Tales of food, sex and friendship




Posts Tagged ‘chocolate pudding’

Season 2: Episode 1

March 1, 2011

Ana carefully balanced the pastry box on the palm of one unsteady hand as she fumbled desperately in her bag for the front door keys, tears welling in her eyes when she couldn’t find them immediately.

Why did everything have to be so difficult?

For the past week, Ana had been an emotional wreck, the smallest things setting her off: a broken glass, a missing DVD, a bank advertisement – and now –  elusive door keys. Mia and Willow had borne witness to the myriad of negative emotions Ana was capable of and, although she felt terrible for dragging them down to her new depths of despair, she really didn’t know how to turn the hurt off; how to pretend everything was OK.

Finally managing to find her keys – which were in exactly the same compartment of her handbag they always were – Ana nudged the door with her shoulder to open it, the box wobbling even more precariously. She was a bundle of nerves; had been since Tom had walked out of the house leaving her alone and heartbroken. Finally, yesterday, she had gathered up the courage to call him. He answered after the fifth ring – just before it went to voicemail. Tom had agreed that they needed to talk and that he would come to her house for dinner that night.

Ana had decided she wasn’t up to cooking this evening, so she had wandered down to Chloe Rose, a beautiful gourmet delicatessen named after its proprietor who was an exceedingly talented and lovely chef. Chloe had loaded her up with fresh, vibrant salads, cured salmon and a pastry box full of delectable-looking, spiced chocolate puddings. Pushing the door shut with her foot Ana lost her balance and the box of puddings fell to the floor with a thump, echoing through the hallway.

“Great,” she said aloud.  This was the last thing she needed!

The tears were streaming down her cheeks when she finally made it to the kitchen. Setting the dessert on the bench she peeked inside the box to survey the damage. The warm, spicy smells of chocolate and nutmeg escaped and, closing her eyes, she inhaled deeply, trying to calm down. The smell reminded her of sitting in cafés on cool autumn evenings and sipping hot chocolate while the world rushed past outside.

And Tom. Everything reminded her of Tom.

Opening the lid fully, she realised that most of the puddings were undamaged. Not a total disaster, then, she thought wryly. Maybe it’s a good omen?

Ana was more certain than ever that Tom was the most wonderful man she had ever met, and she hoped, more than anything, that he would – no, could – forgive her. But she held out little hope. She knew what she’d done was wrong: horribly, terribly wrong.

“What can I do to make it up to him?” She shook her head, frustrated. She hated not having the answers. Somehow, she had to prove to him that she was totally over Marc. That he – Tom – was the most important person in the world to her. That she loved him.

Suddenly it dawned on her! Her face broke into a wide smile for the first time in seven days. Picking up her keys, she raced back out the front door.

***

When Tom arrived, Ana wanted nothing more than to throw herself into his arms, however his icy disposition brutally quelled that impulse.

He hates me, she silently wailed to herself, all her bravado from that afternoon dissipating.

Taking a large swig of her white wine for false courage, she addressed Tom. “I guess we should talk.”

He nodded slowly. “Yes, we should.”

“I’ll start,” she said, laughing nervously. She licked her dry lips anxiously. All the explanations that she had mentally prepared earlier vanished.

“Go on, then.” He crossed his arms over his chest.

Even when he’s mad, he’s completely gorgeous, Ana thought, her heart breaking just a little bit more.

“When you left last time I was so upset,” she said slowly.

A frown momentarily crossed his face. “I’m sorry I left the way I did but, Ana, I just don’t know…”

Cutting him off gently, she implored, “Please, let me finish.”

Tom indicated with a slight dip of his head for her to continue.

She took a moment to compose her thoughts. “I want… no, I need your forgiveness. Please Tom. I know I don’t deserve you, but you mean everything to me and I want to be able to prove it to you.”

Ana took a sip of wine, her mouth suddenly dry. She could feel tears pricking at the corners of her eyes. “What I’m trying to say is that I love you and I made a horrible mistake. But I could never forgive myself for giving up without a fight.” She gazed at her fingers, awkwardly twisting the fabric of her dress. “I love you, Tom. So much. And I can’t imagine my life without you in it.”

She looked up at Tom anxiously. He didn’t look angry. In fact, his face had softened, and she could see that his eyes were damp. Her spirits lifted and she allowed herself a faint glimmer of hope. If he’d been furious with her, or seemed disinterested, she didn’t know if she could have gone through with the next bit.

She took a deep breath. Here goes nothing, she thought. Freeing her fingers from the fabric of her dress, she reached into the pocket of her jacket. Pulling out a small black box, she handed it to Tom.

Tom looked at her quizzically. “What’s this?”

“Open it.”

Tom lifted the lid. Inside was a simple, brushed platinum ring – about his size.

“Tom, will you marry me?”

For what seemed like an eternity, Tom sat staring at the ring. Ana could barely breathe. Her heart was racing and when she looked down at her hands again they were visibly shaking. She peeked back at Tom from underneath her lashes.

His face had transformed into an enormous grin. He threw his head back and roared with laughter. Jumping out of his seat he commanded, “Wait here.”

Ana could hear his footsteps moving quickly down the hall. The front door opened and closed.

Ana was stunned. “What…?”

She leapt out of her seat and rushed towards the door. Before she reached it, however, it had opened again and Tom stood framed in the doorway.

“I thought I told you to wait in the living room?” he teased.

Taking her hands, he got down on one knee. Ana closed her eyes, excitement bubbling through her.

When she opened them again, Tom had his hand held out, palm up. On it, was a diamond ring.

“I know you beat me to it,” he said softly, “but, Ana, will you marry me?”

***

Ana and Tom lay in bed, wrapped in each other’s arms. The remnants of the spiced chocolate pudding and fresh raspberries, which they had enjoyed feeding each other in between their lovemaking, were on a plate next to the bed. Ana held up her hand and gazed at the ring. The diamond winked at her, its spectrum bouncing off the ceiling and casting tiny rainbow shards across the walls.

She snuggled in further to Tom. “I love you”, she murmured into his ear. He pulled her close and kissed her more deeply, more tenderly than she’d ever been kissed in her whole life.

Much later, they fell asleep; their two bodies intertwined, dreaming only of each other.