SSSSFFFFPH! My jaw reclined back into position as I swallowed the saliva with great satisfaction. It had been sitting in my mouth for ages and was turning lukewarm because I needed to eat. I was waiting for two words. "Let's eat" he spoke as we grabbed our knife and fork ready to fill our stomachs. I saw what was in front of me and pushed the hatred down, reminding myself of why I was here. I heard cutlery clinking and scraping against ceramic plates as I looked out into the distance. I saw an empty street filled with the earliness of the night. The stars though gave me hope.
"Hey" he awkwardly taps me on the arm. I reach for my cup of water, take a sip and I swallow. I look ahead to see a man. He's hot all right. I won't be getting sick from this one for all I know. I smell the tender meat with a spicy seasoning, the small bowl of tortilla chips lightly encrusted with salt and a side of salsa verde. For dessert, he preordered the tiramisu that now looking at it, seems caked on the sugar which will make me feel guilty later. Hesitantly, I hold the steak knife and cut off a chunk of meat. I just couldn't. He presents a forced smile, but underneath I can see the intrigued expression. But isn't he glad to have me as a beautiful girlfriend?! Meals like this are good for him according to his mother. To me, they're an opportunity for food.
I met up with his mother last month since I knew she would die soon. We chatted until late at night and shared many glasses of champagne and bittersweet tears. That night, she passed. Still holding the fork with the meat, I nervously gulp. "You…ok?" He wonders.
"I'm fine," I explain. "This is my first time having beef. I'm scared."
"It tastes really good, don't worry. Are you….vegetarian?" he guesses.
I shake my head and open the entrance to my teeth encase mouth. His mom always joked that I had the biggest meat-eating pearly white chompers she'd ever see.
I take a deep breath and put the fork down. He tilts his head to the side, smiles with pleasure and continues to consume the tortilla chips. CRUNCH, CRACKLE, CRISP goes the chips as they get pulverised to a thick paste then swallowed down the esophagus. I continue to watch others around me and check out what they eating. On Table 59 a family of four are all munching on burgers. Extract the cow, damn I love a good patty! I felt the contentment of my heart fulfill as the dripping juices fall onto their plate. How the youngest can even take massive bites like that! It must be good…Mmmm.
My spine suddenly tingles as he taps me on my tiny wrist that's screams "SKINNY TWIG." I glance at the food that has not been devoured and I realise that he is waiting for us to share the tiramisu together. "Don't worry," he giggles like a little girl in a tutu. "It's gluten and dairy free. I asked them to replace the dairy for coconut milk and gluten for almond meal. I'm sure it still tastes great." He ignores that I mysteriously haven't eaten dinner, but as they say, "Hungry aren't those who eat dessert before dinner." The waitress brings two spoons that are the colour of boiled cod and we take one each. I knew that my stomach could tolerate this. I reassure myself that all will be okay. I take a deep breath and stare into his deep eyes. You're doing it for him, I remind myself. I dig my spoon into the side of the petite cake while scooping up a decent mouthful. He does the same and we lift the spoons to our mouths. I wasn't pleased with this night. It didn't work out the way I intended or hoped it to. This was my time to renew the atmosphere, the laughter, and love. To make use of our time together before it was too late.
Without realising, my shoulders sink and my back hits the chair frame. He already was up to his fifth bite and I got the feeling that things were going to be over very, very soon. I put the spoon into my mouth. I swallowed. I felt the coffee dipped gluten free ladyfingers melt into porridge and the dairy free mascarpone cheese turns into milk. I reached down below the table to grab my handbag and felt it all gurgle within. I held my mouth and ran to the toilet with him trailing behind me. We met again in the disabled toilet with my hand still on my mouth and him wetting paper towels to put on my forehead. I go in for the kiss, grateful for all the times we've had together. It's time to say goodbye.
"Police, listen to me now! Some man eaten..taken..by some…thing…alien…man-eating human….