“What’s all this jackfruit doing on the table?” she asked. “And why are there candles stuck in them?”
“Breadfruit,” I said, smiling.
“Whatever. What’s it doing here?"
“I bought it,” I said. “You eat it.”
“Obviously,” she said. “What for?”
“You’re kidding,” she said, smiling uncertainly. “You want me to look deeper, move the fruit around. Is that it?”
“No,” I said. “Why would I want you to do that?”
“I don’t know,” she said. I could tell she wanted to say something more.
“So why don’t you bake it and let’s see if what they say about it is true,” I said.
“You want me to bake something for you on my birthday,” she said. “Are you retarded?”
“Just try it.”
She rolled her eyes. “What will happen if it’s baked?”
“It’s supposed to look like bread,” I said. “Hence the name.”
I tried to give her a kiss, but she gently pushed me away.
“Blow out the candles,” I said, “and let’s slice one open.”
“Okay, fine,” she said. She was irritated; that made the surprise worth it.
When she pulled out the little black box, she looked up at me. Her eyes were watering.
“Well, are you going to open it?” I said.
I slipped the ring on her finger and kissed her full in the mouth, a long and deep kiss. I wanted to stay like this forever. And when she wrapped her arms around me, I knew she was thinking the same thing.
Matthew A. Hamilton is a US Peace Corps Volunteer serving in the Philippines. He has work in Metazen Magazine and The Battered Suitcase, and others. He will attend Fairfield University's MFA program in December.