“Listening to the Chocolate” by Rebecca L. Brown
We’d like to present a new Feature Story here at Metro Fiction. Please check the Welcome page for more information about us. This week, we savor the sweet taste of freedom.
We present our Feature Story: “Listening to the Chocolate” by Rebecca L. Brown:
This morning, I am listening to the chocolate.
The chocolate doesn’t ask me questions about the political situation in Uganda at three in the morning because it can’t sleep. It doesn’t slink off to play ‘important‘ games every time I mention housework. The chocolate doesn’t leave an assortment of half-empty crisp packets on the bedroom floor or forget to crush
cans before the rare occasions when it remembers to put them into the recycling bin. It never leaves slightly damp towels on the bed or dirty boxer shorts on the sofa which disappear down the back of the cushions and somehow only ever reappear when great aunt Maureen happens to sit there.
It doesn’t make me cry either (it really isn’t the chocolate’s fault that I can’t fit into that green dress any more and, even if it was, it more than made up for it with all the effort it put into comforting me afterwards).
The chocolate is never rude to my relatives or anything less than charming when I introduce it to my friends. It never acts without thinking, never asks me what I think I look like wearing that with my figure or pretends that I’m his older sister in
front of his friends as a joke.
And the chocolate never asks me to share it. The chocolate knows we’re exclusive, that we got past that stage the moment I stripped off its seductive gold wrapper and slipped that first perfectly divine piece onto my tongue…
Because that was obvious. Once you get past that certain special stage, nobody wants to share. Or be shared.
Living together is definitely past that special stage. By the time you start getting joint overdue utility bills and arguing over whose turn it is to buy the milk, you’ve peeled off the wrapper, realized you bought the one with nuts in it by mistake and
eaten half the bar anyway. When you’re living together, you’ve offered each other a lifetime supply; you’re well past the point where you decide whether or not this is a flavor you can stick with long-term.
Or, at least, that’s what I always thought.
He, on the other hand, seemed to think he had a right to a free sample every now and then. He wanted, from time to time, to satisfy his taste for the exotic with something a little bit more adventurous, a little bit sweeter. (Although I’d never
thought of a Welsh accent as being all that exotic; I suppose there‘s a line between trying a new brand of confectionary and having a munch on chocolate coated locusts, and he wasn‘t quite adventurous enough to cross it.)
And so I’d carried on ironing his shirts and making sandwiches just the way he liked them (two slices of roast beef, no butter, leave the tomato out until last) whilst he was having his other appetites sated elsewhere. With something a
whole lot lower in fat and with a flashier wrapper. A free gift of some kind if you collect enough tokens, I’d imagine. And false… colorings? Additives?
Definitely something false, anyway.
I suppose it must be easy to get bored of the same old thing after a while. Or, at least, too used to it. When you have it there every day or wake up next to it (morning breath and all) every morning, it stops being so satisfying, stops being a
treat. When you’ve seen a woman wax her armpits, I’d imagine she loses some of her feminine allure.
He’d come to see me more as a mother figure than anything else, he told me. I’d make someone a wonderful wife one day. Someone else, that is.
A domestic goddess rather than a sex one, better at changing the sheets than I was at doing anything between them.
He had patted me on the shoulder as well. I hope we can still be friends, he said.
He’d been getting those samples all around the neighborhood, from what I’ve found out over the past few days. For months now, he’s been running from one to the next like a fat, greedy child in a sweet shop. Left to his own devices, I
suppose he just couldn’t help himself.
He had sat there when he finished speaking, as if he was waiting for me to scold him. I wanted to for a while, I really did. In the end, though, I didn’t bother. There didn’t seem to be much point.
Maybe, I thought to myself, it’s time for me to do some sampling of my own.
So I will.
And this morning, I am listening to the chocolate.
I’m going to leave him, of course. I’ve already packed my things; everything from my hairbrush to the soft, Egyptian cotton sheets which I’m not good enough in between.
By the time he gets home I’ll have finished the last few squares. Then, I’ll crumple up the wrapper and leave it, empty, here for him to find. No notes, no messages, just this little piece of foil. He can keep it if he likes. There’s nothing
left there which I want any more.
Maybe I’ll even pick up something new later on. Something smooth and rich, perhaps. Something that will almost inevitably go straight to my thighs. I won’t mind, though, even if it does; some treats are meant to be naughty and I think its about time I spoiled myself.
Rebecca L. Brown is a British writer. She specializes in horror, SF, humor, surreal and experimental fiction, although her writing often wanders off into other genres and gets horribly lost. For updates and examples of Rebecca’s work, visit her Twitter page or her blog Bewildering Circumstances.
Tags: metro fiction, rebecca l brown, short stories