How Grandpa Got The Whole Lopez Family Banned From Auntie Mae’s Pie Shop

Submitted into Contest #57 in response to: Write a humorous story about the descendant of someone remembered for an insignificant act.... view prompt

5 comments

Romance Funny Historical Fiction

“I can’t go in there!” I said as Levi pulled my arm to get me inside Auntie Mae’s Pie Shop. 

“Victoria, why not?”

“I’m not allowed in there.”

“Don’t do this right now. You hear the thunder and you can see that the storm’s coming!”

“Levi,” I said and pulled away. “If I step foot in there, I will be turned away. You go in if you want but I’m walking HOME!”

“No, you’re not! That's crazy,” he said and wrapped an arm around my waist. “Come on. It’s starting to rain.”

I bit my lip before walking in, fully knowing the outcome. 

“Victoria Lopez, out,” Auntie Mae said immediately when I walked in, not even looking up from her newspaper. Her red hair was still stuck in the 80s. Big and poofy. Grandpa was right about a lot of things; Mae was one of them. 

“See ya, Auntie,” I said politely and waved before stepping out. 

Levi started to protest, but I just waved him off. He followed me after looking between me and Auntie Mae back and forth. 

“What was that?” he asked, clearly confused.

“I can’t believe you don’t know.”

“Don’t know what?”

“Grandpa got the whole Lopez family banned from Auntie Mae’s.”

---

I, Julian Lopez, was no slouch. I would do anything it took to make sure that Maribel would love me forever...and marry me. And if there was one thing Maribel Cruz loved, it was pie. We ate it on our first date, key lime. She would rather have a slice of pie than a slice of cake. 

So I needed to win the pie contest this weekend. And then, after winning, I would ask her to be my wife. 

Her favorite flavor was a coin toss with chocolate meringue and pecan. She loved sweet chocolate. So...maybe I could combine both? Chocolate pecan pie? Maybe with a...cinnamon crust! She would be fascinated by that. 

I pulled out the ingredients from the pantry, starting with the crust. I turned on the radio and started by mixing the flour, salt, and cinnamon together. I hummed along to some tango music on the radio station. Then, with the butter, grab the mixer until crumbly. Then, just enough ice water to make it work. My feet danced around the kitchen, blissful and excited, trying to picture the taste of this crust once baked. 

She was going to love this pie. 

I was beginning to get the stuff out for the filling when Antonio, my best friend and next door neighbor, walked through the door.

“Well, well, well, what do we have here?” he said before walking over and taking a piece of chocolate. He popped a piece into his mouth.

“What does it look like I’m doing, Tony?”

“It looks like you’re making a pie.”

“I am.” I looked up and with conviction said, “I’m going to win the pie baking contest.”

He whistled. “Mae Callahan will kill you if you win.”

“Mae-shmae.” I had more to lose than that woman did.

“Aww. So why are you really doing this?”

I paused what I was doing and nodded towards the shelf. “Behind the oats.”

Tony pulled out the box and opened it to reveal the simple gold band and diamond. 

He whistled again. “Holy smokes, Julian!”  He walked over and patted my arm. “I’m happy for you.”

I was happy for me too.

#

I cut slices of my pie for judging and served them in front for the judges to come by. The competition was diverse. Mae made her signature apple pie that everyone around town seemed to like. Also in the running were banana cream, key lime, and an assortment of meringues. 

There were three judges, guests from out of town. They kept their faces composed; there was no guessing what they liked. I wanted to win, but I had no hint one way or another. After the judges came by to taste, it was free game for everyone else to try some pie.  Maribel came over, straight to me, in her pink dress, bouncing. She couldn't ever just walk normally. It always seemed like clouds were under her feet everywhere she went.

“I like a man that can bake,” she said, her hair in thick ringlets adorning her face.

“I made the world’s best pie just for you.” I cut her a slice. 

I heard Mae Callahan snort a couple of people down. Her apple pie was fine, but I think I could make one better. For some reason, her filling always seemed way too thick in consistency. And I knew she was using corn syrup. Me, I preferred cane sugar syrup, made from my own garden in the backyard. I used it in my pie to sweeten, and I used it in my sweet tea. It’s why I was so confident today, especially when Maribel took the first bite of her slice. Her eyes widened and then closed, a smile crossing her lips while she chewed, while she danced back and forth, on her heels and then on her tippy toes. Maribel loved to rock back and forth on her feet. I loved her. Then her feet stopped moving, her shoulders shimmied, and her hips started swaying. 

“It’s the best thing I have ever tasted,” she said after opening her eyes. They were bright in emotion, a warm hazel in color. The kind of color I could find comfort in on hard days.

Another snort from Mae traveled in the wind as I smiled and said, “Thank you, darling.”

