Molasses

Molasses

The lingering scent of chocolate hung in the air. The scent was so faint you hardly realized it was chocolate at first, what it smelled more like was molasses. I don't know how this had happened as I meticulously followed all the instructions. I put the brownies in the oven, and set the oven to the prescribed temperature. I even checked and rechecked if the brownies were ready to be eaten by sticking a toothpick in each one. Afterward, I sat at the kitchen table, thumbing through a lifestyle magazine. I pressed my knees together. I checked the oven every two minutes. I waited.

I realize now that baking is a lot like childbirth. There is a lot of waiting involved, and therefore, anticipation. At the end of it, you are either left with a wave of fulfillment or awful sadness. I was filled with both. My brownies sat in a row on the table, hungry like deprived children. Some of them were burnt or lopsided. Some of them had soft, moist bodies. I was about to bake some more until I realized I had no time. Bobby was coming home. Forty five minutes later he arrived and I put a blindfold over his eyes. Then I untied the blindfold so he could see what I had done for him, for the both of us. It took us five minutes to make it from the the front door to the kitchen, and in those five minutes I led him with slow, clumsy steps.

"What's this?" Bobby said.

"It's our anniversary," I cheered. "Happy Anniversary!"

Gently, I scooped up a brownie and held it to his lips. The brownie was still warm, like human skin, and it looked so tiny in my hand that I cupped it with two palms. "Come on, open up, Bobby. Don't be rude. I baked this for you. Say 'ah'. Open it, open it."

Bobby didn't open his mouth. He looked away and he sighed, deciding to be rude after all. I put the brownie down. I was heartbroken. If the brownie were a child, it would've felt heartbroken too, by extension. Bobby took my hand, and he kissed the back of it, and he smiled very sadly and suddenly I knew. I knew what was going to happen. I could picture it in my head. It came to me in flashes, waves upon waves of overwhelming sadness: an empty closet, a worn baseball glove, an unmade bed. I stared at him, then at the brownies, then at the table, and then at him again. It was like I was seeing him for the first time, and what I saw made me want to die.

I said, "It's okay. We don't have to talk.", and dumped the brownies in the trash. They stayed there for weeks, covered in flies.

Comments:
 
StarPoet   StarPoet wrote
on 2/24/2009 12:41:13 AM
Great writing here. Mature subject and you told it well. I also liked the finish. Will be looking for more from you.

proboscus
Short Story
Romance
writing proboscus
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Synopsis
"My brownies sat in a row on the table, hungry like deprived children. "
A Word from the Writer
I wrote this one for a flash fiction writing contest wherein your story with the phrase "the lingering scent of chocolate"
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