Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Yesterday's Promise

First published in Long Story Short (2007)

“So when are you starting your diet, Sam?”

Sam and Dorothy sat opposite each other in a booth with red leather seats eating their favorite lunch.

“I did.” He watched a spoonful disappear into her mouth as he anticipated the moment when Dorothy was full, and he'd get to finish her meal.

Sam was a fanatic for Dryer's ice cream. He'd converted the kitchen of their single story home into an old fashioned soda shop, complete with black and white tile floor, black-topped counter with four matching stools, and a Dryer's sign he found at a flea market. A Coke machine stood in one corner. The other was occupied by an authentic 1950s jukebox. Bobby Darin, Sam's favorite, serenaded them with “Splish Splash” as they scooped gobs of Mocha Almond Fudge and Cherry Chocolate Chip topped with whipped cream and walnuts into their greedy mouths.

“Doesn't look like it to me.”

Sam wagged one index finger at Dorothy and pointed to his chin with the other. His eyes followed a piece of cherry surrounded by vanilla as it dripped down her chin. “No, use your tongue,” he said with his head tilted back. “It's too good to waste on a napkin.”

Dorothy captured what she could with her tongue, then used her finger to wipe off the rest. Sam watched as she sucked the pudgy digit into her mouth and licked off the sweet delight. He stared at her bowl with lustful eyes. His heartbeat quickened as he remembered the time he got to lick leftovers off her fleshy lips.

“I'm dieting at dinner.” Sam gave her a shut-up-and-let-me-eat look.

“But it's the ice cream that's killing you. That's what the doctor said.”

“Doc's a quack.” Sam put two scoops of creamy deliciousness in his mouth and waited for it to ooze over his tongue and down his throat.

“Well, you just better still be here come Christmas. I want another present like last year.”

Sam gazed into his bowl and thought about last Christmas. How could he top winning a lifetime supply of Dryer's Grand Ice Cream and a tour of the factory? Why poor Dorothy about wet her grannies when he showed her the prize certificate and plane tickets. Too bad the factory samples were so small. They offered bigger tastes of their new Slow Churned brand; but as far as Sam was concerned light ice cream was a waste of milk.

He licked the remaining ice cream from his bowl and looked up to see Dorothy face first in vanilla gold.

“Dorothy? You alright?” He reached over and touched her shoulder. “Sweetums?” Nothing. “You're wasting it, Hon.”

He reached across the table, grabbed a handful of red hair and lifted her head, pulled the bowl away and let go. He watched her head bounce once on the table as he scooped a big helping of her leftovers. He hated soupy ice cream. He'd call 911 as soon as he finished.

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