His name was Dominique - his favorite candy, watermelon pin wheels.
"You have to break it first," he said in a suave dutch accent. He pulled the gummy apart and handed it to me, "Smell it."
I obeyed. A waiver of sour added to the sweet melon aroma.
"Now taste it."
I had never liked gummies much but today, the dessert satiated, only slightly perhaps, a slight appetite within.
"What do you think," Dominique asked, his perfect smile mocking me.
"Mmm," I sighed.
At 19 he owned this shop. I have friends who study business in college but this man was getting hands on experience. To be so young and ambitious -- it didn't hurt that he was also beautiful. His dark features betrayed his youth. His shadowed face and smooth brown hair highlighted his distinguished cheekbones. His eyes were brown with a small glimmer of gold.
Dominique let me taste all his favorite candies. There were ginger candies, coated nuts, hot pepper chocolate. He showed me the wall art and shop decor that a local artist had created -- a mannequin bathing in a chocolate bubble bath. He asked about my life and my travels. And right before I left he reached for my hand.
"Can I kiss you," he asked with that devilish grin. His eyes glimmered again.
He slowly leaned in and gently planted a soft, sweet kiss on my right cheek. It burned on my face and left me red as I dashed out of his candy shop. I stopped over a canal and put my hand over my beating heart. It wasn't love. Love isn't that easy. But it was one of those moments that pumps adrenaline through your veins and reminds you how magical life can be.