“Good morning, Lou’s Bakery. How may I help you?”
Eileen Davis asked, dusting off some baking flour from her apron. It was just another day; one of the many Eileen had spent working at her aunt’s bakery. Eileen loved to bake but she wished one of the wedding cakes were her own.
ileen heard her aunt’s voice in her head. The statements she made had become a broken record. “Eileen, so many nice customers come into the bakery, don’t tell me all of them are married.” Aunt Louise was extremely old-fashioned. She truly believed she had Eileen’s best interests at heart. Eileen loved Aunt Louise dearly but she could be as subtle as a bullhorn. Eileen was in the midst of rolling out cookie dough when her aunt snapped her out of her reverie.
“Isn’t this just one of the loveliest cakes? Come help me pick out the bride and groom figurines. Later on the cake will be delivered.”
Aunt Lou does it every time. ‘She never ceases to remind me that I am single’, Eileen thought. Eileen packed up the cake and placed it in the delivery van. The drive was short, due to the lack of traffic. The neighborhood was one of the fanciest in the town. The house at 551 West Pine Avenue had a breathtaking ocean view.
“Wow,” Eileen said softly, ringing the doorbell.
“Hey, are you here with a cake for Alex?” A man questioned pushing his muscular frame against the doorway. “C’mon in.”
Eileen followed him into the house. What a good-looking man, she thought placing the cake ontop of the counter. “My name’s Harry.” The stranger said extending his right hand in handshake.
“Huh?” she responded.
“My name’s Harry and you are?” Harry gave her a funny look.
“Sorry, I’m Eileen from Lou’s Bakery.” Eileen gave him a strong handshake. “The cake is for your brother Alex?” Eileen looked up at him in confusion.
“Yes, he is getting married in a few days. The bride’s family is taking care of everything else, so he thought he’d take care of the cake.”
“Pardon, my curiosity but why is the bride’s family taking care of all the details?”
Harry shook his head. “You’d think we could well afford a wedding by looking at our house. The house had been in the family for years.” Harry announced that he too had worked in a bakery. “My uncle owned a bakery. I spent most of my childhood there. It was a great experience. It was also where I got my sweet-tooth.”
Harry joked: “It’s hard not to get one working in a bakery,” Eileen thought, self-consciously sucking in her stomach.
“It looks like we have something in common, Eileen.”
“Yes, we do.” Eileen responded smiling.
A metallic picture frame on the mantelpiece caught Eileen’s eye. It was a picture of Harry with an attractive brunette. “So you work at Lou’s Bakery all the time?”
Eileen shook her head as she clandestinely searched for a wedding band on Harry’s finger. A thin gold band on his left hand shined in the sunlight. Eileen decided that the conversation had gone far enough.
“It was nice meeting you. I must be heading back now.” Eileen added cutting the conversation short and walking out of the house.
She drove back to the bakery thinking aloud: ” For a married man that guy was way too friendly.”
Aunt Louise asked about the delivery. ” I met the groom’s brother, Harry. He was very friendly and handsome. He is a married man.”
Aunt Louise’s smile quickly disappeared. A couple of weeks later, the phone rang at the bakery.
“Hello, Lou’s Bakery.” Eileen said in a cool tone.
“Is this Eileen?” Harry asked.
“Yes, it is and how may I help you?”
“Well, I thought I’d let you know how the wedding went. Also, I was in the mood for some almond cookies. Could you drop off the International Cookie Special at my place around 3?”
Eileen promptly put Harry on hold.
“Aunt Louise, can you do a delivery?”
“Sorry, no can do!”
The Smiths were adamant about the cupcakes as they were having a big party.
“I will be over now with the cookies.” Eileen said hanging up the telephone.
Harry answered the door in a weathered pair of jeans. His shirt no where in sight. “Hi, there!”
Eileen grimaced. Her red face was the color of a lobster.
“Oh, I just finished painting the den.”
Harry pointed to a paintbrush on the table. “Sorry, if I made you uncomfortable.”
“No, what’s made me uncomfortable is that you are married.”
Harry’s smile faded away. “I’m not married anymore. My wife and I recently divorced. We were married for less than a year. I’m trying to move on now. Taking off the wedding band will be my next step.”
They both sat in silence eating the cookies. Harry cracked open one of the fortune cookies. ‘A new love is closer than you think.’
“Is the fortune cookie trying to tell me something?” Harry asked, winking at Eileen.
A Recipe for Romance by Christianne Charles.
The author can be contacted at: HGTV20@aol.com
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