Flash Fiction by Pamela Eason
Photo Credit: Bain News Service, Public domain
Only one box of Godiva truffles was left in the display case when Mr. Clark and the young man arrived at six o’clock on Christmas Eve.
“I get these for my wife every year,” Mr. Clark said swiping his wrinkled hand through his white hair. “Yep. That first year I spent our last penny on the six-count box.”
“Why truffles?” the young man asked, not taking his eyes off the box.
“My wife loves chocolate – craves it. She’d done without that whole first year we were married. I wanted her to have something special. I remember her face when she saw that box,” he said beaming. “She really came down hard on me for splurging, but I said, ‘Well, I already unwrapped it, so you might as well enjoy them.’ She said, ‘I’m going to eat one. I’ll make the others last.’ She decided on the raspberry. It took her a whole hour to eat that truffle. She saved the strawberry crème for Valentine’s and the chocolate soufflé for her birthday. ‘You can skip those presents,’ she said. That’s how the tradition started.”
“Sounds like an understanding lady.”
“She is that.”
“What about you?”
“Oh, it’s my mom,” he said. “I’m taking the red-eye flight out. My sister thinks this may be Mom’s last Christmas. My family comes from a rural area. Not a lot of variety in the stores. Mom had some Godiva truffles once on her big trip to New York City. Never stopped talking about them.”
“Oh. … You take them.”
“No. I couldn’t.”
Mr. Clark picked up the box and shoved them into the young man’s hands. “I insist,” he said.
The young man headed to the cash register.
The old man reluctantly opened the shop door to step outside when a voice behind the cash register called out, “Mr. Clark. Wait. I saved a box of truffles for you.”