A short story done for Chuck Wendig’s Flashfic Challenge over at terribleminds.com. The challenge was to write a story – not a scene, but an entire story – based around making a sandwich. So here it is…
Chris remembers the first time he made this sandwich. Thickly sliced fresh bread, cream cheese, pastrami. A handful of pickles. A shitload of black pepper.
They’d only been going out a few weeks and it was the first time Karen had come back to his place. They’d been out on dates up til that point and Chris had felt the pressure was on for him to impress but he didn’t want anything too showy. He’d bought fresh sourdough bread from the Jewish bakery he passed on his way back from work in the city, got the pastrami from the deli counter instead of getting the prepackaged stuff. The veins of fat in the meat traced a map across each slice so thin he could see through it if he held it up to the light.
As he’d made them sandwiches, they’d chatted. Chris couldn’t remember what they’d talked about but he remembered lots of laughter. It was so easy back then. Things had been so simple. Chris can’t remember the last time he laughed.
They hadn’t even bothered with plates. Karen took the sandwich he’d prepared for her and they ate standing in the kitchen. When she’d finished eating, Chris had reached up and brushed the crumbs from her cheek. She’d kissed his fingertips and before he knew it they were stumbling into the lounge, tugging at each other’s clothes and kissing frantically. Karen’s lips had tasted salty from the pastrami, Chris remembers that. He also remembers how she felt beneath him.
He sighs, putting the lid on his sandwich and cutting it in two corner-to-corner. Picking up the nearest triangle, he takes a large bite and chews thoughtfully. Fuck. He can’t even make a sandwich without thinking about her. He puts down his lunch and wonders when the pain of her loss will abate.