This story is inspired by Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Magnus Chase and the gods of Asgard, and my siblings.
AUTHOR’S PRENOTE: Felicity means “intense happiness”
This was before I left home.
I was rushing around Dad and my house, gathering dishes, silverware, pots, and pans. He was bringing home Ailsa, someone he had been dating for a while, ever since my mom left. They’ve been together for two years to that date, and Dad had already told me about his plan to bring out the ring.
He assigned me to set out my best dinner and go all-out with a three-course dinner. His job was to keep her distracted all day, and bring her back right before dinner.
I had half an hour left to prepare, and the cake was halfway decorated. I could decorate while they were eating, but the table needed to be set first.
2 forks on the left. 3 cups, a knife, a spoon, and a fork on the right. A napkin, spoon, fork, butter knife, and a small plate in front. Then, in the center, a big plate.
I did it again on the other side of the table, making sure they were both perfect. I turned out the room’s lights and lit the candles. Next up: entrée course. I set out the special house salad and three bottles of wine, one red and two white. I grabbed more candles, and stepped back to admire it when I heard the front door open. I rushed into the kitchen to finish up the cake.
Hands sweating, I put the finishing touches on the cake just as Dad and Ailsa finished their second course of shrimp, scallops, rice, and cucumber slices.
I walked into the room and they looked at me, both smiling with love in their eyes. I knew Dad had picked the right person this time. I grinned and picked up their dinner plates. As I took them to the kitchen, I overheard Ailsa talking to my dad.
“She’s a good girl, isn’t she? I love her already.”
“I know, Honey. I love her too.”
I dumped the plates in the sink and picked up the cake. It was a two-layer, solid-gold cake with swirled and drapey frosting and a fondant bouquet of silver and bronze roses that spiraled up and out. It was my best cake yet, and I was proud of it. I also grabbed the green candles from the counter that would serve as the stems.
Dad applauded and cheered as I brought out the cake, while Ailsa looked surprised. I stood off to the corner, ready to light the candles and cut the cake. I was in my best clothes, a green dress that flowed to my knees with purple flowers curling around. My hair was up in a braid I had learned myself, fit to look like a flower crown. I had no shoes, but I wore skin-colored tights and my nails were painted purple from the weekend before.
I stood watching, trying to keep my expression blank, but my eyes no doubt giving away my happiness. I could barely contain my excitement when my dad got out of his chair and knelt down on one knee before Ailsa, who gasped.
“Ailsa, when I first met you, I knew you were the one for me. Your happy smiles and how you got along so well with my daughter.” He paused and looked at me. I nodded, and he continued, just as we had rehearsed. “These past two years, I have realized that I cannot live without you since I met you. You were the one who got me out of bed, and made me power through each day. For you, I will do anything. I love you, and while I may not be worthy of you, I still want to ask you this.” He took a nervous breath, and I tried to mentally give him courage.
“Will you, Ailsa Marie Amaryllis, marry me?” He produced the delicate square box from his pocket. He opened it, and inside, there was a golden ring with a heart-shaped diamond. It was perfectly sculpted and shined in the light, and it was too beautiful, even for the Queen.
“Blaze Christopher Quackenbush, you idiot! Of course I will!” Dad took the ring and placed it on Ailsa’s hand. They smiled and kissed for so long, my lungs ached in sympathy. Needing to do something, I went and lit the candles on the cake, and Dad and my soon-to-be stepmom sat down on either side.
They blew out the candles, and linked their fingers together as I cut the cake and served them slices. We enjoyed the rest of the night together, and we all fell asleep on the couch together while watching “Forget Me Not.”
Three weeks later, I hopped out of bed, ready to put the finishing touches on my dad’s wedding cake. I wasn’t letting them see it just yet, and I had blocked the kitchen from view, making them promise not to peek. They were finishing sending invitations today, and everything else was all set for the wedding in two days.
My agenda for today was shopping for wedding toppers and a specific type of sprinkles while Ailsa and Dad got the final touches on their outfits. I was going for an array of gold, silver, and green sprinkles, as both Dad and Ailsa’s favorite colors were green. I grabbed my purse and headed outside into the sun. It was a cloudless day, and I got my errands done pretty quickly.
By the time I got home, it was almost teatime, so I got to work. I mixed and baked the batter for 5 layers—half the cake so far. When it was done, I popped the two red-velvet cakes from their silicone heart molds and took the other three chocolate cakes from their pans. I whipped up some frosting and covered each in a thin layer before tossing them into the fridge.
When I finished cleaning the kitchen, Dad walked in with a tuxedo on. He struck poses like he was on a fashion runway, and I laughed.
“If I make you laugh enough, will you let me see the cake, or at least…taste it?” He winked, and I chuckled.
“No, Dad! You can’t see it until the wedding. I told you this already!” I rolled my eyes and pretended to be exasperated, which was hard when I was laughing.
As I finished pinning up my hair in a fancy braid that hung down in the front and wrapped around my head. The intricate twists made realistic-looking brown flowers bloom in my hair. I had decorated the rims of my grass-green eyes with dark black-and-purple makeup. I had gotten a prettier sundress for the summer weather and specially for this occasion. It matched my eyes in the green color, and was laced in small patterned flowers. I was ready for the biggest day of my dad’s life.
After the ceremony came the reception. The local church was packed to capacity, and each person was standing shoulder-to-shoulder, and my dad and Ailsa were squished between so many people, I couldn’t see them. It was almost time to bring out the cake that I spent the last week working on.
I squeezed through as many people as I could and got to the closet door, in which the cake was hiding. I flung it open and wheeled out the 10-story, gravity-defying cake. Each level of the cake signified a certain romantic event that happened between my dad and stepmom. Everyone in the room stopped to admire the cake, and they all burst into applause.
After cutting the cake, everyone stayed and partied until the sun went down and they all had to drive home. We cleaned up and headed home in time for all of us to crash happily on our beds.
Holding the two new(er) members of our family, Chloe and Dazi, I showed them each and every one of their family members on the photo hanging in the hallway.
“Mom and Dad are really happy right there, see?” I cooed to Chloe and Dazi. They just smiled back unknowingly. That day was so happy.
I sighed remembering the work to get up to then, and I heard footsteps behind me. Dad and Ailsa had come to find me staring at the photo. We all hugged each other and laughed about that day, telling stories, and bragging about the cake. I looked back at the photo and my family. No one could take their love away from me.