by tyrina toh, photo credits.
(101 words per day, with the exception of the final revelation)
She loved the café down the road, even though it was a hassle to get to.
It wasn’t for the ambience, the décor, neither was it for the style of aesthetics which people paid close attention to.
It was for the taste, just the very taste of its cheesecake.
The dogma remained that taste of the food’s the key when it comes to a café – but she never paid enough attention to remember the name of the humble corner down the street, a little too far from the reach of the stifling city.
Thursday – that’s what she loved to call it.
As part of a routine, she would be at her favourite seat by the window every Thursday, at thursday.
Other nights were split evenly between working and studying.
Brown porcelain plate, triangular cheesecake, three drops of strawberry syrup – simplicity woven over artistry.
She wasn’t much of a food-lover, neither was she even close to being a selective gourmet. Something simply attracted her to that one dish, where it felt genuine, warm, at times even comforting – she would’ve called it love at first sight, if she had believed in such notions.
Likened to a whiff of heaven, she’d close her eyes.
The owner of the café once asked if she had a particular liking for cheesecakes. She replied that it was just something about their recipe.
With the accompaniment of weekly indulgences, she stumbled through a year, four seasons of equally sweltering weather.
She gained an inch of height, a natural inclination towards words and solace in the fact that amidst flashing colours and busy streets, some things stay the same.
Perhaps routines were a form of love, comfort and convenience laced into a bracelet latched upon one’s wrist, which would still be adored, even if it left rashes tracing faint veins.
She would’ve admitted that changes weren’t her forte. But in one split second, a subtle deviation from his seemingly hazel eyes seemed sufficient.
A string of words, dried leaves, an overturned cup of coffee – in love and routines alike, it takes just the slightest tug for the balloons to deflate and fall to the floor.
So she convinces herself that these things aren’t meant to be permanent, because when kept forcefully, they’ll form mere carbon copies of dreams gone dry, dishes gone bad. But once her routine dissipates, she begins to wander in the confinements of the empty hall, lights off.
Eventually, the strawberry cheesecake is removed from the menu.
Likened to prying doors open, tugging on the handles of others, and regrettably shutting the wrong ones, she realises that the dogma, truly remains that people are too afraid of saying the things that they should, even when people benefit from genuine displays of emotional vulnerability.
And over a cup of coffee and a simple desert, things can change and tables can turn.
As much as people get tired from holding onto the thin clothesline with their bare hands, it is the comfort that’s found in routines that keep the familiarity intact.
It’s only because it was once a habit, that a lack is left in the aftermath of its release, and eventually Thursday’s like any other day, just one-seventh of a week.