twirls down the stairs, carrying a tray of
cropped, silky blond hair and
diamond-blue eyes shining.
She's like the
of baking. She has the same first name after
all. Same eyes. But her
hair is softer and prettier, and she is
She is dressed in a black and white
dress, with a wide
skirt, button-up top like an anime character.
Me, a character.
eyes sparkle as she walks
into her bakery, from
her apartment upstairs.
Ryan and Liza, are standing there, behind the counter, their
reflections shining on the
surface of the
faces too close
to their souls.
They're in love, and
Ellen knows it.
I know it.
Customers come pouring in like
a flood, Ryan giggling
as Liza hands him a paper bag, for some old cat-loving lady's
She has no lover.
Have no lover.
A couple comes strolling in,
Ellen can tell by their rings,
their smiles, their
love comes pouring off of them.
Ellen sighs again,
her lovely face forming a slight frown.
Why won't he ever
gives them their coffee, the lady's cinnamon-colored
hair and coffee-brown eyes
in her beverage.
The beverage they share.
Shares with me.
everyone is coming in
for their lunch-break bagels.
are too devoted to just pick up a dry everything from
It used to have donuts in its
Nowadays, simple is better.
But not for Ellen.
For me, for me.
the other side of town, Joseph,
a round man wit a brown beard and warm hazel eyes like tea leaves
swirling in a cup, about
to tell your fortune.
Your future holds love, why not mine?
He walks away form his coffeeshop, going to get a
bagel, from the lady at the place
across the street.
"Ellen's Sweet Treats," he
alive, alive, alive until he remembers
She was the love of his life, he thought.
differently. She'd left Joseph. Now he was alone, looking into an
empty window, sleeping in an empty bed, speaking
My empty, empty words.
Joseph enters Ellen's
Sweet Treats. he waits in line, looking at the lovers. Only a few
customers over ten are
are together, obviously in love,
and over there, a boy hardly old enough to drive is with a girl;
she smiles at him.
Only a twenty-two-year-old girl with black hair,
frowning at her laptop as she writes, dressed
in black, obviously a goth,
and a young man drinking coffee
and teenage crushes and their crush-ees
are all in here.
Joseph's eyes meet Ellen's.
The lady behind the counter sees him, her
gaze never breaking,
eyes as sharp as the eyes of that girl
in that email ad for the Netflix show The Queen's Gambit,
which Joseph didn't watch.
He looks at his phone.
The wallpaper is a picture of Vivian...
Vivian and him, at a beach, him in a button-up blue shirt, her
in a cranberry-red bikini, dark hair blown in the sea breezes. Her
sit upon her head like a crown.
Joseph puts his phone away.
He'll change that picture someday.
Or never look
at his phone again.
Never look at my phone again.
That song by Elvis, Can't Help Falling in Love With You, by
plays, slow and
It is, clearly, a
Ellen regrets her playlist choices and blushes.
Joseph looks at he girl behind the counter.
"I can't... help... fall-ing in love with... you..." Ingrid sings.
Falling in love with you.
ANNUAL BAKE SHOP/COFFEE SHOP
Says the flyer
stapled to a nearby telephone pole, more metal
than wood from all the staples and
Joseph sees it.
Ellen see it.
We joined, see how happy...
It's war, only instead of freedom and rights and power, they're battling
for cupcake, cookie, and coffee domination.
The town of Everfair, Oregon,
is always perfect, and
Known for its small communities,
a girl named Emilia Watt had arrived
to get some small-town experience.
spent every spare second typing away, in Ellen's coffeeshop and
Sometimes she got a coffee from Joseph's though.
lovers story was not going well.
So she looked around.
Everyone was in love. Everyone but her.
Joseph and Ellen were
trying to be perfect.
This bit gets sped up, because
I am not writing a poem on how to brew the perfect coffee,
of how to
get your shop perfect for the judges.
let's just say
On the day of
disguised as ordinary customers would come in,
sample everything, and
see how they liked the
decor and the staff and the coffeeshop vibes.
After that, they all go to the
town square, and see who has won.
First prize: Ellen's Sweet Treats, for
vibe, flavors, and kindness.
Can't forget the
Joseph stares at Ellen,
her beautiful face,
her elegant movements,
the sound of her voice-- sweet
Maybe he could give love another chance.
Ellen looked at Joseph. He was her
rival, but he was a nice man.
she could try out this "love".
approaches Joseph with a
with a smile.
"Chocolate Kiss Eclair?"
Joseph takes it.
He tries a bite at the
same time Ellen goes for it.
when their heads bump.
They try to eat the eclair from
both ends. Their eyes
sparkle like diamonds.
The diamond he gave me.
They stand there, faces so close
the eclair from Bothe ends, it brought them closer.
c l o s e r...
Closer to him, to you, to
They will become.
We have become.
Ellen is my mother.
Joseph is my father.
Emilia is my best friend, even though she's twenty years
older than I.
I am Chocolate, their
Named for the thing that brought
Someday, my love,
I will come for you.
And we will be together
--Chocolate Eclair Abbot.