The spicy odour of massaman fails to infect her senses. Her lungs draw heavy breaths, yet she chooses to perceive the aromatic restaurant atmosphere as parched and insipid.
Oblivious to the jubilant crowd, she singles out the silence of her deafening mind over the unheard voices of those surrounding her.
Her disheartened figure slumps over the table, the sharp edge of the timber cutting deep into her elbows as her left hand grips her sunken chin. Slowly she stirs through the contents of her bowl and raises her right hand toward her mouth, the bronze mixture within her half-full spoon emptying into a cacophonic pit. Extensively chewing upon the tasteless fibres, her eyes fixate blankly somwehere between the cold cutlery and the empty seat at the opposite end of the table.
As the mouthful sinks to the bottom of her stomach, she feels sickliness rather than sustenance. She later regrets her choice of meal.
Like the song that jolts an unwanted memory of spirited times, she knows this massaman will be her last.
Walking hastily toward home following a lengthy and laborious day, his peripheral vision catches the briefest glimpse of her through the dining house window. He slows for a moment and savours the scene before him.
The spicy odour of massaman infects his senses. His lungs draw heavy breaths, choosing to perceive the aromatic restaurant atmosphere as warm and appetising.
Over the jubilant crowd, his line of sight falls directly to the lone soul devouring her meal in silence, oblivious to he who is observing.
Her alluring figure leans slightly over the table, resting her elbows on the timber as her left hand yeilds support to her delicate silhouette. His eyes fixate on her right hand which tightly grasps the spoon, eventually meeting with her picture perfect lips. He spares a few more moments taking in this beauty and yearns for a break in her flawless concentration, patiently hoping that she raises her eyes just for one second and notices his affectionate glance. If only he was filling the seat at the opposite end of the table.
As she nears the end of her mouthful, he surrenders to his wishfulness and opts to move on. This abrupt one-way encounter offers a lovesick sensation at the bottom of his stomach, yet it also provides enough sustenance to inspire his continuing quest. He later regrets his choice to move on.
Like the song that jolts a welcome memory of spirited times, he will never forget that enchanting scent of massaman.