Friday, November 17, 2006

Imperfection, Chapter 1

And if you're thinking about changing my direction-
Don't mess with imperfection.
--Imperfection, Saving Jane

"Hellllllloooooooo, Anicca Hill! It's 7:30 Tuesday morning and a beatiful 85 degrees outside. Time to wake up and smell the summer!"

My eyes snapped halfway open, like in a horror movie. I didn't want to wake up and smell the summer. I wanted to sleep. I karate-chopped it weakly. No luck. The announcer blared on, the noise filling my small bedroom.

So I did the only logical thing.

I ripped it out of the wall and opened my window.

I dangled it out of the window by the cord as the theme song played (my mom made me get a clock with backup batteries after it was "mysteriously" pulled out of my wall too many times), looking for some sign that i shouldnt drop it.

"Today we'll be playing a 6-hour marathon of disco hits, followed by the greatest songs of Phil Collins!"

Bombs away.


I didnt want to wake up and smell the summer.

My summer smelled like the rest of my year.

Like cake.

I live in a town called Annica Hill on a street known unofficially as The Wedding Walk by everyone who lives around here. The tourists and Couples call it "Rose Blossom Lane." Ew.

The town is named for, you guessed it, the gigantic hill just where all the sidewalks stop. One second you're walking on pavement, and the next it's grass. It's great for sledding and leaf-pile-jumping during winter and fall, but in summer and spring, it (like the entire town but especially Wedding Walk) is lousy with theatrical Couples, crying and saying "You're ruining my perfect day!" while the photographer snips at kids and chases them away.

Couples, noun. A pair of people, commonly one male and one female, who are engaged or married and totally disgusting together. They often sit in little cafe's and gaze into each other's eyes saying revolting things like "I love you, snookums." "No, I love YOU, honey bunches." "I love you more, sweet pea." "No, I love YOU more, teddy bear." Can also apply to extreme cases of people who are just dating and start every sentance with "My girl/boyfriend" and bore everyone with every detail of their signifigant other's traits. Avoid at all costs.

Wedding Walk is named this because of how it is set up: A photography place, a dress store, the bakery that my dad owns, a catery, this really odd-type tailor/dry-cleaners/tux rental thing, a card store, and a decoration place. Everyone lives in the apartment above their store besides the very frowned-upon photography people. It all ends with this stretch that's officially another street that has a reception-type place at the very beginning. Across the road is the building that doubles as a synogouge and a church and pretty much anything else. It's ridiculous.

Summer and spring are the busiest because of the weather. This is bad for two reasons. 1.) When I'm getting ready for finals, i have to keep running downstairs and checking that that batch of dessert whatevers arent burning to a crisp. 2.) Once i'm actually DONE with the stress of school and finals, i still have to help my parents with the store and, on days when the wedding is going on, watch all of the little kids on the street with my best friend Melissa. That's not all that bad because we can get away from the bakery (me) and the dress store (her) and hand out at the park and on the hill. We actually started putting up fliers for a wedding babysitting service. That's where we made the mistake. One day these wedding people started slyly (or so they thought) dumping their bratty kids into the mix. Which actually turned out not to be so bad after a while, because we were allowed to charge them. My mom has issues with A) Our taking money from them and B) Our not-so-organized-to-the-human-eye system of how we charge them (based on brattiness of kid, rudeness of parent, if the kid starts a fight, sobriety of parent at pickup time, etc.). But what doesnt my mom have issues with?

Today it was the fact that as Benny, one of the caterers, was sweeping the sidewalk, like he always does when there will most likely be Couples around, he found the crumbled remains or an alarm clock on the ground.

"That clock cost money, Catarina Julianne," she snapped at me as i walked downstairs into the store wearing the uniform (jean shorts, black t-shirts, pink apron) and tying back my hair. "You're paying for that with whatever comission you get today."

I sighed and blew my overlong bangs out of my face. "Mom,what other 15-yer-old girl do you know who has to wake up early on the first day of summer? Can you blame me?"

The answer written across her face was a resounding "Yes."

"We have a big deal wedding coming up in three days, and this cake is stressing me out enough without your theatrics," she said. "Go back and make those donuts that those people wanted."

I stared at the piece of paper she had handed me. "Creme-flilled?"


" want ME to do this?"

My mother threw her hands up in the air. "Catarina Julianne, I don't have TIME for this. Your father is on a delivery, and they will throw a fit if they don't have their...their darn donuts!"

What told me to back off: Darn is the closest that my mom ever comes to cursing. Also the fact that she was using my entire full name when i have serious violent tendancies toward anyone who calls me Catarina instead of Catie.

So i went in the back and started to make the stupid things. Now, despite what most people might think, i am not automatically a master baker just because my mom and dad are really good at it. Cake is fine. I can do the cake. I can even decorate the cake. Normal donuts are fine as well, along with cookies. But nothing as complicated and creme-filled donuts. Stop laughing! It's actually really complicated! *smashes chair over laughing person's head* There, that's better.

Anyways, it went rather well until the end, when i noticed that one of them was oozing the yellow creme. I just couldnt tell where it was coming from.

So, since I am an idiot, I put on a pair of those disposable plastic gloves, picked it up, wiped the creme off of the outside, and squeezed.

Bam. The entire thing exploded, sending waves of yellow liquidated sugar over my hands, not to mention that it splattered all over my hair and face.

For a second i just stared at it in shock. Then I started to laugh like a crazy person.

The bell on the door rang at that exact moment. Of course.

I assumed that it was a neighbor coming to confier with my mom about the Baum wedding, who would laugh, or my dad coming back from his deliver, who would laugh harder. So i ran out, still lauging, still covered with donut guts.

Then i saw who it was, and stopped laughing.

A Couple.

The Baums, to be precise.

And behind them was a guy.

A guy i didnt recognize, to be precise.

A guy who wasn't actually bad-looking, but staring at me like i was a moron, to be

I opened my mouth, wanting to come up with A) a snappy comeback to show them that i wasnt totally mentally deficient or B) and apology to show the Baums that i wasnt going to do the same thing to their cake.

"Hi, welcome to Stewart's Baked Goods and Confections. How may I help you?"

1 comment:

Elizzy said...

wheee that's funny

i like ur new story!!!

i'll read ch.2 when i have time....