When I woke up the next morning, she had already gone…
She was sitting in the corner, deep in her magazine, one of those glossy ones, with the cool clothes. She looked up just as I was passing by, smiled briefly and went back to her reading.
Back in the kitchen, we were deep in checks that would keep us busy for the next hour and when things were calmer I grabbed my knives, cleaned up, changed and made my way to the front door. I liked going through the main dining room on the way out, and not the back entrance, just to see what was going on, if everything was more or less OK and if there was anyone I knew to sit and have a coffee with. Today, no one, and I was in no mood to sit and chat, just too wiped out.
She was still there, and she stood up as I walked by. “Are you going to leave without talking to me?”
Excuse me? I thought. Did I know this girl from somewhere? I paused for a second and then said ‘I was just about to come over and say hi”
We talked for an an hour or so. about this and that, my life in this place and her dreams to be a doctor. She seemed really curious about just one thing, though: macarons. Those almond pastry one bite things that seem to be all the rage these days. Maybe it was just me, but I had the feeling the whole world was talking about them. They were nice and pretty, brightly coloured, crunchy and delicate, with some interesting flavours, but hardly the be all and end all in the pastry world. Plenty of other things that could elicit a ‘wow’ instead.
I sighed and told her about my recent experiments with making a whole box of mango maacarons with coconut shells – she insisted I take her home and let her see for herself. I didn’t even have to mention there was a little lemongrass syrup and the slightest hint of green peppercorns together with the mango cream, just for added heat.
That was last night. When I woke up she had already gone. Just one little note on a scrap of paper next to the half eaten mango macarons – “these are the most amazing macarons I’ve ever tasted in my life”
I always wondered why she hadn’t taken the whole box from the fridge, but I never saw her again to ask…