That’s what these platters do, all of them, a sizzling platter of chicken, steak or the all time favorite of many – sizzling brownie with ice-cream. These plates can also do a bit more than just sizzle all the way. The first bite can definitely burn you or scorch your tongue if you greedily (and foolishly) pop a morsel into your mouth the moment the plate comes. But the last bite, is sure to fill your stomach to the limit of you giving a content, satisfying burp.
But it was one plate of chicken Torri Dengo that did not merely sizzle a bunch of ingredients the usual way…it sizzled an epiphany…
The funny name of the dish had long broken the nine year’s ice (they had met when they were kids) and now the conversation flowed between them as if they knew each other since so long. He wanted to tell her how comfortable he felt with her, which was really surprising after avoiding meeting her number of times.
But he swallowed those words with the last bite of the sizzler; after all it was a first meet.
She was getting out of his car; she was going to a dance class after having helped him buy a gift for his friend. He looked at her, feeling weird. Not wanting to let her go. He even held her hand; he wanted to ask her to join him for dinner.
But he swallowed those words too, just like that last bite of the sizzler.
They met a couple of times more, for breakfast or for a long drive. Her smiles, her talks enchanted him. He knew this wasn’t something like love at first sight; in fact it wasn’t even love at all. It was a feeling best left undefined. He wanted to tell her that…he wanted to tell her that he really wished that all these talks between them could always continue.
But he swallowed those words, just like that last bite of the sizzler.
She came to meet him the day he was leaving. He was surprised and pleased; they spent a great time together at his home. They were in his garage, he was seeing her off – a final good bye. That’s when she looked deep in his eyes…way too deep……
He bent down on one knee and took her hand in his…
“I know this is not love…but I don’t even know what it is.” he said.
“I don’t want to define it yet, but I don’t want to leave you.”
“If there’s anything I can do to stay with you I will, but I need to be with you. You mean something and everything to me.”
He got up and hugged her tight, feeling a unique completeness in life…
His thoughts were broken into by some noise in the apartment above. She was still looking deep into his eyes and he was looking into hers’. It was a matter of few seconds but his mind was racing fast. He wanted to tell her all that his mind and heart were coaxing him to; he wanted to tell her everything.
Yet again, he swallowed the words like that last bite of the sizzler.
…and funnily, it was this last bite, and not the first, that scorched his tongue.
Today, he was with her, meeting her every day, her smile brightening his day. They were talking freely as usual, laughing away at something, arguing over a few. He was telling her how much he loved her, how much he cared for her; that molding career or life in order to support each other’s dreams was merely anything compared to what he felt for her…
He pulled himself out of the dream…for now he knew she couldn’t hear him even if he shouted; they were distances apart, not just physically but mentally apart. And yet there were things said and unsaid.
Burying his thoughts, yet again into the graveyard of his mind, he tried to enjoy the view sprawled in front him. The river was flowing right where he was standing, the water reflecting the bright, colorful lights of the skyscrapers beyond. It was a year now, and he was trying to think of the journey he had undertaken to build his career he had planned since small; The careful planning, shaping dreams into reality and of the travel to the places he dreamt of…everything. He wanted to feel a bit of pride for the small step of achievement he had climbed.
But he could not think of any of that. All that haunted him was that small trip he had undertaken a year back; the shortest yet the longest and the most unforgettable journey of his life…the journey from his garage to home.
He pushed those thoughts away and grabbed a brulee caramel latte from the nearby coffee shop…
He took a careful sip…after all the first sip of a steaming hot coffee can scald your tongue…just like the first bite of the sizzler…or in his case, the last.