"May we partake?" Tony asked suddenly next to Maribel, with his Rosa at his side. 

"Of course," I said, cutting some more slices for them and the people walking by. 

Rosa took a bite and after a minute said, "You have to teach Tony how to bake! This is marvelous." 

"Oh, that's not my role!" Tony said quickly. "We both knew in college that if we kept up the bachelor lifestyle, we would only be able to feed off of roaches and rats. I cleaned, and Julie cooked."

"He keeps a very clean house," I added. 

"You know, I thought you were kidding, but this is a great pie!" Tony said, licking his fingers. 

I looked at Maribel. "I tried."

Her cheeks glowed with a lovely red, and she smiled.

#

"Okay! We have made our decision!" Charles Norton said walking through.

Maribel kissed my cheek. "Good luck," she whispered before scurrying off. 

Charles went to the end of the table. "Third place, Sarah Lovett, key lime pie!"

I clapped along with everyone in the crowd. 

"Second place," Charles started before taking a step. He held his breath. "Mae Callahan, apple pie!" 

I clapped slower. Mae was trying to keep her composure, but her eyes shot daggers at me. 

"First place, Julian Lopez, chocolate pecan pie!"

I shook Charles's hand before Maribel ran and launched herself into my arms. 

"Congratulations!" she squealed. 

"Did you like the pie?" I asked, spinning with her in my arms. 

"I loved it!" 

"I love you, Maribel!" I said, putting her on the ground.

"I love you, too!"

I dropped to my knee, pulling out the ring. "Will you marry me?" 

"Oh my goodness! Yes!" 

I slid the ring on her finger and kissed her before Tony and Rosa came to hug us and congratulate us. 

Behind us, Mae was grumbling to her friends.

"...clearly rigged...Too much sugar...My pie was so much better…"

What a bitter woman.

I looked at her. "Mae, we both know I'm the better baker. Want to talk about too much sugar? Have you had that sweet tea of yours?"

People looked from me to her and back. Mae moved closer to me with an accusatory finger.

"Lopez, I've had about enough of you! You have a big mouth. And you're not that good of a cook." 

Maribel let go of my hand and looked at me with eyes full of mischief. 

The remnants of the pie were in her hand. 

I nodded once, granting her permission. 

"He is that good of a baker," Maribel said. "You should try it, Mae." And she shoved the pie remnants in Mae's face.

I could marry her this second.

Mae tried to clear her face and line of sight. "That's IT! LOPEZ,YOU AND ANYONE IN YOUR LINEAGE, ALL FUTURE GENERATIONS, BANNED! BANNED from my restaurant. BANNED!"

She stormed away, and her friends followed. 

"Well, celebration dinner?" Tony asked. 

"I could eat," I said, putting an arm around my fiancee. She smiled.

"Where do we want to go?" 

"Not Mae's."

We all laughed. 

"Not Mae's it is."

---

"Whoa. I wonder why Grandpops wasn't banned, since he was so close to your Grandpa Julian," Levi said when we were close to home. 

"Your grandpa's role was cleaning, remember?" I replied. 

He laughed.

"Besides, Mae had a crush on your grandpa. And because mine ran interference, yours got to be with Grammy Rosa. Mae has a number of reasons to hate my Grandpa."

"Man, Grampa Julian was awesome," he said, looking up. The rain was starting. 

"Yes, he really was." I looked at the house. "Do you want to come in for sweet tea?" I asked.

He raised an eyebrow. "With cane sugar syrup?"

"Of course, Gramps raised me right."

"How can I say no to that?"

September 04, 2020 22:12

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5 comments

Crystal Lewis
06:13 Sep 09, 2020

A very sweet story. ;) I couldn’t help the pun I’m sorry. Good job though. :)

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Joanna Ortega
14:03 Sep 09, 2020

Hey. Puns are the best part of humor!

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Crystal Lewis
15:38 Sep 09, 2020

Yes indeed! :D

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Ayaka Spencer
16:25 Sep 10, 2020

Quite the fun and enjoyable story. I was a bit surprised that the grandson of Julian's best friend wouldn't know that his friend wasn't allowed in an establish restaurant. Especially since they seemed so close. I feel like it would have made more sense to use someone who wasn't as close to the grand daughter since it didn't really happen that long ago. But, I really like Julian's devil-may-care attitude about pissing Mae Callahan, the usual blue ribbon winner, off, and baking a better pie so that he could propose to his girlfriend. T...

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Joanna Ortega
14:48 Sep 11, 2020

In hindsight, you are totally right! I was initially going to flesh out the grandchildren and their relationship and why Levi wouldn't know. Since I decided to change to a more grandparent centric story, I overlooked that. Thank you so much for the feedback! I really appreciate anyone who can help me become a better writer.

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