(published 9th July 2018)
“Can I get you anything else?” The waiter asks.
I run a finger over my lips and read through the selection again.
You were never one for sweets. It was always starters and a main whenever we dined out, never a dessert. Your nose scrunched up at the merest mention of them on our first date. I should have known then really.
After all those years of abstinence I’ve almost forgotten what the warm hug of a chocolate brownie actually feels like. And it’s been longer than I care to admit since I’ve been scooped off my feet by the surprise tang of a lemon sorbet or felt the chill of raspberry ice cream caressing the back of my neck. Silken gateau layers that once dissolved across my tongue are now nothing more than a vague after taste. Lemon drizzle, chocolate ganache, a dollop of whipped cream, even the faintest sliver of vanilla cheesecake would be more than enough to arouse my dormant senses.
“Would you like a little more time?” He asks, loitering at my shoulder.
I smooth down my skirt and moisten my lips with a sip of water. I can feel his eyes following my hands.
I could order one of everything – a sugary screw you – but I want this to be a celebration, so a cake would be much more appropriate.
I close the menu against the table, inviting him to lean over and take it from me, and devour the swirls of cinnamon within the base scent of his aftershave.
“I’m fine thank you,” I say, with the slightest ripple of a smile. “But it’s always good to see what’s on offer.”
Steve Campbell has short fiction published in places such as Sick Lit Magazine, formercactus, Twisted Sister Lit Mag, Spelk and MoonPark Review, and on his website standondog.com. He somehow finds time to manage EllipsisZine.com. You can follow him on twitter via @standondog.