9/3/2021 [author name]

Saturday morning my girlfriend made waffles. She pulled a waffle maker out of a corner of the apartment I had never noticed before as soon as we woke up and immediately set about measuring out flour and sugar and various other ingredients from memory. I stared at her, mesmerized, until she stopped briefly and asked me to read to her as she cooked, which I did.

Her recipe, supposedly a family one, involved several beige powders I didn’t recognize and something that looked like poppy seeds. None of these additions were visible in the final product.

I smeared my first waffle with yogurt and elderberry jam and found a perch at the table where I could still see her. I caught her glancing at me with a small smile as I ate my first bite.

I felt the waffle turn to a sweet, fruity paste as I chewed it. There was a small wriggling sensation as it went down my throat.

I had another bite. Something was in my mouth now, wriggling and searching. I wanted to spit it out but I could feel her looking at me. In a moment of panic I swallowed.

My stomach felt warm and I relaxed a little. Something was squirming underneath the surface of the waffle; multiple things, in fact. I knew she wanted me to eat more. All I wanted was to eat more.

When the waffle was done, I stared at her. My cheeks grew a little warmer. I thought about spending my life with her. She kneeled in front of me, holding a twisting silver ring out. I got up, feeling my skirt stick to my sweaty legs. I said yes.