Leila falls in love.
It happens inside a new place that opens on campus a few weeks into the semester; one of her friends tells her about it in high spirits and drags her there later that week. It’s small and hidden, so it’s hard to find the entrance from the outside, but the inside of the ice cream parlor is painted pleasing shades of blue and pink and has a sign that advertises over 60 flavors, from classics such as chocolate and vanilla and strawberry, to stranger ones like lobster or horseradish, and while Leila is confused or grossed out by most of the latter, she shrugs, mutters “to each their own,” and asks for two scoops of rainbow sherbert.
It’s overpriced, but she shows them her RUID and gets a 10% discount, if that counts for anything, and when they go find some seating outside in the crisp pre-autumn air, it happens.
Leila tastes a spoonful of her rainbow painted ice cream, and instantly falls in love. Because she’s had ice cream before, she’s had good ice cream before, and then there’s this ice cream.
She kind of wants to marry it.
…Which, um, might be a little dramatic of her to say, but seriously, how is something so good allowed? She does her best to make it last, because she already wants more but the price was way too steep to go back for seconds. Maybe if she plays with the spoon for ten minutes after her cup is empty, more ice cream will magically appear.
(Allah can do anything, right?)
Suffice to say, that doesn’t happen, just as her readings don’t ever read themselves and her scarves don’t stay ironed forever, which is all very disappointing, but Leila lives through it and even manages to hold off on going back to the parlor for the better part of two whole days after. It’s on Thursday that she asks one of her other friends whether they’ve heard of it, and when the answer is a curious shake of Sarah’s head, Leila grins.
“You’ll love it!” she exclaims, and tells Sarah about the tons of flavors and toppings and how the seating is nice, too, which sort of makes up for the price and she’ll love it, she definitely will, and Leila is going so fast that Sarah frowns.
“…I didn’t catch any of that.”
“Oh, sorry,” says Leila, feeling sheepish. She slows down in speech and in pace, noticing that Sarah is lagging a little behind. “They just have a bunch of flavors that you wouldn’t think of. Some of them are really weird, though.”
“Like foie gras.”
Sarah wrinkles her nose. “Who even gets stuff like that?”
“No idea,” replies Leila, and she’s about to ask, I wonder what they put in it, when she wonders: wait, what do they put in it? What do they put in anything, did she even bother checking the ingredients earlier, and, oh, man, her heart begins to sink. She can already see the cone she’s been planning in her head for the past twenty-four hours melting away in her hands.
“…No way,” she mutters, and hurriedly pulls out her phone, Googles the store right there in the street, two blocks away. Sarah tilts her head and watches her, asks what’s wrong, but by then Leila’s pulled up the shop’s website and its list of ingredients, and there, written in bold font, is everything that’s put in every flavor, and then what’s in the specialty, and…
“Who puts pork in ice cream?” Leila demands, and that’s how she gets her heart broken.