I Never Told Anyone About That Trip to Serendipity
I was seven, and thought my father and I were going into the city for a special date. I’d gotten dressed up and had wanted only to order a fruit tart because it looked delicate and grown up inside the glass case. My father pushed for the hot fudge sundae, perhaps wanting something he knew would take me a long time to finish.
He started up with his ums and ahs when I was just a few bites in, and as he continued talking I began shoveling larger and larger bites into my mouth, barely stopping to taste the ice cream or the chocolate sauce, feeling only the sticky film on my hand and the end of my spoon and around my mouth.
When he finished talking, finally, we both sat staring at the cherry I’d left in the bowl, so red it was almost obscene, though that couldn’t have been what I thought at the time. He asked me then if I was going to eat it, as though it had been any other day and any other dessert and I leaned over and threw up beside the table. My vomit looked like some lunatic’s idea of happiness, just like my parents’ marriage.
Melissa Duclos received her MFA in creative writing from Columbia University, and now works as a freelance writer and editor, and writing instructor. She is a regular contributor to the online magazine BookTrib, and the founder of The Clovers Project, which provides mentoring for writers at various stages in their careers. Her fiction and essays have appeared in Cleaver Magazine, Fiction Advocate, and Scéal literary journal Her first novel, Besotted, is a work of literary fiction set in Shanghai, for which she is seeking representation. She lives in Portland, OR, with her husband, two children, and Yorkshire Terrier, Saunders.