He lifts the fork slowly to her mouth. The spongy cake floating on the tines like a cloud dipped in coffee dripping with new and exciting flavors.
"See?" He says, "This, THIS is what food is supposed to taste like."
She closes her eyes taking in the tastes, the smells, the sounds swirling all around her. Yes, he's right this IS what food is supposed to taste like S symphony of flavors popping and swirling, fading and exploding in your mouth. This is what she has been missing her whole life. This is eating, tasting, dare she say living?
Food was not something that was to be controlled, portioned, weighed. It was not something to be wolfed down so fast you could barely breathe let alone taste anything other than fat, or salt, and you swallowed it down knowing in your mind it would be purged up soon. Food was meant to taste like this, like love, like warmth, not like guilt or agony. Food could be and should be an experience, a moment, a memory. It didn't have to be something to agonize over, or something to battle.
She looked into his loving eyes, brimming with anticipation and all she could do was nod yes while saying, "mmm, mmm MMMM" over and over again.
He had high hopes for this trip to Italy. Hoped that he could make her see that food was so much more than an enemy to be fought or a problem to be solved. He loved food, was passionate about it. He took such pleasure and joy from the creating and preparing, the eating and the sharing. He had full and vivid memories of meals remembering everything about what was served but not any recollection of who was there.
He wanted her to see this, to feel it. To see what food looks and tastes like when it's prepared to be savored. Where oil and chocolate are drizzled and dipped instead of poured and covered. Where meals are not eaten in the car but where you they are savored and lingered over, sometimes for hours at a time. He knew he could never get her to understand that he loved her no matter what she looked like. He knew that the demons in her head were too strong to believe that her body, to him, was perfect. That he loved every dimple, and curve. Every single inch of her no matter what she thought.
He looked up to see her take another bit and close her eyes, slowly chewing and savoring the moment and his heart swelled, he got through.
She takes another bit, this time bring the fork to her mouth herself. She lets it sit on her tongue, the flavors melting and swirling around in her mouth. She takes it all in and savors every moment of it, of him, this wonderful man who has changed her life in so many ways. She opens her eyes and they lock gazes. Yes, savor this, remember this. She leans over the table and kisses him gently on the lips.
"Thank you" she says. As soon as the words escape her both they both know that their future will be bright. Filled with love of each other and love of food, drizzled with adventure and savored.