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Waffles

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She realized she loved him on their very first date. Maybe it was his smile, maybe it was his laugh—a deep, throaty chuckle. Or maybe it was when he gave his order to the waiter. “What?” he had shrugged when he saw her looking at him with her eyebrows raised. “No one ever said you couldn’t have waffles for dinner.”

He told her that summer that he loved her. They were lying under a tree, its branches providing shade from the heat. Remnants of a picnic surrounded them, plastic baggies filled with half-eaten waffles. As she closed her eyes and relaxed, he whispered those three little words to her. She smiled. It was something she expected.

But the first time he hit her was unexpected. They were sitting in his car outside her house. The fist had seemed to come out of nowhere, but it slammed across her face. She placed her hand up to her eye, feeling the bruise already beginning to form. “I’m sorry baby. I’m sorry. I love you,” he whispered. He placed his hand on her thigh, and she turned towards the window. It’s starting to snow she thought blankly.

Eye.

Rib.

Arm.

Apologies came in the form of waffles in the shapes of hearts and I love you’s. She wore sweaters to school. She suffered through the heat, refusing her mother’s pleas to wear skirts or shorts or tank tops or dresses. Her mother didn’t know. No one knew.

The waffles they had served on the first day for breakfast in the hospital triggered these memories. She squeezed her eyes shut, overcome by a sense of missing him. They told her not to take him back, that he was no good for her. But she wouldn’t listen. He loved her, after all.





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Gillian G said...
Sept. 20, 2012 at 10:19 pm
That was intense. I got goosebumps when I was finished reading it! Incredible job and great writing. This is a very very strong piece.
 
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