You’re in the supermarket on a cold winters day.
You’re minding your own business, pushing your trolley and checking items off your list when your nose twitches at the smell of freshly baked bread. Tempted, you wander over to the bakery.
Your stomach grumbles as you peruse the counter. Your eyes widen as they drink in the glorious delights on offer. Loaves, rolls, buns, cakes, pastries, biscuits, tarts: each as tantalising as the next. After much internal deliberation you finally decide which one to buy.
A chocolate eclair.
You signal your selection to the assistant who hands you your prize in a cardboard box, neatly tied with ribbon. You carefully place the box at the far end of your trolley, safely stowed away from heavier household goods that might roll around and crush it.
You finish the rest of your shopping a little quicker now, somehow lighter of step, and stride with purpose to the checkout.
You hastily pack and pick up your shopping bags but you grip the box tightly in your hand, carrying it safely all the way out to your car.
You drive along with the box calling to you, provocatively, on the passenger seat. You glance over every few minutes, stretching out a protective hand and smiling in anticipation.
You get home and unpack your shopping whilst waiting, impatiently, for the kettle to boil. The box consumes your thoughts as you drum your fingers on the counter top, and your excitement continues to build.
You sit down in your favourite chair and make yourself comfortable. You tenderly untie the ribbon and lift the lid of the box. You lick your lips as your heart quickens and you finally take a bite of the glistening chocolate eclair.
You begin to realise, as you chew, that it doesn’t taste as good as you thought it would.
The cream is artificial and bland. The pastry is soggy and sticks to your cheeks. The chocolate is saccharine and hurts your teeth.
Disappointed, you put the remaining piece of the chocolate eclair back into the box, close the lid and re-tie the ribbon. You throw the box in the bin without a care in the world.
And that’s what love is like.
Being lured in by the chocolate eclair when, all along, you really should have picked the strawberry tart.
(Originally Posted 07.03.2019)