Katie’s fingers shook as she opened the chocolate box and offered the selection to Phil. It’d been a while since she’d used this test, reserved only for third dates. The final compatibility check. After a string of bad hook-ups, her grandmother insisted this was the only way to know for sure. Sadly, none of her prospective suitors had been a match yet.
“Ooh I love these chocolates,” Phil said, a big grin on his face. “Almost as much as I love your Darth Vader dip bowl.” He elbowed Katie’s ribs, eliciting a giggle. Tick for question one. Katie mentally noted. Likes chocolate.
Phil sat, silent and still, surveying the sweet selection. While his attention was focused on the box, Katie ran her eyes again over his thick black hair and tanned skin. Attractive — yes. Plus, his easy-going banter had kept her laughing on both of their dates and when he’d opened the café door for that frazzled mum with her over-sized pram on their second date, she’d been won over. She crossed her fingers he wouldn’t stumble at this last hurdle.
Finally, his hand reached out.
Katie bit her lip as Phil’s hand hovered over the Classic Caramel. She remembered the filling oozing, thick as honey, down Ex #5’s chin and prayed Phil wouldn’t choose this chocolate too.
Her shoulders relaxed as his hand bypassed the Caramel and kept moving. She watched it drift over the heart-shaped Strawberry Crème and the soft and doughy Nougat.
It rested in mid-air between the Peppermint Crème (her favourite) and the Turkish Delight (bleurgh, bleurgh and double bleurgh).
Katie’s shaking hands grasped her glass and she forced herself to gulp down some water. Please, please, please make the right choice!
Phil took the Turkish Delight.
He demolished it in seconds, then grinned and said, “What are you doing next Saturday? Want to come….”
Katie didn’t hear the rest. She leant forward and gently pressed her lips on his, ignoring the delicate perfume of the disgusting chocolate he’d just consumed.
When she eventually pulled away, she sat back in bliss, mesmerised by the golden glow that now seemed to surround this boy. This slightly confused but grinning boy. The one who had passed her test. In her grandmother’s words: “Find someone who likes the chocolates you don’t. That is the true test of compatibility. Then there will never be a fight about who gets the last one.”
Jane Brown is a web programmer and short fiction writer who lives by the beach in Australia. Her stories have been published on The Centropic Oracle, 50-Word Stories and The Daily Drunk.