In the drive-through, his feet pushed back against the pebbles.
Where she paused at her Camry’s door.
Where she sighed at his words.
“Will you show me how you make the blueberry pancakes?” See, he was asking, he wanted to point out to her. Not telling this time. “Other people cook them all wrong. They let the blueberries burst all inside the batter. With the way that you do it, they always stayed so whole.”
The sugar-water boils on the stove until it taffies, and she drops the berries in, and scoops them up to become cooled-down crystal bites.
The undone side of the pancake faces upward, and she plops the little orbs of iced-over oceans into the foaming, bubbling white.
The plate is an offering, a last show of sweetness for him to fill himself up with something that her hands have made.
From now on, he will have to show himself how to do this.
There is no one else to tell.
In the kitchen, his teeth bite down against a berry.
Where softly-webbing sugar-cracks, much like a glass that has dropped, break so many silenced sounds, and suddenly everything seems more dangerous than it actually is.
Where the snapping sounds distract him just enough so that he doesn’t notice when she has left, when she is gone.
Exodus Oktavia Brownlow is a Blackhawk, Mississippi native whose writing aesthetic includes purposeful horror, character-driven fiction, and nonfiction writing that aims to create a healthier world for us all. Exodus is published, or has forthcoming work with Chicken Soup for The Soul, Louisiana Literature, and more. Exodus has a healthy adoration for the color green. She is currently working on her first novel.