left.”

It was October and the days were shorter and the nights colder, but the tomatoes hung on, prolonging summer. Hattie found three that were ripe; others hung in green optimism, dreaming.

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