Share the Soup

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Danae Mast

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It was now officially fall, and winter was coming swiftly. The temperature stopped changing at random, finally gave in and decided to be cold. You could tell because Maisie was wearing three layers with her large burgundy sweater on top, completed with her favorite striped scarf and hiking boots. Juniper smiled. Maisie was always dramatic about the first cold week of fall. Come January, she would be fine going outside in a light sweatshirt. Juniper pulled the sleeves of her sage-colored shirt tightly around her wrists. She debated putting her coat back on because even inside the café the air had a bite, but
decided she would find warmth in a bowl of tomato soup.

Juniper watched Maisie from across the table. She was currently enthralled with her BLT. With each bite, there was a crisp crunch and inevitable plop of the tomato that just wouldn’t stay in. Maisie hated people who chewed loudly, but there she was crunching and plopping away. She was talking to Juniper, but more just to herself. She was happy right now, listing all the things she loved like acidic tomatoes, crunchy bacon, and good sourdough bread. Juniper sat, stirring her tomato soup while Maisie continued chattering. She would figure it out soon enough. Maisie had an uncanny ability to read people, but she never came out and asked. She would just sit there and wait till you said it. Juniper’s body turned to liquid, rippling from the thought. She knew if she just said it, Maisie would be nothing less than a true friend, but it would break her heart, her bacon, lettuce, and tomato heart.

If she didn’t tell Maisie, she wouldn’t tell anyone. If she didn’t tell anyone, she would waste away. “Are you gonna eat that?” Maisie said, giving her a quizzical look. Juniper dropped the words into the normal lilt of conversation, “Maisie... I don’t eat anymore.”

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