Dessert Buffet

by Angela Kubinec

He makes pistachio-sour cherry-apricot biscotti, a three hour labor of love.  He gives her the chunky crumbs that fall off as he slices it into pieces of precisely the same width.  Of course, one of the slices breaks, and while he goes to retrieve the cookie tins, she eats it before the second baking.  The inside is still a little doughy, and she swallows it, like the gift certificate to the beauty salon he gave her for their wedding anniversary yesterday.  Tomorrow she will get another gift, similar to the biscotti.  They are the raspberry cheese bars she will sneak out of the refrigerator when he goes to the bathroom.  Today, however, he catches her with a bit of apricot in the corner of her mouth.

“Your husband is an asshole, isn't he?” he asks.

“Yes,” she replies in a carefully neutral tone, calmly realizing that there will be a newer, more elaborate dessert every day for at least a week.  She wipes her mouth with childish fingers, and recognizes that she will accept sweetness, wherever it can be found.