by Esther Suson
At the side bar of Teppanyaki Brothers in the ShoeMart (SM) Megamall foodcourt, a boy in a red polo watches, eyes alight, as the chef in front of him tosses an egg, and catches it neatly on the edge of an iron spatula, with just the right force to hold the shell as the yolk and white drip onto the flat heated surface. The chef, heat-browned (unlike our own, whiter and red), looks up and grins at him, and a smile spreads over the boy’s face. The smile is beautiful, not the open-mouthed grin of laughter, but the slow and wide smile that has its own inner light. His parents on either side of him look into his face and laugh, sharing looks over his head, drawing their own delight from his.
For the rest of the meal, the boy in the red polo eats without looking, blindly, not daring to look away that split-second. That split-second he might miss is worth the universe. In that place and at that moment, there is nothing else he would rather be than a red-aproned chef in a tall white pleated hat, catching eggs on the iron edge of a spatula.
[Half-fiction, of course, as I had to guess what the boy was thinking. Everything else, the descriptions, are all non-fiction. Based on a memory and diary entry on 06 March 2015 Friday, a night out with my best friend]