Today on the Daily Post, there was a writing challenge. You must come up with a story based on the two chefs in the picture. This is what my little mind came up with! The photo is courtesy of Michelle Weber, featured on the Daily Post site.
On to the story:
He tried not to tremble as he held the spoon. Today was his final moment. He had watched the man standing next to him for the last ten years. Watched him fall in love with his spouse. Watched him lose his spouse. Watched him grieve. The grieving has lasted for three years. He still wears his wedding ring.
There had been the occasional brush of hands. Late nights spent drinking and laughing well past the time when simple acquaintances would have parted ways. And there had been one night. One wild and crazy night, one year ago. They never spoke of it. But he never stopped thinking about their moment together. He had thought he could survive on that moment. Live in it, in the passing seconds. Breathe it in, in the dark. The memories had started as a flame. Enough to keep him warm in the first few months that had passed. But as time has moved on, so has the warmth. Replaced by an aching need. A furnace without wood. He vowed he would not grow cold.
He must make a decision. Today. In the passing week, he has planned a new moment. He would wear two bracelets. One, the purple one, a symbol of an oath to himself. To choose the purple bracelet, would be to move on. To leave all of this behind. To find new kindling elsewhere.
The second bracelet was bolder. It was from the night the two had spent together. They had laughed, interlinking arms. Stumbling into shops. Finally, stopping at a kitschy tourist place. In the bright, garish lights of the window, bobbleheads were grinning manically. Bouncing their disfigurements with vigorous delight.
“Hey! Let’s get that one for Bob!” One of them exclaimed.
Bob was a coworker neither of them liked. He had an uncanny resemblance to John Travolta. When either of them was irritated with Bob, they would mimic Danny from GREASE and run imaginary combs through their hair.
They laughed as they entered the shop. As they were purchasing Bobblehead Bob, Greg reached over and pulled a green bracelet from the jar marked .75 cents.
He wrapped it around Mike’s wrist and said, “Here. Wear this. Let’s not forget this night .”
And he hadn’t.
In the first couple of weeks following their night together, Mike would wear the bracelet daily. He knew it was tacky. But he loved the moment it represented. But Greg never spoke of it. Never acknowledged it. The night became an unspoken cloud. The cloud had started off pure, but was now filled with the smog of emotion. Sometimes he felt as though he would choke on the polluted air between them.
The bracelet was put on the shelf, next to Bobblehead Bob. They never did give it to him. To give it to him would have made the night real. It grew dusty. It hurt his soul to look at it. The pain traveling so deep as to touch the soles of his heels.
It had been one year. Today. September twenty second. He grew bold. He wore the bracelet.
They had worked together all night. This was their final plate. After this, they would clean up. Go home. Mike had his bags packed. A job waiting in another city. Far from here. He needed a new chance. The smog was killing him.
They brushed hands as they put the final order up. Greg glanced at the green bracelet and then quickly looked away.
Mike knew then. He knew it was over. They cleaned up in silence.
“Good bye,” he whispered to Greg. And he turned around and left through the thick haze of the room.
Greg nodded. He sat in the dark. His mind caught in the images formed from the clouds left in Mike’s wake. He traced his wedding ring with his thumb. He slipped it off and put it in his pocket. His mind remaining on the semblance of the green bracelet on Mike’s wrist.
“Tomorrow,” he thought. “I will tell him tomorrow.”
At that moment, Mike lugged his suitcase into the waiting cab. It pulled away from the curb. The green bracelet lay once again on the shelf with its accomplice. The last reminder of their love, left dusty on the shelf. The bobblehead grinned in the dark. Its head formed the yes neither one of them would hear.