By Daniela Lanning
“I’ll have a birthday cake milkshake, please!”
The young waitress behind the counter nodded as she rang up the total.
Olivia couldn’t stop smiling. She felt energetic butterflies threatening to escape from her stomach. She had not felt this way for a very long time, and for once, her tired soul felt like flying with joy. For years, she had dreamt up the impossible scenarios, creating two-sided conversations between herself and him in her head. And now, here she stood next to Vance as he ordered a mint chip milkshake.
They had been friends for years. It was a little silly for Olivia to admit that she had imagined this very moment about a million times before, but it was true. They were handed their milkshakes and walked outside to the grass that bordered the lakeside. Sitting down, they both laughed nervously. In the past year, Olivia had been through a lot. It almost felt abnormal to be smiling this much. However, summer had the promises of exciting beginnings. The sun seemed to reach down and cover her in a warm blanket of hope.
“Here’s to milkshakes!” Vance laughed.
“Now that I can toast to!”
In reality, these milkshakes were more than liquified ice cream. To them, they embodied summer, countless memories blended into their creaminess. Vance moved his spoon around the cup, deep in thought. Finally, he looked up with a smile and said, “I think your milkshake flavor describes you.”
“Oh?” Olivia laughed. “And why is that?”
“Well, birthday cake. It’s colorful and fun, and that’s what life looks like when I’m with you.”
“That has got to be about the cheesiest thing I’ve ever heard you say, Vance.”
Vance threw up his hands and laughed. “You’re right, you’re right.”
The two continued to banter and talk effortlessly. Olivia knew that all of the wishing and waiting was worth it. This moment was greater than anything she had dreamed up because it was real; she didn’t have to let go of the memory once the last drops of her milkshake were finished —it could stay with her.
Now, a birthday cake milkshake took on even more meaning. She knew there would not be a time where the colorful sprinkles and sweet taste would not remind her of the conversation by the lake. It was the first sip of the ice cream that signaled the first of many lasting memories.
All it took was a milkshake.
Photo Credits: Kandace Marie