Happy Valentine's Day!

In celebration of Valentine’s day, I share with you a short romantic comedy I wrote. I hope it makes you smile!

free vintage retro valentine_ice cream

For The Love of Ice Cream

by D.L. Marriott ©2009

 

Janie couldn’t believe it had come to this again. Here she was, drowning her sorrows, alone, in an ice cream parlor, the monstrosity in front of her bringing her comfort. Each time she dipped her spoon into the sundae and brought it to her lips she gently sucked the dessert off, savoring every moment of it.

She set the cherry aside, saving it for last. Swirling her spoon through the whipped cream, Janie sampled the light, fluffy topping with a flick of her tongue. Closing her eyes for a moment, the young woman imagined reaching into the sky and taking a scoop out of a billowy cloud. She held the sweetened cream in her mouth until it melted.

From then on, all the spoonfuls were the same. A piece of dark chocolate brownie from the bottom, a bit of banana, a healthy dollop of ice cream coated in hot fudge, toasted coconut, and pecans. She loved the contradiction in texture and flavors. The frosty ice cream mixed with the soothing warmth of the hot fudge. The crunchy coconut together with the chewy brownie. The salty taste of the pecans battling the sweetness of the banana. She didn’t just enjoy eating her sundae, this was more like a romantic rendezvous with food.

Despite her heavenly treat, she was still feeling frustrated that another guy she barely knew could drive her to this state of overindulgence. But then, maybe getting dumped was her excuse to feed her ice cream addiction. Maybe she was subconsciously sabotaging her relationships, giving herself a excuse to splurge. That thought was almost enough to make her laugh, until she remembered that she was eating a sundae large enough for four. I’m as pathetic as a drunk sitting alone in a bar, she thought to herself. Keeping her gaze down, the dejected girl avoided looking at anyone else. She was convinced they could tell how pitiful she was. If only she wasn’t a slave to her emotions. If only she didn’t let her heart rule her. Her head knew better.

It’d happened after only two dates with Jeremy. She barely knew him really. They were set up by some friends who were, no doubt, tired of her being the third wheel on all their outings. All of her friends were couples, but Janie found herself to be perpetually single. Not that she didn’t date. Her boyfriends just never stuck around long. She wondered if there was something fundamentally wrong with her. Maybe she was too desperate. No, she was just a hopeless romantic. Unfortunately the speed in which she fell head over heels, generally scared any potential boyfriends away. She attacked love like she attacked ice cream and chocolate.

Janie couldn’t help but wonder if there were other people like her. Was she really all that different? Maybe it’s a therapist she needed, or a dietitian, instead of another boyfriend. Maybe she just needed to swear off guys for a while, take a break, stop trying so hard. That’s it. She would chill out and avoid men. Maybe then this obsession she had with finding Mr. Right would dissipate. Eventually she would try to date casually. Try not to put so much pressure on any potential relationship. Yep, it was a plan. Janie sighed with relief now that she had a solution.

Feeling more self assured, Janie sat up straight. She purposely looked around at the other patrons around her. Not all of them were in groups or pairs. There were a few other lonely souls out there. Maybe they were here to find comfort in their frozen concoctions too. But not anymore for Janie. She was determined. She could rise above it all. No more wallowing for her. Her eyes scanned the room, as she dug her spoon back into her sundae. No sense letting all the creamy goodness go to waste, after all.

Before Janie could take another bite she paused. There, across the room from her sat a vision of beauty, if a man can be called beautiful. He was all by himself, eating a sundae just as large as hers. She wondered what his story was. Was he getting over someone too? No, no, she had to stop this, this wasn’t the plan. Janie let out a strangled gasp as he looked up and his eyes fell on hers. He had the most intense blue eyes she’d ever seen. They were like tidal pools in a tropical sea. His dark hair was slightly mussed, like he had just come in out of the wind. How she would love to run her hands through that hair. There was just a bit of stubble on his chin. She always loved her guys a little scruffy.

He smiled. Could he really be smiling at her? Janie was finding it difficult to draw in air. Her heart felt like it was going to gallop right out of her chest. She followed his gaze. He wasn’t looking at her face, he was looking lower. She slowly looked down and noticed that she had been holding her spoon halfway to her mouth for quite a while now. The hot fudge had melted the ice cream and the resulting mess was dripping into a puddle on the table. She set her spoon down, and tried to wipe up her mess as gracefully as she could. She used all her napkins to soak up the melted ice cream. The result was a mountain of sticky wet napkins sitting in front of her. How embarrassing! It was evident that she really needed to take a break from dating or anything having to do with guys. She needed to rein in her emotions.

Janie took a deep breath and tried to banish any thoughts of handsome men from her mind. That’s it, she needed to just concentrate on finishing her sundae. It wouldn’t take long, she was almost done. Janie picked up the cherry she had set aside and swirled it through the remnants of melted ice cream and fudge. She lifted the dripping fruit to her lips and popped it in whole. As she bit into the overly sweet confection it burst, flooding her mouth with sugary fluid. A drip escaped her lips and dribbled down her chin. She reached for a napkin but then realized she had used them all. She looked around hoping for a spare on a neighboring table. There were none.

She closed her eyes in frustration for just a moment. As soon as her eyes flickered open, there was an outstretched hand holding a napkin right in front of her. Janie looked up. She couldn’t believe it. Of all the people who might have noticed the juice dripping down her face, it had to be him. As she accepted the napkin, the corners of his mouth turned up in a sweet smile.

One single thought crossed her mind. “Oh God, I’m in love!”

 

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