Where We Belong
I push my glasses up my nose for the millionth time, and while holding my breath and with one eye narrowed, I wipe a tiny smudge of frosting from the silver turntable holding Mr. and Mrs. Robertson’s fiftieth wedding anniversary cake. It may have taken me two full days and most of last night, but I’ve finally finished. Exhaling the breath I’ve been holding for a beat too long, I take a step back to really appreciate my craftsmanship. Four layers of lemon and blueberry perfection, covered in a fluffy whipped buttercream frosting, decorated with beautiful red roses, delicate peonies, and a smattering of baby’s breath, all of which have been hand-piped by yours truly.
I place a hand on my hip, smiling proudly. “Alice Murphy, once again you’ve outdone yourself,” I whisper under my breath, mentally high-fiving myself.
The bell above the door to the shop jingles, pulling me from my musings, and I walk through from the kitchen to the front of the store, still smiling at the thought of my latest masterpiece.
“Welcome to Piece O’ Cake,” I sing in a cheerful customer service voice. “How can I help yo—” Stopping dead in my tracks, my eyes go wide as I gawp at the unexpected figure standing in the middle of the shop. He’s shadowed by the afternoon sun shining in through the windows, backlighting him to nothing more than a darkened silhouette, and I blink hard, unsure whether or not I’m imagining things. But then he speaks. And I would know that voice anywhere. This is definitely not my imagination playing tricks on me.
“Hey, Murph.” The shadow takes a step forward, coming in to the glow of the overhead lights, and I’m immediately enamored by that all too familiar grin.
“N-Nash?” I gasp.
His smile is bright and those eyes. I’d remember those eyes anywhere after spending such a big part of my life dreaming about them.
“Oh my God!” I scream, covering my mouth with trembling hands until I finally come to, ripping off my apron before practically throwing myself over the counter. Jumping up, I wrap my arms around his neck, and emotion gets the better of me as I stand there in the familiarity of his warm embrace with tears of happiness streaming down my cheeks.
The love of my life.