“Cake can’t erode gold, can it?” wondered Nathan.
“No. Not unless you go with the cyanide cake. But between you and me, it isn’t our bestseller,” smirked the waitress Rebecca.
“I was thinking Black Forest,” replied Nathan as he leaned in to observe the display of decadent layer cakes. The dessert counter was off to one side of the restaurant, and was just obstructed from view if you were looking from Nathan’s table reservation.
Nathan Gale was handsome man in his late twenties, and had just only learned what cufflinks did. He had stunning eyes that perpetuated the confidence of a man with complete unwavering faith in his own destiny. Rebecca was written in the font of confidence herself, though she would balk at the notion that this meant she was hardwired for customer service. Even now she helped Nathan apathetically, and seemed more interested in her own dialogue than marrying Nathan with a cake.
“Can I see the bling?” asked Rebecca, holding out her left hand. Her fingernails were done up with Sharpie and White-Out.
“Sure, but it’s her dead grandmother’s antique engagement ring. That’s a two carat rock right there, so please be careful–”
Rebecca slipped the ring onto her finger. She flexed her hand to feel it out, as if somehow it made her fingers longer. Well, it made one of them heavier.
“Fuck… and all you have to cover is the cost of the cake, eh? Way to go grandma,” said Rebecca impressed, and then added “Who’s the broad?”
“Her name is Zoe. She’s a twenty-five year-old girl from Mississauga. Curly brown hair—“
“I didn’t ask for her personal ad. Who is she? What’s her deal? Why pick her as the one to chain yourself to for all eternity? Or at least until death, when the whole womanizing lifestyle is game again?”
“She’s cute. Beautiful.” said Nathan, and for a split second his nerves seemed to break through his composure. Rebecca continued to peer at him in a way that was so skeptical, that Nathan felt the need to add, “And you know… interesting.”
“Interesting. Isn’t that the word guys use for girls who let them do all the talking?”
For a moment Nathan was without a reply.
“I think the Black Forest,” he finally said.
“Is that your final answer?” pressed Rebecca, “Well go sit down. Did you say you were going to the bathroom? She’s going to think you’re passing a kidney stone. Or you’re doing coke. Or–oh doing someone else. Go! I’ll be right behind you.” And Nathan was shoved back in the direction of his table. A few steps and his intended fiancé, Zoe was in view. She looked like she was built from a medley of timid creatures; a small mousey thing with doe eyes that were surprisingly inexpressive despite their circumference. She only noticed Nathan had returned to the table when he was once again sitting across from her.
“You look very beautiful tonight,” said Nathan.
“Thank you,” was her only reply. Rebecca approaches the table with two big slices of Black Forest cake.
“I ordered us dessert,” said Nathan, aware of how his breath expelled with each word. As Rebecca went to set the slices down, she pretended for a second to forgot which one went to Zoe. Nathan shot Rebecca a strong look, and she stifled a laugh as she headed away again.
Zoe looked at the cake set down in front of her.
“Oh, I can’t eat this,” she frowned. Nathan asked her what she meant.
“I can’t eat white flour, milk, or refined sugar,” Zoe was serious, and Nathan was caught fully off guard.
“You can’t cheat this one time–?”
“–No!” she snapped looking appalled that Nathan would even suggest such a thing.
“We’re here to enjoy ourselves,” he tried.
“I will not enjoy this,” she frowned. Nathan looked sadly at the cake, which looked as enjoyable as a cake possibly could.
“Here I’ll bring it back,” Nathan muttered.
“I’m sure the waitress will come and get it.”
“It’s okay,” and Nathan abruptly swept up her half a million dollar cake with the engagement ring yoke. He was walking back to the dessert counter before Zoe could say another word.
Crossing the restaurant, Nathan dropped the cake on the counter in front of Rebecca, who had been watching.
“What happened?” Rebecca asked.
“You still got that cyanide cake handy?”
“It couldn’t be that bad.”
“We’re going to be married for the next, what 50 years? And never have dessert? I don’t think I can go through with it,” said Nathan. Rebecca looked at him sympathetically.
“Cake?” She held out the plate. Nathan reached and took a little with his finger.
“Are you going back over there?” asked Rebecca. She grabbed some cake with her fingers and plopped it in her mouth. She made a face and spit the diamond engagement ring into her hand. Nathan didn’t budge. He stayed there with Rebecca and the two of them finished the cake together.