Your tongue slid out of your mouth and licked the gelato from your spoon with such a tenderness that it seemed you pulled your tongue back in through your lips with no gelato on it at all, and yet somehow, many minutes after I had already finished my creamy bowl of dessert, your serving of gelato was indeed a tad bit smaller than when you were first handed your treat. When I talked about what I would do with the first million I made from my best selling book, you smiled and sighed happily in a way that was identical to the way Winnie the Pooh sighs when he is about to devour a jar full of honey.
I went on with my fantasies. I would buy my mother unlimited first class tickets to Seoul so she could see her family whenever she wanted. She could even book those flights where she just laid flat in a nice luxurious bed so when she woke up, she would be across the world. I would invest in Three Pines and Dia's acting career with my next big seller. I would buy my little twin sisters safer, newer cars that would take on slick, rainy roads in the Pacific Northwest with ease. Misty's college tuition would be well taken care of...
"And I'd pay for you to go to school too, if you wanted," I added. And I'd help you finish the buildout of your house, and pay it off, and buy you that mattress you want along with that ridiculously big TV. We'd get the dogs proper beds for the winter, and that fence fixed and built all the way around the yard. And we'd go skiing every winter and stay up in one of those fancy cabins so we didn't have to drive back and forth in hazardous winter conditions.
...but I didn't say those things out loud. I just thought them to myself, planning the many purchases of my riches that were yet to be made. I finished the last of my ice cream and looked up to see you still working on the top curve of your first scoop of gelato. Your eyes were staring into the soul of the frozen dessert. What did you see in your Bourbon gelato that I didn't?
"That would be nice," You said. "And then with the next best seller, you'd move to that little town in Oregon you talk about but have never been to...Bend?"
"And then you'd move to Bend. And you'd buy a house in the suburbs and get one or two of those Australian Shepherds and be closer to Rena and Nikki."
With a stomach fully satisfied with maple ginger snap and dulce de leche gelato, my future was looking good.
"...Will you be there?" I asked.
"I hope so." You said.
It was a far off and distant fantasy, but I still needed to know.
We left the shop after you finished your gelato which took you only a decade or so. You drove because my car, my 17-year-old Toyota had decided it was time to break down for a while. I unlocked the front door to my apartment and stepped down into the stuffy basement, turning back to see you duck your head in order to not hit the top of your head on my ceiling. We slurped down home-made chicken noodle soup. I don't usually cook, but given that I don't have a job for this month...I have more time to dilly dally in hobbies I don't particularly enjoy just in case my soul might have changed and I might find I actually do enjoy simmering a chicken for two hours to make a broth that needs to chill for 8 hours before I can use the stock. Nope. I'd still rather be on the eating of things as far as the kitchen goes.
After gelato and soup, and yes in that order, we laid down on my bed that you say is more rigid than any religious jurisdiction you've ever come across. In defense, I argue that it's better than his bed that shares the same disappearing characteristics as a black hole. You started to rub my shoulders and told me I look good in the jeans I was wearing. And that made me ecstatic on the inside because damn! they're quite restricting, but if my ass looks more grabable than bring on the denim. You did a few award-winning impersonations, including Old Southern Man in Rocking Chair and Lead Singer of Metal Band that is actually Satin. When you tired of tickling me and we both quieted down, the hand holding began. You know I love the hand holding.
I closed my eyes and a new fantasy wrote itself behind my eyelids: Once upon a time there was a girl who lived underground in hiding so the bad men wouldn't find her. She made special drinks for people who were tired and needed energy, and comforted those having a long day. She met a boy who worked hour after hour to keep people safe from invisible but fatal evils, all while raising two wild wolves on his own. The girl and boy sometimes broke the rules and ate dessert before the main course, like gelato and then soup for example, but together, they were going to take over the world. . . Somehow...eventually...maybe?
"Goodnight, Babe," You interrupted my fairytale.
"Going to sleep?" I ask.
"Yeah. So tired. Imma bout to dream good dreams, Babe."
"Will I be there?"
"I hope so."