A/N: Uwaa my Bakers I’m so sorry for the wait! Here it is! ^-^ Enjoy~ *kisses cheeks for waiting patiently*
Chapter 30: Remembering, Giving, and Taking.
I was on the phone with my best friend.
“So, so, so, he made you dinner and then??”
“U-Um…well, unfortunately, I…I didn’t get to eat it because I was such a crybaby and the dumbest person on Earth, a-and uh…we talked and um…” I tried to find the right words to describe what happened after that.
“—and then there was white stuff. Was that what you were gonna say?” Asked Kim exasperatedly.
“Y-Yeah!” I exclaimed, glad that she finished for me.
“LIKE HELL I’M GONNA BUY THAT!” Kim shouted into the phone and I had to hold the receiver at arm’s length. “I SAID DETAIL. DEEEETAAAAIILL YOU IDIOT—“
“Okay. Let me start—you guys took off clothes.”
I felt the blood rushing to my cheeks.
“Uh and then he…he um…k-kissed…”
“YEAH DUHH,” Kim sighed, “C’mon Chip, we need to get you out of your comfort zone!” My best friend said excitedly.
“We kissed…a-and…touched…? U-Uh…”
“Then he kissed me again—“
“T-Then he kissed me again—“
“This is going nowhere. Get Xander on the phone,” She said, pulling her trump card.
“E-Ehhhh?? But that’s not such a good idea, Xander wouldn’t—it’ll be embarrassing—“
“What’s embarrassing, Angel?” A voice said beside my other ear and I practically jumped, and shivered involuntarily.
“X-Xander! You…you meanie…you scared me!” I huffed, trying to glare.
“Yeah I know, I love scaring you.”
My mouth gaped in shock and I just froze on the spot wondering whether I should laugh or cry—while Xander slipped the receiver out of my right hand.
I snapped out of my reverie, only to hear a faint buzz of Kim’s voice.
“Yeah. Yeah sure,” Xander replied, proceeding to lounge on my bed. “Jerked him off.”
My eyes widened and I lunged for the phone.
“Xander! How could you—why would you—what are you—you…” I punched his shoulder, only to find that my knuckles hurt.
Xander continued nonetheless. “He was so cute—he said he was melting.”
That evil scheming wolf threw a wink in my direction and there was another short scuffle for the phone.
Of course, Xander won.
I think he grew a whole lot since I first saw him—it’s like he’s 6’2 now.
That’s definitely unfair…c-considering…I’ve…not grown much since…
“Tight. But soft—and warm,” Xander said monotonously as he spoke into the phone. My head tilted to the right, not quite catching what he said.
But the next line made me wish I could hide under a rock.
“He came twice. I think that’s what he meant by melting,” Xander laughed.
I felt my face and ears heat up like never before.
So I decided to hide under the blanket—and not hear any more of my embarrassing moments.
The next day was the start of Xander's preliminary examinations, which were to prepare the seniors for their finals.
After ending Kim's call, Xander opened his biology textbook in a reluctant manner, murmuring something like: What? I've never seen this before—and I was left speechless.
And so here I am, alone in the last Home Economics class—where we were told to make anything we wanted to.
The seniors were absent due to the ongoing prelims, so each individual was allocated to one kitchen counter—which meant that while Xander had his examinations, I was here baking.
I felt a twinge of guilt. And immediately missed him.
"Well then, Chip," Mrs Harry said as she came round my stove. "What are you going to make? I hope Xander has learnt his lesson from the detentions I have given," She added, raising her eyebrows slightly.
I nodded meekly, but stayed silent, in case I got into any trouble.
"I'm still thinking about the recipe so..."
"Alright," Mrs Harry sighed, "but you only have an hour so make a quick one yeah?"
I glanced at the ingredient cabinet and realised that it had been clearly depleted since the start of the year.
There was a painful realization that time was passing, and then I waved it off.
After all, everyone forgets that our time is limited.
Adding two teaspoons of sugar to the batter, I remembered when Xander first thought 'tsp' meant table spoons, and added a whole lot of sugar to the mix.
I giggled out loud, and the girl assigned to the counter in front of mine turned back to give me a weird look.
I blushed and lowered my head immediately to avoid her gaze. Rushing over to the sink, I washed my hands—purposely taking as long as possible to seem busy.
After giving the batter a good mix and adding the yeast, I cleaned my hands and the kitchen top, proceeding to flour the surface.
The soft dough was easy to knead and had a fluffy texture—just how we did it at the bakery.
I wonder if there's any extra? I'm sure Xander would like a bite after his exams.
Placing portion after portion of dough on the tray at an equal distance apart, I hummed to myself in a light-hearted mood.
