The fruits of love run sweet till they sour.
The Taste Of Love
By Alan C Williams
“Damn! This is going to take forever!” I muttered quietly. Meticulously I separated another black thing from the gooey mess on the dish, I asked myself why anyone could be bothered. No wonder no one bought the stupid, obnoxious things. Still Ray had purchased them especially for dessert and, being hopelessly in love with him, I was determined to persevere.
Two days earlier he had mentioned them in passing conversation.
“Passion fruits? No, I’ve never tasted them, Ray.”
“Never had passion fruits?”
“Er, Ray. I’m getting a sense of déjà vu. I have not eaten them. Okay?”
“Sorry, kitten. I just can’t believe what you’re saying. They taste … well, divine. That settles it then. We’ll have some with ice-cream. You’ll love them.”
So there I stood, trying to get the tiny black seeds out of the pulp and feeling another tinge of anger for Ray.
“Just cut them in two and scoop out the pulp onto the ice-cream,” he instructed me. Yeah, right! He didn’t say anything about the bloody seeds!
I carefully teased another seed from the golden stuff.
‘I hate you, passion fruit! Arrggh!’
“What’s taking you so long, Arlette? I’m starving!” I heard Ray come up behind me. The way I felt, it was a good thing I was only holding a spoon.
“What the …? What are you doing? You leave the seeds in!”
When he said that, he took my spoon and pushed the seeds that I’d painstakingly removed then mixed them back into the yellow gunge. My mouth flew open in protest but before I could calm down enough to yell at him he’d scooped the mixture onto the dish of ice-cream and fed a spoonful into my mouth, baby fashion.
“Ray!” I started to say as I swallowed. It was then that the taste hit me. As Ray had said, ‘divine! Absolutely divine!’”
A few days later he showed me the passion flower, growing on a vine at a friend’s.
“How can such a beautiful flower produce such an obnoxious, dull fruit?” I asked, as I touched the gorgeous petals. “It’s like the story of the ugly duckling but the other way around. Anyway, why is it called a passion fruit? Is it an aphrodisiac, do you think?”
Ray pondered on the question for a moment. Then he spoke in his best school-teacher voice. “I know its Latin name is Passionofolia or something like that. Possibly it was given that name because of the stuff in the fruit? Love never runs smoothly so possibly the golden tangy mixture is for the sensuous texture of love and the hard black seeds represent the obstacles in a relationship? After all, passion must have its highs and lows otherwise it becomes meaningless.”
I was impressed. “Wow. That makes so much sense.”
He wasn’t finished. “Either that or some clever PR guy wanted an exciting name so that people would buy the boring things,” he announced, smugly.
Three years later and Ray was no longer in my life. The passion disappeared from our fledgling marriage pretty damn quickly when I discovered he was having an affair with another teacher at his school.
“Today’s your birthday, girl,” I announced, loudly. “You should make yourself a cheesecake. A baked one with two million calories per slice, covered with cream and passion fruit.”
There wasn’t much I could thank Ray for but a love for yummy passion fruit was second from the top. Once I discovered them, I’d spent hours researching everything about them. For instance, not many people would realise that the juice is high in potassium and so is useful in lowering blood pressure. Or that their leaves and immature white seeds contain cyanide to deter animals from eating them..
I tipped the contents of the delicacy onto the top of the cake, smoothing it around with the back of the spoon. Finally, I ran my finger over the almost empty inside of the skin and placed it in my mouth.
Gazing at the thin mixture on the top of the cake, I decided that Ray had been right (at least about love’s ups and downs) just before I tossed the purplish skin into the rubbish and onto a crumpled photo of the cheating scumbag. At least he’d died happy, eating some wild passion fruit and ice cream whilst we’d been on holiday overseas. A tragic accident, the coroner had decided whilst stating that it was fortunate that I’d had strawberries instead.
Love is a selfish emotion, far too precious to be shared. I found that out the hard way. And right now I was intent on keeping my new-found love all to myself , to savour the anticipation of that first sensual taste … seeds and all.