I’ve been furiously working on a short story for a November 1st contest deadline. I’m almost done, so I should have a “normal” post later this week. Because of this, I didn’t devote enough focus to blog topics. I wrote a short story (it’s more like a scene) that may be mildly entertaining. Don’t worry, it’s not another serial; it’s a one-shot deal, under 700 words 🙂
I finished my last bite of the half-salad with grilled chicken, low-cal Italian dressing on the side and leaned in so I could hear my date’s recitation of a disagreement he had with his stodgy co-worker. Or at least give the impression that I listened.
“Can you believe he had the nerve to tell me that?”
I shook my head, even though I didn’t catch the offending remark that Mr. Boring Co-worker had made. It didn’t matter, though because it got the story rolling again. My brain processed his voice as white noise drowned out by everything else around me. I already knew this first date was our last, but with Mr. Chatty’s dinner not even half-eaten, I prepared to settle in for the long haul.
“He didn’t know what to say. Isn’t that great?” He laughed at the thought.
I nodded in agreement, but I had no idea what he said or why Mr. Chatty derived so much pride from it. I stifled a groan of misery that begged to escape. Over Mr. Chatty’s shoulder, I caught a glimpse of a young woman eating chocolate cake. But she didn’t just eat it. She savored it. She experienced it. I felt like a voyeur sneaking a peak at an intimate moment through an uncovered window, but I couldn’t redirect my gaze.
I watched her slowly bring the forkful of fudgy cake to her mouth. With her eyes closed, she slid the morsel between her rouge-colored lips and took her time removing the fork, a dramatic move that captivated my attention. Amazing. Not a single crumb lingered on her lips, not one drop of chocolate sauce fell. Her shoulders sank down and a smile played across her lips. I imagined she moaned with delight, but the clattering dishes and yammering people obscured it.
“Hello? Are you even listening to me?” Mr. Chatty asked, waving his hand in front of my face.
I raised an eyebrow and fought to keep sarcasm in check. “Of course. After all, you are the center of my universe.” It became apparent that sarcasm had a rebellious streak and refused restraint.
My eyes drifted back to the woman. She smiled as the man seated across from her sampled the cake. I could only see his back and his elbow lift as the fork reached his mouth, so I would never know if he had the same blissful experience. Whatever his reaction, it caused her to giggle and grab his free hand that rested on the table. With her other hand, she loaded her fork again for round two of ecstasy. The adoration she had for that sliver of cake left me with an empty longing.
“Excuse me,” I called out as our waiter passed by.
“Can you bring me a piece of the chocolate cake?” I nodded toward the nearby table.
The waiter glanced over his shoulder and smiled. “It is heavenly. You won’t be disappointed.”
Mr. Chatty frowned. “Didn’t you say earlier that you never ate sweets?”
My eyes narrowed, but I smiled to soften my crossness. “I guess I lied.”
“Hmmm. Can I try a bite?”
“I don’t think so. You haven’t even eaten your dinner.”
Mr. Chatty looked down at his plate and seemed surprised that three-quarters of his hamburger and a mound of fries remained. He attended to his neglected dinner.
Finally. The white noise subsided and gave my brain a much-needed break.
Things improved when the waiter returned with my cake. My fork in hand, I flaked a bite off the corner as soon as the plate clanked on the table. Oh! The thick chocolate sauce warmed my tongue. My eyes closed and I groaned as the chocolate covered my senses. Boredom, annoyance, frustration – all the negativity drained away by the magical powers of the sauce-drenched cake.
I opened my eyes and caught Mr. Chatty with his mouth clamped like a vice onto the inches-thick burger; the one irritation that didn’t vanish. A little disappointed, I realized the cake was almost magical.