Then I proceeded to slide the tray into the oven, already used to the heat. A smile slipped, as the image of Xander's fascination of the rising dough flashed.
I dipped a chopstick into the white glazing that I had made earlier, and tasted it.
It was a little too sweet, but that was how Xander liked it.
As I waited for the dough to rise and colour to a delicious golden brown, I wondered whether Xander would like the hot-cross buns that I made—
Just for him.
And then I realised—
That for the past hour, there was only one person on my mind.
I peeked into the glass just as the bell rang, gaze scanning the lecture hall for Xander.
The sound of shuffling papers were vaguely heard, followed by the footsteps of the invigilator. Then, after a couple of minutes, he called for dismissal.
I backed away from the door quickly, and stood out of the way—just before it slammed open.
"What's your answer for the last question?"
"—I skipped that chapter! I'm so dead."
"HELL, TAKE ME."
The seniors that poured out into the hallway were groaning and sighing at the difficulty of the examinations, but Xander was an exception.
I tugged at the back of his shirt as he exited the lecture hall, ensuring that he wouldn't miss me entirely due to the crowd.
When he turned around, he seemed as indifferent as before.
"Hey—Angel," He grinned, surprised. "You were waiting for me?"
It took me two seconds to respond, because his smile somehow seemed more appealing than before.
I gave a small nod.
"...Now I feel bad," Xander leaned down to peck me on the cheek, “I'll treat you to a popsicle—“ He gave a cheeky wink.
"E-Eh?" I waved my hands in a quick motion. “It's fine! I was just passing by anyway—“ I lied, hoping he wouldn’t notice.
"You suck at lying," Xander laughed, playing with my hair. "Come on, let's go get you some popsicles."
"Strawberry-flavoured ones of course," He whispered in a teasing manner, and I glared (tried to) at him.
"Oh! I remember ya two—you had a lil' girl with ya the last'ime," said the middle-aged man who sold popsicles.
His stand was still located at a corner of the park, tucked neatly beside a tree. It was quite deserted—except for an old lady sitting at a random bench opposite the popsicle stand.
"You have good memory, Sir," I smiled awkwardly, slightly embarrassed, and pleased that people noticed me.
Well, maybe not me—probably just the amazingly attractive person beside me.
"Yeah—saw ya two kissin' at tha bench ov' there," He jerked his thumb backwards while handing over two popsicles. "Hav' eyes at th' back o' mah head," He laughed.
The old lady seemed to have very sharp hearing.
Although she wasn't in earshot, I heard her walking stick drop—and she coughed twice.
I felt the heat rise to my cheeks rapidly, and the ice lolly in my hand seemed to start melting.
"U-Uwa um, we uh—we can explain that—I mean—well, we can't. Um I'm so, so sorry that you had to see that—it was very inappropriate in public—“
"Wad'ya sayin'?" The man laughed heartily, closing the ice box, "Saw 'nuff o' that every day! Hahaha, guys and gals makin' out at every corner! Yikes!"
Xander laughed along with him.
I looked at my shoes shyly. "I'm...I'm really sorry..."
"Dude! Cud'ya tell 'ur boyfrien'ta relax?" The man turned to Xander with an amused expression.
Again, there was a feeble cough from behind.
I turned around—only to see the lady shaking her head.
"He's just like that. But he's cute that way," Xander said, touching my hair.
"I'm just...really sorry you had to witness all that..." I said softly.
"Ahnnnaaw! Ya got me wrong kid," The man gestured for us to quickly eat the popsicles before they melt, "Was sayin' that those guys 'n gals kiss everywhere! What's wrong with a lil' peck on'a lips like what ya'll did?"
He raised an eyebrow in question, and I paused.
"U-Um but we're two guys...haha..."I laughed awkwardly.
"A guy 'n a gal, a guy n' a guy, a gal n' a gal, an alien n' an alien! They all the saame..." The man dragged his last word in an exaggerated manner, grinning.
I turned around when I heard an agitated voice from behind.
It was the old lady.
She was holding her walking stick in front of her as she sat down, her face red, looking in another direction—as if looking at us would make her blind.
The man adjusted his stance. "Wha' wassat Ma'm?" He frowned.
The woman continued to look elsewhere. "I said it was—is outrageous."
"What is?" Xander asked, and I could hear the sound of him breaking off a huge part of the popsicle with his teeth.
The old lady gritted her teeth, glaring at a random tree. "You know what it is—sinners like you. Ha—all of you!"
With that, she mumbled to herself, grabbed her walking stick furiously, and hobbled off.
I sighed, already used to hearing those words behind my back.
But Xander bit harshly into his soda-flavoured popsicle, staring at the old lady as she walked off.
