Each with a high stack of pancakes, we revealed our hands.
“I wish this wasn’t our last meal,” she said. This came as quite a shock but I tried not to let it show on my face. I found that filling my cheeks with blueberries helped. Still she was waiting on my answer.
“Honesty is good.” I took her chilly hand as it lay beside her untouched fork. “If only it could have been a little sweeter.”
She pulled away to open out her serviette on her lap. “You leave something too long and what can you expect?” She wrinkled her nose at the bananas between her pancakes. Even I could see they were bruised. I held up some excess blueberries with my fork but she declined, instead tying back her greying hair as if she intended to throw herself face first into her meal. I chuckled at the thought. This raised an eyebrow.
“Just occurred to me,” I replied, “don’t you normally have honey?”
She sighed. “I do but it’s not really a honey day.”
I followed her glance out of the café window beside our table. The wind buffeted the evergreens as it had done for the past month. A sandwich board skidded by.
“I must admit, we’re both being extraordinarily healthy today with our fruit choices.”
“Mm,” she said teasing out a large browning banana slice and left it balanced precariously on the rim of her plate.
It was getting harder and harder to maintain my cheeriness. This may well have been a bad day of definitive endings but it seemed a shame to waste the Shrove Tuesday treat on our personal mope. I raised a hand and got the attention of the barista wiping the hot water spout with a cloth.
“Can we have some honey on these?” I asked.
She turned to me. “But what about your tooth?”
“I’ll just eat out of the left side of my mouth,” I said, grinning with a black molar somewhere in the back.
She chuckled. “Good thing you’ve got your toothbrush packed.”
I hadn’t expected her to say that but then, by the look of wide eyes, she hadn’t either. We let out nervous laughter so loud that it startled the barista coming up with her honey jug. Regaining her professionalism, she drizzled generously over both our pancake stacks. At last something sweet to sink our teeth into before walking out for good.