“Hello Mrs. Honey bread!! Are you busy?” asked Jenny with a charming smile.
“Always free for you my love. Well!! Honey bread was really flattering.” Mrs. Katy Holmes laughed and hugged Jenny with warmth.
“I hope you are not overloaded with orders already.” Jenny asked with round eyes.
“Ah!! Read me in.” said Katy while kneading dough.
“Do you remember the first day you came here Apple pie?” asked Jenny putting a batch of cup cakes into the hot and vast belly of the huge oven.
Katy Holmes was whipping the cream with a beater, her hands stopped and there was a distinct smile on her face. She nodded and vanished somewhere in her thought-land.
I not only remember the first day I was brought in this Old-age home but the memories of my first baked cake is conspicuous in my mind too. I still remember the day when I baked some cookies for Jenny’s daughter on her birthday and how jenny fell in love with me and those butter cookies; she hired me as the head cake chef in her cake factory. That’s when she started calling me by various colorful and delicious names! “Miss you” old-age home has shared many memories, many laughs and cries with me. I have heard so many poignant stories from the folks over here that I can write a book on each and every one including mine. It would be a best-seller besides my cakes.
My mother was my mentor. She introduced me to baking with love. She was a perfect “Pro” (kids these days use this word very often). I vividly remember the first cake I baked for my dad on his birthday. The aroma was so soulful and fresh. When I grew up, I and mom together started a home venture of baking cakes and selling them. It was really fun. We spent many blissful and unforgettable moments. When I got married to Mr. Joseph Holmes, a very kind-hearted and affectionate man I’ve ever met, he too became a big fan of my baking eventually. Then a new chapter replaced my bakery chapter; our son Edward was born. He became our whole world. We were both head over heels on him. My bakery came to a halt for a while. Once Edward started going to school I got a chance again to give him cookies, cakes, breads, croissants and many more items in his Tiffin box made by my own hands. Edward’s birthdays were real fun. On every birthday Edward had a new demand for his cakes. Sometimes the cake had to be a train, then a car, then Mickey Mouse, spider man and so on and so forth until …………..
Until one day, he grew big………….real big. So big, that he no more needed his mom’s handmade cakes and cookies for his birthdays. I am one of those lucky mothers who got the opportunity to bake her son’s wedding cake with her own hands. I saw the same spark in Edward’s eyes that day which he had on his birthdays. Mr. Holmes’s death left me all alone in this big world. Edward got a good job in another country. He knew I would not accompany him so he never asked. His decision of shifting me to “Miss you” was very thoughtful, or else how would I have taken care of myself and how would I have become the head chef! I am glad and obliged to my son.
“Mrs. Muffin the cup cakes are screaming with red faces to come out from the oven. Your touch will make them royal!!” said Jenny with a 3 and a half inch broad smile.
Mrs. Katy kept the hot tray carefully on the rack to cool down just like her fuming emotions for her son, which have cooled down by now. She felt affronted of Edward initially but time is the biggest healer. She too was healed charily by time.
“Oh!! See I almost forgot. This is the details of a special order. The cake is to be delivered tomorrow so nothing to worry about. It’s time for some real magic! You have to make a unicorn- shaped cake with rainbow colored horn. Rest of the details I have jotted down, just go through it. I hope it isn’t too tough for my old pumpkin pie.” Jenny exhaled a deep sigh.
“No love I’ve done this hundreds of times. My son had the same tantrums.” Katy scoffed.
Katy was very selective about the ingredients. According to the list, the base of the cake should be of three flavors vanilla, chocolate and passion fruit. The cream has to be made of fresh cream, pineapples, blueberries, raspberries and oranges. Katy has searched for an amazing unicorn design from internet. Seven colors for the horn are all set. Very cautiously and affectionately Katy was mixing all the ingredients. She must have read the list thousands of times. Suddenly her eyes caught something. At the last page of the list there was the name of the customer and the address along with it. It read “Edward Holmes.” Katy picked up the paper with trembling hands to take a closer look. Chills ran down her spine. She felt agitated, her head was spinning. Even if she read the name thousands of times, it didn’t change. There was a contact number written beside the name. She dialed the number but couldn’t call. Katy saw Jenny walking in towards the workshop, she took a deep breath.
“Good morning blueberry!! Is everything going well? Mmm……..the aroma of fresh fruits I love them.” Jenny sounded cheerful.
“Jenny there’s a very small problem. Actually there’s something I need you to ask the customer. Will you please call the concerned person?” asked Katy softly.
Jenny nodded and Katy gave her the phone and asked her to talk with the speaker on.
When Katy heard the voice, tears came rolling down. Yes it was her son Edward. She immediately wiped her tears and made herself busy with the cake making. After jenny left Katy cried her heart out. She has made cakes billions of times in her life time but today her hands are shaking, lumps are moving up and down her throat. She couldn’t believe to her ears. Her own son cheated her, why?
Does that mean he never left for any other country? Was it all a part of the plan of putting her in an old-age home? He lives in the same city!! He kept me in dark in all these months?
For the first time in her life Katy felt betrayed, helpless and shattered. She could feel that gruesomeness of failure, of losing her self-esteem for the skill which she has been doing from her childhood. Today everything about her cake- making seemed new and indefinite to her. Katy locked her in the washroom for quite a long time.
An hour later Katy came out from the washroom freshened up, clean and confident. She started preparing the cake she left incomplete like a Pro. Emotions and affections was perhaps missing for the first time but that doesn’t matter for her anymore because she has made cakes thousands of times and she will do the same today. After all the cake was for her granddaughter’s first birthday and she should cut the cake made by her grandmother. The little one deserves that.