Our Little Night
Published: November 9, 2023
Blurb: I love you so much....
Sometimes we’d walk down the street together, hand in hand, the moon warm against our backs, the listless breeze pulling at your jacket. You never looked at me - only kept your stare straight, as if it’d protect you, as if looking at me was poison.
It was - a nice night, I think. The moon and the breeze... a little chilly, but nothing out of the ordinary. Just some... unstructured little walk together, a wind-down after a long day. Refreshing, I think, you’d said. Revitalizing, I’d said.
I thought it was just going to be a little pace around the central district. Maybe we’d see a few of the fountains, and you’d let me fish out some coins so we could toss them back in and make wishes. Haha, I know you make them, sometimes! You close your eyes when you do. Don’t deny it!
But we walked, step in step as we’d always, and you tugged on my arm. You’d taken me down a side path, and I’d felt a twist in my stomach of uncertainty. I willed it away with trust, and only squeezed fingers against yours, and you squeezed back your reassuring reply.
We stopped in front of that little bakery - do you remember? - with the wilting sign and dust-stained windows, head-to-toe. It flooded the street with light, all the buildings beside it shuttered and forgotten.
But there it stood, and past the glass were half-empty displays of little pastries and cakes, with little handwritten cards next to them advertising their price. And in the back you could see the counter, and a bunch more little donuts and - a few sagging loaves of bread, and lots of crumbs.
I remember thinking it looked like it needed a nap.
But you pulled me into that door, brushed it aside like you’d been here a dozen times. The bell jingled, and the clerk glanced up, and they seemed tired, too. Haha, I don’t - I don’t know if they somehow didn’t recognize us, or if they were too exhausted to care.
You gave my back a little push towards a table, and I stumbled over. Perched on this... high, a bit uncomfortable chair. The cushion was worn, maybe a little dirty? Not unpleasant, but well-loved, let’s say. I shifted a bit to get comfortable, glanced down at the little table tent card.
I don’t even remember what it said. Do you?
Yeah, I didn’t think you’d looked at it. You were up at the counter, pointed at something in the display case. The clerk bent over and you reached into your jacket pocket and fished out some money. Loose money, loose change! I thought, where’d he get that? Haha.
Aha, no, I didn’t think you’d stolen it. For a second I thought maybe you’d sold something of yours? Then I thought - to whom? So I guess, yeah, I realized you must’ve just. Asked for an allowance. I think I remember - yeah, they said we could. It just hadn’t come up before.
Which meant, I realized, that you had been planning this for a while. Hahaha! You don’t have to look so embarrassed, it’s - it’s alright.
The clerk had those little plastic-y tongs, and there was this... it was almost a silly donut, like, covered in so much glaze and sprinkles... I think it would’ve killed a mortal if they ate it. You put down the money stiffly, still couldn’t meet their eyes. They didn’t really care - they just put the donut in the bag, and handed it over.
You’d fiddled with the creased opening for a few seconds. You still hadn’t looked over to me. They turned around, and they were getting the hot chocolate... yeah, I was surprised to see it - yeah I thought it was an ice cream machine. I was like, questionable choice! But then hot chocolate came out... I guess I don’t know my tech very well, hehehe. Not like you!
The little paper cup, watched you grip it. Almost too tight - I think you scared the clerk a little. But you turned to me, finally, little bag in one hand little cup in other, and our eyes met.
I know I was smiling at you. Your expression... a little wide-eyed, a little tense. Tense, maybe not? Worked up... intense, there we go. Intense. A little bit like - you were looking into me, not just at me. And your whole body was almost trembling, and you took a few seconds to walk forwards.
You sat across from me, pushed the bag and cup over. And I remember asking, “It’s for me?” and you nodded.
I pulled the donut out and my hand was - instantly sticky. But it looked soooo good, glistening in the bakery’s light. A pipebomb of sugar, basically, and all that entailed.
But I looked at it, and I just thought - of you, really. I looked up at you, and you were watching me expectantly, hands laced together on the table. You kinda looked like a businessman, waiting for me to - sign a contract, hahah. Donut contract!
I’m sure a donut contract is something... donut distribution contract. Supplier of donuts meets reseller of donuts. Haha, I don’t know! Not every bakery makes everything fresh, I imagine... though I guess I don’t know much about bakeries....
That donut was definitely a little stale. I guess they’d made it at the start of the day, or maybe yesterday? It was a little stiff. I didn’t even really care, though, because... it was from you.
You’d taken me here, out of nowhere. Just to do something sweet for me. Just to get me a little - gift. I hadn’t even completed the, uh, track loops you’d asked me to, do you remember? You just gave a big huff and a big sigh when I told you. But that’s - besides the point, a little.
I really... appreciated that night, Ery. I really did. I still think about it, all the time. The way you were looking at me, and the way you dumped that money on the counter, and the way you trembled, and... I just think about - well, you’re wonderful, you really are.
It was just so nice of you. So sweet. I find it hard to - to articulate how much it meant to me. How much I almost teared up right there. Just - out of nowhere, just for me. That little moment that you orchestrated. Because you love me.
Hahaha, yeah. I remember your face when I broke the donut in half, and I handed one to you. Your muzzle scrunched right up, you said something like, you hated sugar. Which was funny because - yeah, the shake with like two cups of raw sugar in it, you’d made that last night.
You were just trying to be nice to me, I think. It was supposed to be all mine.
But - yeah, I told you I couldn’t finish it all myself! Tried to call me chubby, said I could pack it away, and I said I didn’t want to eat it alone. That’s what got you to heave another big sigh and take it all daintily, with the tips of your fingers.
And then you made a face because - yeah, sticky! Hehehe.
We were washing our hands in that bakery’s bathroom for at least twenty minutes. But it tasted soooo good, didn’t it? Hehe. We used up all the soap and you got embarrassed by it and replaced it with magic. Said we couldn’t leave the bathroom ‘in that state’.
Hey, I didn’t stop you!
And - that poor clerk, yeah, they closed the shop like right after we left. We totally kept them after closing. They didn’t seem to mind, but they didn’t seem to mind much. I hope they didn’t get in trouble.
They probably did own it themself, yeah. Could give themself overtime, then! Hehe. And maybe a story to tell their friends - that Ery and Ausana themselves bought a donut and a hot chocolate from their shop and shared both.
Do you think anyone would even believe them?
Well, I hope so. I want more people to remember you like that. For... the kindness you have inside of you. Don’t give me that look! I know it’s there. I know you’re a good person. I know...
I know I love you, too.
And I know that you took me out on a random night, just to buy a donut for me to enjoy, against everything everyone thinks of you.
And, just... yeah. The point of all this reminiscing - I wanted to say, “thank you”. I know I said it at the time, but - I meant it about the donut, at the time. Thanks for the donut.
But now I’m thanking you for - giving me a memory like this. For taking me out, being so kind to me, being - I think about it all the time. I really do. And it makes me feel - warm, and comforted.
I think about it when I’m feeling sad, and it makes my heartbeat all the louder and soothing. So I just wanted to - reiterate how much that meant to me. Really. And how much it’s still on my mind, even if it was only - an hour, maybe, at best, of one single night.
It meant a lot.
And I love you too, Ery. So much.