"Xander...? What are you doing?" I asked tentatively.
The teenager beside me paused.
"Thinking how she would look like with her hair ripped off."
I face-palmed. "You! You can't do that—“
"Did you hear what she said?" He laughed bitterly. "She said an Angel like you would go to hell."
"Y-You're thinking too much...it's alright Xander, they can say what they want."
"Yeah kiddo, ya just ignore her, 'ats what ya gotta do," The man nodded.
I glanced at the strawberry-flavoured popsicle in my hand, and gave it a small lick.
It was the same as before.
That feeling I get when I'm with Xander.
The icy cold slid down my spine—turning into something warm and fuzzy.
I wondered if everyone felt the same way when they were with someone they loved.
And whether it was ever possible to really explain why you love someone.
Xander ordered me to wait under a tree, while he proceeded to the hot dog stand near the fountain.
I nodded, and felt a strange happiness fill my head in a dizzy manner.
Stretching my legs out on the grass, I sighed in content, feeling my eyelids grow heavier each second.
And somehow, that sensation felt very familiar.
Sleeping under a tree—with a certain warmth in the tips of my fingers.
Just as I leaned back against the bark of the tree, I heard unsteady footsteps approach me—and then the light padding of grass.
"Young man, wake up."
My eyes snapped open, and I quickly stood up upon seeing the old lady from before.
After straightening up in a second, I bowed low, greeting her.
The woman sighed, then gestured for me to sit. I complied, and helped her gently to the soft grass under the tree.
"I-Is something the matter?"
She thumped her walking stick on the ground beside, closing her eyes as if to pray.
"I wanted to warn you."
My head tilted to the side in confusion. "I...that is...very kind of you, Ma'm. What might it be about?"
The old lady glanced at me sideways, and I saw disapproval in her eyes.
"That boy," She jerked her head in Xander's direction, as he queued up at the hot dog stand. "He's better off without you."
I stared in shock.
"And you, better without him."
I blinked twice, trying to understand. "I...I-I'm not quite sure what you—“
She sighed, then narrowed her eyes.
"Boy, I'm telling you—
You can't give him happiness."
She looked me straight in the eye—and I daren't look away.
We were silent, and then I managed a strangled reply that sounded so soft, so fragile, so broken.
“I...I think we're happy—“
"You, maybe," She scoffed, and turned her gaze back to Xander. "Him? He can do better. A rich and beautiful girl—someone who can bear his children, and at the same time, bear his happiness."
"She can give him a family, a home, a pride, a reason to hold his head high—
What can you give?"
And blinked again.
And blinked, yet again—
Blinked back the tears that threatened to escape.
I thought I was so strong to be able to ignore her words.
Strong enough to face them.
Strong enough to face reality.
Strong enough to hold my head high, look the world in its eye—
Who was I kidding?
If Xander noticed my swollen eyes, he probably didn’t want to reopen the deep wound with words—and so he remained silent, only talked about things that made me smile and laugh.
We began our short journey home as the sun retired, darkness following its suit.
The thought of the bread I made during Home Economics crossed my mind, and I ravaged in my book bag for them.
“I-I made these for you just now,” I produced a paper bag containing two hot-crossed buns, “I’m sorry, it isn’t really ‘hot’ anymore but—“
He cut me off with a kiss.
“What are you talking about? They’re still warm,” Xander grinned, reaching into the bag.
“W-Wait, didn’t you eat the hotdogs just now?”
“Yeah, but I’m always hungry,” He winked in reply, and as he bit into the bun, I swear, he looked so, so happy—
And yet, his eyes shone—
Warm as fire,
Bright as its flames,
Deep as waters,
Like a boat without its sail,
In a night without stars.
The eyes of someone who was in love.
So full, yet—
My Beloved Bakers! <3 Thank goodness my laptop is okay and everything was retrieved :’) I am a happy cupcake. I will be updating every Saturday now, and you have no idea how thankful I am to every one of you who were patient.
There are so many things I want to say, but I guess I’ll just say it with my story ^^
Thank you for always voting and commenting—supporting me in your hearts, where ever you are.
I get a lot of comments that ask—where is this story taking place?
And to be honest—I believe that Baked Love has many mixed cultures from all across the world.
I don’t specifically state where it takes place, because I want every single one of you Bakers to feel connected to it, no matter where you are. :)
And also, I do think that it really doesn’t matter where Baked Love takes place—just like it doesn’t matter where or when Love comes.
When it comes, it just comes.
And there’s no stopping it.
P.S Since Christmas is coming, I checked out who was on the ‘Naughty’ and ‘Nice’ list for most of the characters in Baked Love! ^0^/ It’s on my tumblr (HisAngelChip) so if you’re interested, check it out~