A giant éclair in the shape of an 'L.' 'L' for Leslie, for her, from him. Him who didn't run in the opposite direction when she said things like "whiz palace," him who had read (almost) as many biographies on powerful women in politics as she had, him who still stuttered a little bit when he talked to her, like a love struck highschooler working up the nerve to go up to the prettiest girl in school. And it was this him's heart she was about to break- along with her own.
In that split second, every moment they shared together came flooding back. She could feel his mouth against hers, the way his breath tasted of coffee, the way his hands held her firmly but gently. The memories and sensations overwhelmed her. Knowing that all of that was about to end pushed an enormous weight upon her until there was nothing she could do but break down right there in his office.
He immediately closed the lid to the white cardboard box that contained her pastry present and rushed over to her, taking her in his arms, not minding when she wiped her wet eyes and nose on his checkered button up. "What's wrong? Was it the éclair? Because I debated between that and cream puffs arranged in the shape of an 'L' and we could totally get those if you'd prefer." All he wanted to do was make her happy. Unbeknownst to him, he was usually quite successful at doing just that with a single look. But this time, when Leslie looked up into those deep brown eyes full of concern, happiness was the last emotion she experienced.
"It's not the éclair, the éclair is great. I love the éclair," she said, her words muffled as she spoke them with her face pressed against his chest. "It's just…it's just not fair."
"What's not fair?" he asked, now stroking her yellow hair soothingly.
"It's not fair that…that…some people don't get to eat éclairs, even though they really want to."
He pulled back slightly, his arms still around her, and searched her face for an answer to his confusion.
"It's just that," she sniffled, before blowing her nose on his skinny tie, "Pawnee has the fourth highest population of obese citizens and seventy-six percent of them are diabetic, so they can't eat éclairs anymore. And I bet they really miss éclairs because éclairs are wonderful and amazing and delicious and have great smiles…"
With this Ben looked at her, obviously puzzled by the last bit of her rambling.
"I mean éclairs make people smile. Éclairs don't smile, because a pastry that smiles would be weird, unless it was a Gingerbread man, but even then it's sad because when you bite their heads off—"
"Leslie, Leslie," Ben said, cutting her off. "Are you really crying about éclairs?"
"Yes…mmmhmm, yes, I am. Because éclairs are special and it's sad when things, you know, like insulin production, are out of people's control and they can't have what they want."
"Okay," was all he said. He sought no further explanation and simply accepted her explanation. He even tried to reassure her that there were plenty of sugar free baked goods the horizontally gifted people of Pawnee could still eat and enjoy.
"Yeah, but I bet none of them are as good as éclairs," Leslie whispered.