“Macarons, macarons! Get the most delectable macarons in town here!” Julie says, a huge grin on her face.
People smile at her as they pass, and some stop to buy some cookies and macarons.
“We have delicious butter cookies, fresh out of the oven!” I avoid the glare Julie gives me and turn the other way.
I roll my eyes. “Please don’t-” My eyes widen as I turn my head to see Rosalie waving at me. “Oh! Hey, what’s up?”
“Nothing much, just here to buy some cookies. I hear they’re famous, and I need some for a festival we’re having,” she says, stopping in front of the table.
“Oh, okay,” - I bite my lip and avoid her stare, a bit hurt that I wasn’t invited by her - “what cookies do you want?"
“By the way, you’re invited, and Julie’s invited too! Have you guys ever spoken?” Rosalie says, her hands on her cheeks.
Julie, hearing her name, turns in my direction and stares at Rosalie. A smile lights up her face and her chocolate brown eyes crinkle up, creating tiny root-like creases on her cheeks.
“Rosie!” she exclaims, running around the table and towards Rosalie. “I missed you so much! Never leave me again!”
Rosalie laughs, extending her arms out for Julie. “I saw you just yesterday, calm down.”
I watch them and toe the ground with my flour-stained shoes, my hands behind my back.
“Alright, anyway,” Rosalie turns back to me, Julie connected to her hip. “I’ll take the famous butter cookies, some pizzicati pinch cookies, cuccidati cookies, lemon crinkle cookies, and-“
“Rosie, why don’t you get cookies from my shop?” Julie asks, her eyebrows furrow. She glares at me for a second, making eye contact, then glancing away.
Rosalie stares at Julie, sighing. “I’ll get to you later, okay?”
Julie lets go of Rosalie, gives me a feeble goodbye wave, and runs back to the front of her shop.
“How many cookies do you want?” I slip a piece of paper out of my pocket and grab a pen from my pocket.
“Uh... I don’t know...” Rosalie pulls at her bottom lip, her hands on her hips. “How many people are in this town?”
“I don’t remember either, I mean, I could check the list in the back...” I say, taking a step back toward the shop door.
“Sure, go ahead, I’ll watch over the sweets.” She winks at me and stands behind the table.
I smile at her and nod my head, staring at her smile. “Thanks, I’ll be right back.”
“That’s Rosalie, right? She wants the treats for the festival. I have the list right here. Her dad gave it to me beforehand,” my mom says, pulling the drawer handle and taking out the slip of paper. “Tell her to get around this amount, no less.”
I take the note from her hands and hop over to where Rosalie is standing in front of the table. “Hey, I got the list right here. Apparently, your dad wrote how many he wanted of each before you came.”
Rosalie turns towards me. She purses her lips. “I dunno why he sent me here then. I mean, he already decided everything, so...”
“When is the festival?”
“Tomorrow, I’m pretty sure. Yeah, it’s tomorrow.”
I hand Rosalie the list her father made and she nods, placing it in my palm again. “Take it, you’ll need it. He only gave me the list for...” she says, nodding her head towards Julie.
“Well, I’ll see you at the festival!”
“Yeah, see ya!” Rosalie waves at me, walking towards Julie, who grins as she sees her coming.
“I bet you’re so excited to see Rosalie all dressed up, huh?” my friend, Jaison says, nudging me with his elbow.
I avoid his eyes, grinning.
“The only thing I’m excited for are those lemon crinkle cookies,” the boy next to me - Jaison’s older brother - said, closing his eyes and sighing.
“Oh please.” Jaison’s eyes rolled like bowling balls. “Have you ever had a crush at all?”
“Oh please,” - Jaison’s brother mocked him, punching him in the back - “why do I need to have crushes at all? They aren’t necessary.”
I walk around them, my hands in my pockets. The breeze caresses my cheeks as I look at all the bright lights and stands. It’s so satisfying to watch other people work after a hard day of selling cookies.
As I make my way towards the fountain in the middle of the square, I hear several people call names that sound like Rosalie’s. I look around, but can’t spot her at all.
“Dude, that girl!” Jaison exclaims, nodding his head toward a girl with black overalls. “Do you think that’s Rosalie?”
I ignore him and walk toward the girl, hesitating.
She has her hair in a messy french braid, fiddling with the hem of her white crop top.
“Uh, hey,” I say, tapping the girl on the shoulder.
She turns towards me, her mouth open like a ring. “Uh… hi?”
The girl smiles at me, opening her eyes. As she realized it was me, her eyes widen and she turns away from me.
“Oh, uhm, hey Julie.”
“Were you expecting someone else?” she asked, her eyes narrowed.
I shake my head. “No, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to sound… Anyway, I’m on my way to the cookies, do you want to come with me?”
Julie smiles at me, biting her lip. “Sure,”
“What kind of cookies did Rosalie get from you?”
“Oh, well, Rosie got macarons, pizzelles, cannoli cookies, and madeleines.”
“Oh wow, I love cannoli cookies!” I say, grinning. My stomach rumbles loudly and I cover it, a little gasp slithering off my lips.
Julie’s eyebrows raise, her arms behind her back. She steps in front of me and reaches for her pocket. “Oh, you do?”
I nod, watching her hand slide out of her pocket. The crinkle of a paper bag sounded as she pulls it out. A cannoli cookie was inside the bag, and Julie avoids my eyes as she hands it to me.
“Here, since you like them so much,” she says, her fingers touching mine as she drops the bag in my hand.
“Also, where is Rosalie?”
Julie stares at me as we continue walking towards the mouthwatering scent of the cookies. “She said she’d be a bit late today, so… I don’t know.”
Julie watches me as I look over the cookies, grabbing a plate and taking two of each. The woman behind the table glares at me, and her eyebrows furrow, but I ignore her.
Julie takes one of our butter cookies from the plate and bit into it, her eyes closing. “Mm,” she murmurs, her hand leaning on the bench.
I smile at her, cocking my head. “You like our butter cookies, huh?”
“Well, yeah…” she grumbles, and her arms cross. Her fingers press into the cookie and stain with crumbs and grease.