Brunch

She’s beautiful today, and even though she’s late and I feel a twinge annoyed, the moment I see her coming down the hill it all goes away and all of the extra minutes I waited no longer matter because of the way her hair tumbles down her shoulders and the sunlight falls across her cheek.

She sees me and smiles, and my heart stops. I love and hate that she has this affect on me.

“I’ve met someone,” she says, breathless, hugging me. She smells good.

“Oh really?” I say, letting her go, “Tell me about him.”

“He’s like. . . well, I think he’s like a Belgian waffle, to be perfectly honest.”

“A Belgian waffle?”

“Yes. You know, it’s like being at brunch and the idea of a Belgian waffle sounds so good, decadent even. You decide to indulge and order it — with the fruit compote and everything, maybe it even comes with whipped cream.

And the anticipation is almost the best part, waiting for it to come. And then the waitress brings the big plate, and it’s perfect. It smells so good, it’s perfectly round and partitioned, it has this mess of fruit and cream and syrup all over it.

And your mouth waters as you set the side of your fork to it — and there is this perfect crunch sound as you get that first bite on your fork — the fruit and whipped cream is dripping from it, and you take a bite. . .

And it’s so good. It’s the best thing you’ve ever tasted. It’s the perfect texture, and temperature, and mixture of flavors.”

She had this dreamy look in her eye as she told me this.

“He’s that good, huh?” I ask.

“Yes,” she says, “For one bite. The first bite. Every other bite is trying to be as good as that first bite, but it never is. It only becomes too sweet, too plain, too empty. . . and it all fades so quickly.”

She looks at me now with a certain coolness in her eyes.

“No matter how good the first bite is — and it is always so good — the rest is always disappointing.”

“So how many bites are you into this guy?” I ask.

“Just one,” she says, and smiles, “He was delicious, and I enjoyed him very much.”

Her eyes come into focus and I feel the weight of her full attention.

“But enough about me,” she said, “It’s so good to see you again. You must tell me everything.”

And I wanted to, but I knew that I wouldn’t, at least not yet. For now, I was content beneath her gaze, warm from her enchantment, keeping my own secrets close.