I fuck up the egg tarts, but you don’t seem to mind.
At first, you seem amused by them, sitting there on a baking sheet still in their tartlet shells because I couldn’t be bothered to remove them. You eat the first one directly out of the shell, using an oyster fork (I don’t know where you got the oyster fork) to dig the tart out, but you very quickly get sick of the long process that is eating an egg tart with an oyster fork and pop the rest out with your fingers.
In an attempt at neatness, you lean over the tray to prevent crumbs from falling onto the floor, but that means crumbs fall onto the remaining five tarts instead. If you were someone else, I’d think that was rude as hell, but you’re cute as hell, and I like watching you eat, your careful, measured bites that you chew quickly, contemplatively, like you’re thinking about the flavors and textures going on in your mouth ... except, if you really are doing that, I’m fucked because I fucked up the egg tarts, so I must be making a shitty first impression.
You finish the first egg tart then start on the next, though, and, when you finish that, you get started on the third and so on and so forth. You move with the assurance of someone who knows what you want and how to get what you want, and, suddenly, I’m wondering how you’d kiss me, if you’d push me against the wall, hands fluttering under clothes before settling against skin — and, of course, then, that’s all I can think about, the warmth and wetness of your mouth against mine, all the heat and single-mindedness the pursuit of desire entails.
We don’t speak until the end of the night, not until I go to retrieve my tray and tartlet shells before heading out, and I almost don’t see you. You’ve settled on the sofa by the table, paying more attention to your phone than the girls trying to catch your attention, and I look over as I pick up my tray (you’ve stacked the empty shells neatly in the center), hoping that maybe you’ll look up and see me, notice me. For a few seconds, I think about pulling out my phone, too, pretending to check a message or an email or whatever just so I can stand here and stall, but maybe I have some kind of psychic ability because you look up and meet my eyes as I stand there, mentally shouting NOTICE ME NOTICE ME NOTICE ME in your direction. In that moment, I think I see you flush, but the goddamn lighting in this stupid room makes everyone glow.
Were those yours? you ask, uncrossing your legs and coming to stand across the table from me.
Yeah, I say. Or, well, I made them. I don’t know if they were any good.
They were good.
I laugh. Thanks. I totally fucked them up, though. I don’t really like that crust recipe, and I totally overfilled them, so they were all soggy and kinda gooey — and I’d go on, but you laugh, stick your hand out, introduce yourself.
I’m a perfectionist, too, you say, your hand warm, your grip firm, and there my brain goes again as I try to keep my eyes away from your lips, from anywhere on your face other than your eyes, except your eyes are bright and alive and glowing in this room’s damn light.
Yeah, same, I say because I feel like I should say something, anything, to keep the conversation going. We settle into silence, though, (why am I so goddamn bad at this?!) and my hand is still in yours, and I don’t know if I should awkwardly shake it away because I’m sure we look stupid as hell, standing across a table, hands frozen mid-shake — but who gives a shit what anyone else thinks because you’re smiling, saying you’re here for work for a few days, and you liked my egg tarts, sogginess and gooeyness and all, and, hey, maybe we should get drinks, maybe we should see each other again soon, could you get my number, and would it be okay if you called?