Note: This post was published 12 hours ago but it suddenly vanished from the archives. I have to re-type it and repost.

– o –

“Why only now?”

After she left, Rusty could only do mistake after mistake: he almost burned the cookies he was baking, followed by a wrong mixture of ingredients that the cake he prepared did not form its usual shape. In effect, her reappearance produced imbalance in his otherwise monotonous life in the bakery.

His uncle was not blind to see he was not the same nephew he left in the morning.

“Are you sick or something?”

“No, Uncle Tom,” he said, repairing the cake, putting more icing to cover the misshaped figure. “I absentmindedly lost track of the measurements.”

“After that, you can rest early. I’ll take over.”

“I am not tired, Uncle!” he explained. “I want to be busy.”

“Go to bed now,” his uncle insisted. “I need you very early tomorrow.”

“Are you sure you can manage?” he asked, extending his arm over the old man’s shoulder.

Tom had been Rusty’s parent since he was orphaned several years ago. Without siblings and he, a widower without a child, they had been paired by fate to manage the small enterprise.

“You don’t go out. You just work. I don’t know what to do with you.” His uncle had been singing the same tune over and over again. “You should look for a girl.”

“I see so many girls everyday,” he jested. “Why should I go out?”

“We need a female around here.” Tom clarified. “Someone who could make this place happier,”

“We can hire a saleslady,” Rusty continued, laughing. “Of course, you have to pay her.”

Tom would always lose the discussion when his nephew’s need for a partner came to fore. Rusty was too stubborn to heed his wisdom.

“Remember, you are not getting any younger.”

Rusty went directly to the restroom to clean up. In his room, he could continue his video viewing until sleep visited him.

– 0 –

“It’s one of your favorite bands.”

Wendy chanced upon the video while scanning the channels of the cable TV. Her recollection centered mainly on the song he sang to her during a community get-together: he looked so naive back then.

She turned off the set and walked to the window. Still unable to sleep because of her excitement earlier, she tried so hard to come up with a plan to reintroduce herself to his life.

The cloudless sky enhanced the mesmerizing beauty of the full moon. Its magic never waned.

Meeting Rusty again was one of her foremost intentions when she came back. News reached her abroad that he was still unmarried. Why? She never asked.

She had fallen in love and fall out of it so many times that she initially concluded she was destined to be a spinster. Perhaps, he was the total cure for her shattered love life.

However, it would be almost impossible to get him back to where they had left off. She was the main reason Rusty lost faith in puppy love: she broke his heart, not once but twice.

Wendy watched him from a distance for many months and until only that morning she found the courage to finally show herself up to him.

“He did not recognize me,” she thought out loud. “Maybe he blocked me from his memory.”

(to be continued)



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