She loved waffles. She was a waffle-lover. She would dream of them while she slept and while she was awake; their golden crispy edges dancing tantalizingly, their little grids of waffle-bumps repeating infinitely, their alluring scent drifting through the air, promising the almost devastatingly delicious explosion of maple-syrupy golden sweetness that would come with waffle-devouring.
She loved waffles. If waffles could be personified, she would have married that person. She would have adored him with all her heart, danced with him through the night, savored every moment by his side, and, in the end, eaten him. So it’s probably for the best that she never met or married the personification of waffles.
Instead she married George. He was a pleasant man, humble, friendly, industrious, though sometimes too clever for his own good. He worked hard, but it was never enough. They lived in a difficult time. Things were expensive.The rent on their small but cozy house was almost impossibly high. They struggled, but they made it. Barely. But there was one thing they could never afford.
A waffle iron.
She made do as best she could, dreaming of waffles, sometimes saving the pennies necessary for a trip to the small waffle shop on the corner. But these trips were rare. She was waffle-starved. She could feel her soul dying, its whipped-cream and strawberries essence draining from her slowly as she lived her life, pining for what she could not have.
On that afternoon she was sitting in the kitchen, staring at the counter, staring at where a waffle-iron would be, if only she had one. Staring, staring, always staring.
She hears his feet on the steps. His happy, casual greeting, “Hello! I’m home again!” He comes into the kitchen, stepping cheerfully, as always, a grin of pleasant homecoming on his face. In his arms he holds a box. He thrusts it out to her.
“Here, honey, I got a bonus from the boss today for working extra-hard for the past six months. I figured I’d stop by the pawnshop on the way home and pick up a little something for you. I know how you love waffles, so I thought…”
‘Yes! Yes!’ she thinks. ‘At last!’
She takes the package from him, her hands trembling. She feels it, hefts its weight. It’s heavy. Dense. Like a toaster, but not the right shape. She tears at the paper almost desperately, a wave of joy and ecstacy filling her. She catches a glimpse of the shiny, silvery edge, the black handle, the electrical cord. But something is wrong. In her hands it doesn’t feel like metal. The cord isn’t unwinding, it seems to be molded in one piece. The shininess is just a bit too dull. What is this? What is this terrible thing? She looks around her, confused, almost terrified. She throws the thing to the ground.