By Andrea Marcusa
He slipped the cupcakes out of the pan onto a plate on the kitchen counter. Then took the piping bag of buttercream icing and began applying ample helpings of it to the tops of each cupcake. When each was fully coated, he added chocolate M&Ms to each, marking two eyes and a mouth, so they looked just like the impish face of his fluffy white Havenese, Lucky. Next, he changed the applicator and then added more icing to create the ears and the scruffy face of each pup. He made these cupcakes so the children trick-or-treating for Halloween could each have their very own puppy, or so he said.
This was him winning me over. This was how he showed that he was a kind, thoughtful, generous man. The sort that a single mother unskilled in kitchen arts in the suburban land of couples would trust. The puppy cupcakes portrayed him as gentle and whimsical, qualities to be valued in a man, someone to open to. When he’d finished icing the last puppy cupcake, he held a small spoon heaped with buttercream just above my mouth and waited for me to part my lips. This was how it would be. Him holding out sweetness to me until I opened, then pulling the spoon slightly away. Me stretching towards him, before finally letting the dollop drop. His pleasure in those seconds holding a spoon above my open mouth. This is where he led me. This is what I became.
Andrea Marcusa’s work has appeared in Gettysburg Review, Cutbank, River Styx, River Teeth, Citron Review, and others. She’s received recognition in a range of competitions, including Glimmer Train, Raleigh Review, New Letters and Southampton Review. For more information, visit: andreamarcusa.com or see her on Twitter @d_marcusa