Thanks so much for joining us this week to read my birthday gift to you, a short story. If you need to catch up, the first day is here and yesterday is here. Have fun!
“Hey, can you come grab that?” Ginny attempted to tie the balloon in her hands more quickly as the oven timer went off.
Pete grunted from his chair. “Yep. Give me just one minute.” His fingers flew over his phone screen, typing who-knew-what.
“Pete …” Ginny pushed the tip through the knot around her fingers, but it slipped back out again.
“Yeah. I’m coming.” He rose and started walking toward the kitchen, but slowly.
An acrid smell filled the air. No! Ginny let go of the balloon and rushed toward the oven, but she slipped on the edge of the tablecloth that draped longer on one side of the table than the other. She hit the floor, her palms slapping the linoleum.
“Ginny, you okay?” Pete leaned over her.
“Don’t stop for me! Pull the cake out!” She flapped in the direction of the oven.
He turned, jerked the door open, and a bit of smoke wafted out. Too late. He groaned as he pulled out the almost-black dessert.
“I don’t understand. We didn’t leave it in that much longer than I set the timer for.” Ginny pushed to a sitting position and rubbed her sore hands together. “How could this happen?”
“You’re sure you set the timer for the right amount?” Pete set the pan down on the stove and then fished the box out of the trash can. “What size is this?”
“Two nine inch, I thought.”
He showed her the box. She groaned again. She’d chosen the time for the bundt cake instead. Too late now. She’d have to start over or something.
A glance at the clock showed the time much later than she’d thought. She was never going to get to bed tonight. She folded her legs to her chest and laid her forehead against her knees.
“I’ve got this.” Pete laid a hand on her hair. “You finish up whatever else you were doing and I’ll run to the store.”
“Pete, no. Carter’s never had a store-bought cake in his life. I always do the recipe on Pinterest with the extra eggs and stuff to make the box mix taste like a bakery cake. Besides, the ones at the stores are so expensive.”
“Ginny, it’s already after eight. Let me do this for you. I’ll go pick up a plain sheet cake and you can decorate it however you want. It’ll still be special. And no one has to know you didn’t make it from your special recipe, okay? But you’re pushing yourself too much. Let me help.”
She lifted teary eyes to her husband. He might sometimes come across as unhelpful or oblivious to her needs, but tonight he’d gone above and beyond.
“I’ll be back as soon as I can.” He pointed to the brick cutouts on the table. “Don’t hang that banner. I’ll get it when I come back.”
She could barely utter a thank you before he was out the door.
This hadn’t been how she imagined ending thirty-nine, but maybe going out on a lower note simply meant forty would start on a high one. A girl could hope, anyway.
I hope Ginny can get the smell of that burnt cake out of her house before the guests arrive tomorrow. What do you think will happen next?
Come back and read Day 4 tomorrow.
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