"Cherry!" Em cried, barely hiding her excitement.
"Coming, Em," The raven haired replied, as she switched off the television.
"Guess what!" Em asked, wiggling her brows.
"Um... You found the best cupcake recipe? "
Em shook her head.
"You took part in baking the biggest cookie ever? "
Cherry couldn't guess what Em wanted to say; she was always full of surprises and mysteries.
"Come on, you tell me."
"Nope. Guess." Em continued.
"Em, you better tell me right now, or I'm going back to James Bond. "
Em gave up.
"Okay.. Okay.. I'll tell you. "
"I'm waiting... " Cherry said impatiently.
Em shoot her a mock glare.
"Do you remember grammy's vanilla cookies? "
Cherry's mouth began to water.
"Who in their right mind wouldn't? "she said.
"Yeah, right. So... today is Sunday... "
Cherry narrowed her eyes slightly. She thought she knew where this conversation was heading.
"And we have plenty of time..." Em said slowly.
"So let's bake the vanilla cookies?" she rushed.
Cherry took a glance at the expectant Em and turned around.
"No," she replied flatly.
Em had been expecting this answer, and she was prepared to deal with it.
"Come on Cherry, it will be fun," She said. "We'll get to eat those yummy delicious vanilla cookies! "
Cherry's back was still towards Em.
"Em... You know how I feel about baking."
"Yeah, so let's change the way you feel! We've never cooked or baked anything together, and this will be so fun! "
Em sighed. "That was so long ago, Cherry. It was just that one time. Plus, there's no competition here. We both will be baking for ourselves."
Cherry finally faced Em.
"This isn't about the cookies, is it? Answer me, Em." she demanded.
Em concentrated on the painting behind Cherry. Her silence was the answer Cherry wanted.
"Please Em. Stop this. I won't be baking. Ever. Don't try to mend it. "
Em finally cracked.
"Fine. You know what? Fine. Be the way you are. Why would I care for you?"
And she stormed up her bedroom.
Cherry sighed. She run a hand through her tresses, and sat down on the couch. After a moment, Em came down with a bag and went out of the house, probably to the basketball area.
Cherry knew she was angry. Beyond angry. She sighed again as she remembered the cause for her fear of baking.
It was 2nd of December. Day of THE baking contest. Cherry had never been so excited before. She never took part in any contests. But this special contest had excited her, as her granny had taught Cherry her signature secret recipe.
After 2 hours, her first batch was ready.
She was sure that she would win. A 100% sure. But but not the judges. She was not even selected in the top 5. Apparently, she had lost points due to the dressing style of her cookies.
That day had been the worst for Cherry. She had locked herself in her bedroom, and no amount of consoling could soothe her. It wasn't such a big deal, but for Cherry it was. It had been her first competition, and she was not even a bit near to winning it. The contest left a deep scar and fear in Cherry's mind. She never touched the baking articles after that to the present day.
As her mobile rang, Cherry was bought into the real world. She didn't knew when she had started crying. Her blue tshirt was soaked with tears. Taking a deep breath, Cherry stood up.
"I'll try," she whispred fearfully.
As she entered the kitchen, and looked at the ingredients laid on the counter neatly by Em, her heart started throbbing wildly. She ran up her bedroom.
"I can't," she whispred, sheding a new batch of tears.
The Nancy Drew poster that stood on her headboard was seeming to speak to Cherry.
Cherry thrusted her head in her soft pillow.
"What would you have done, Nancy, if you had to face your biggest fear? "
As if by magic, the answer rung in her ears.
"She would have faced it. Even if she wasn't successful, she would have tried," Cherry knew.
After changing into an old tshirst, Cherry climbed down.
Em hadn't returned. Cherry let out a breath of relief. She wanted to do this alone, if she failed, no one would know.
Hands shaking, she mixed the ingredients in a bowl. The flour dropped on the counter. Cherry gulped. When she was done cleaning it, she resumed again. Normally, baking would have taken 2 hours. But for Cherry, it took more.
She remembered the recipe wholly by memory. Her grammy's secret recipe that she had only told Cherry and Em, her granddaughters.
As the oven's alarm went off, Cherry jumped.
The room filled with the yummy smell of the vanilla cookies. A ray of hope caused Cherry's heart to flutter.
As she was about to taste one, the door opened and Em entered the room, her eyes stopping at the cookie in Cherry's hand.
"Cherry, is that what I think it is? "she asked, her tone a surprised one.
Em's reaction made Cherry a bit happy.
"It is what everyone thinks it is. Well you may not know, but the world calls these as cookies," she replied, her humor returning.
Em was too happy to say anything.
"Down to Earth, baby sister, " Cherry said, as Em rushed forward, embracing Cherry in a bone crunching hug.
"I.. I can't believe it, Cherry. You baked cookies!!! Grammy would have been so happy!"
Cherry smiled, glad that she had decided to bake. The look on Em's face was priceless.
"Can I taste one?" Em requested.
"Here you go," Cherry said, as she lifted a cookie and brought it near her sister's mouth. Em broke half of it, relishing the taste, as Cherry ate the other half, clearly very happy.
"What gave you the inspiration to bake?" Em asked as they sat on the turquoise couch, watching a rerun of Friends and enjoying the vanilla cookies.
"Well, Nancy Drew. "
"That detective girl? "
Cherry smacked Em lightly.
"She's no that girl. She's Nancy Drew, the best detective. "
Em rolled her eyes playfully.
"Sure, Cherry. That Nancy Drew." Em said, as Cherry pretended that she didn't hear Em.
But Em was glad. Book characters weren't her thing, but to Cherry, they were everything.
She thanked 'that' Nancy Drew poster later for making Cherry conquer her fear.