On the island of desserts, beautiful Sirens beckoned with their golden brown, flaky crusts and fruity insides oozing cherry red, apple yellow, and blackberry purple. How perfect they’d look with a dollop of fresh whipped cream or homemade vanilla ice cream plopped atop their heads.
Jane licked her lips and wished she was marooned on that island, swimming in the white caps of frosting washed over a three-layer cake. She wanted to dip her fingers in the Bavarian pie fillings and slather their rich, silken flavors on her tongue while floating on a raft of s’mores.
I will not get shipwrecked today, Jane thought. That island is nothing but trouble…and empty calories. I will not succumb to their temptation.
Her measly salad offered little consolation or support for her resolution. Even her billowing waistline seemed to shrink away as if to say, one bite of sugar won’t make a difference. No one has to know. It can be our little secret.
Jane made a pact with her weight loss group. Each vowed to abstain from surgery sweet foods at their family holiday meals. Just one day. That’s all they had to do, the group leader said. It sounded so easy until Jane arrived at the restaurant her kids had chosen and spotted the mountain of gluttony looming across the room.
Mama, why don’t you sit on this side of the table, her daughter suggested. That way those sweets won’t be staring you in the face.
No, no, it’s all right, dear. I need to learn how to face my demons.
You don’t have to be a martyr, Jane, her husband grunted.
I’m not trying to be, Bill. I don’t think we need to make a big deal of this at the table. Let’s enjoy our meal and be thankful for each other’s company.
Her family shrugged and let her stew in sinful dreams as she chewed a bland piece of lettuce fifteen times. One, two, three…warm apple pie…four, five, six…moist chocolate cake…eight, nine, ten…soft chocolate chip cookies with crispy edges…how many times had she chewed? Was it ten or eleven? Shoot, she’d lost count.
Jane cursed her group leader for proposing such a hard challenge on one of the few days her family came together. Then she felt bad for taking out her anger on the poor woman who was trying to help curb her indulgences. And the bakery chef who’d gone through all that trouble to make his delicious desserts, of which she could have none. All because she had a sweet tooth which packed forty pounds on her petite frame over the past ten years.
But those pies were singing for her, their sugary notes harmonizing between her ears.
Come hither, come hither, they pastry likenesses sang.
She could hardly face her group on Saturday if she steered her ship in their direction. Ashamed of her weakness, Jane rose from the table.
I need some fresh air, she said, fanning her face. Please excuse me for a few moments while I step outside.
In the frigid air, Jane parked herself on a bench and tried to settle her frazzled nerves with a five-calorie peppermint from her purse. At the very least, she no longer heard those cakes and fruit pies calling out her name.
– Written by Miss A on November 22, 2012