I get up to my alarm ringing at the wee hour of five in the morning. Turning the shouting timepiece off, I stretch my hands above my head; a yawn escaping my mouth. The warmth of my blankets feels so better than the cold walls of my bathroom, but I cannot laze around anymore. I have to get freshened up and start with the blue berry cookies and chocolate truffles. The thought of the large smile on Theo's face when he sees his favourite treats has me energized instantly. My boy loves sweets just like his father.
The thought of that man leaves a gaping hole in my heart. There is not a single day that I spend without thinking of him. My son doesn't let me do that. He is just three but is already showing so many of his traits that are similar to his father. Not only physically, but he has the exact same personality. I often find myself thinking how their relationship would have been if we were still together.
Not allowing myself to think any further, I head over to the bathroom to get ready for the day. My past is my past and that is where it should be.
Thirty minutes later, I am standing in my kitchen with my checkered apron on. I pull out the cocoa powder, sugar and condensed milk. I like to add a bit of condensed milk to my truffles, because it adds a different taste to it.
Once my truffle mixture is in the freezer, I get to work at the cookies.
I love cooking. It is the thing that has helped me during my desperate times. I don't know whether it is an inherent quality or not, I never saw my parents. But if the long evenings spent baking different treats with Mother Linda and my two year cooking job is taken into consideration, then I really have worked hard on my culinary skills. I never went to college, so I don't have a degree but my experience always comes in handy. It landed me my current job as the Head chef at Dine Divine.
I don't realize how time passes with these thoughts going on in my mind and soon I am laying out the second batch of blueberry cookies.
It is seven thirty now which means I have to wake Theo up.
Laying my apron down on the kitchen chair, I enter the dimly lit room. Theo doesn't like to sleep in total darkness. Stepping into the blue colored room, I see my son snuggled up with his panda soft toy. I move towards the windows and strap the curtains with the drapes, letting the sunlight enter the room. Moving to sit beside Theo who has pushed his head deeper into his pillow. Pulling the covers back I run my fingers through his thick brown hair.
"Theo, baby get up. Its wakey time."
"Nnghhh." I hear a whiny no.
"We will be late baby. You don't want to go Gran Linda's house? She will be so upset if she finds out that you are not coming and then think about Tyler. He will be so sad."
Hearing Tyler's name, Theo instantly turns to me with wide eyes.
"No. I will not make Tyty sad. Let us hurry up or he will not play with me."
Theo instantly gets up and I pull him into my arms, placing a kiss on his cheek.
"Good morning baby. Won't you give mama a big kiss?"
"Good morning mama. I love you." Theo says all groggy from sleep as he gives my cheek a bigggg kiss from sleep.
"I love you too my sweet boy. Lets get you all freshened up."
I stand up while Theo continues to sleep with his head on my shoulder. Taking him to the kitchen I give him his Minions glass filled with warm water. Every morning I make him drink warm water because it helps in keeping his tummy fit.
After he has finished up with his water we head to the bathroom, again with Theo traveling by air.
Once he has pooped we work on brushing his teeth.
Theo is standing on his stool with his shirt off. He never likes to wear anything on the top and takes it off whenever he gets the chance.
Currently Theo is scaring me by making roaring noises while having the foam spread all around his mouth, so I go with him and act scared.
"No, no. Am so scared. Ahh!" I put my hands up and cover my face.
"Mama don't scare. It is Theo. See." He says as he washes his mouth off and I slowly open my eyes and smile at him.
"Oh! You are Theo. I thought it was a monster who had come to eat me up." I act scared.
"No mumma. It is Theo."
He gives me a kiss and holds my face with both of his hands.
"See. I give you kissy."
This makes my heart melt. My sweet boy. He knows his mumma doesn't kiss any boy other than him and so this is his way of proving that it is, indeed; him.
After all the hustle of brushing and keeping only pants on, we are finally at our breakfast table. I seat Theo in his chair and quickly start preparing a sandwich for him.
But unfortunately, Theo has caught sight of the blueberry cookies that were cooling off on the other counter.
"Mumma. Theo want cookie." He exclaims.
"No baby. First breakfast, then cookie."
"No. I eat cookie for breakfast."
"No cookie for breakfast Theo. It is not healthy. You will eat your sandwich first and only then will you have a cookie." I say sternly, which causes a pout to form on Theo's face. He gives me his best puppy eyes which I, with severe effort; ignore. Honestly, when he makes that face it is very difficult to say no to him, but it has to be done.
Theo begrudgingly starts eating the sandwich that I have made for him. He keeps on glancing at the cookies which I are cooling off, occasionally.
I am not an over-strict parent, but Theo has a habit of eating junk foods between his meals and then he doesn't eat when it is actually time for eating. So I have to be stern sometimes.
After I see that he has almost finished his sandwich, I place a cookie in his plate. This instantly makes him happy as he grins brightly, merrily chomping on his favourite cookie.
I smile down at my little cookie monster and quickly place a kiss on his head. My son is my light. The only reason I am still living and working hard to attain an even better lifestyle, so that he doesn't have to worry about anything.
Growing up in an orphanage, I never knew what luxury was. Even after that I was never able to get into a college as I had to work hard to survive. The only time I experienced lavish living was when Theo's father was in my life. Those were some of the most beautiful moments of my life. Being in love is a beautiful feeling, but it is really not for me. Even my mother didn't love me enough to keep me with her for even a day. I was left on the steps of the orphanage, only a day old with a blanket wrapped around me and paper that had my name written on it.
Now, it is only Theo and me and it is staying like that. My baby loves me with all his little heart and I shower all the loving feelings in my heart on him. We are a small and happy family.
After Theo has finished eating the second cookie that I gave him due to his cuteness, I take him to the bathroom. He has his face smeared with mayonnaise and cookie crumbs and his hands are also dirty. After giving him a bath we head to the most serious task.
Theo likes to choose his clothes on his own. My boy is very serious about his appearances and has a huge collection of clothes.
After getting him ready, I give him his playstation and proceed to finish my work.
Quickly taking out the chocolate truffles from the refrigerator, I shape and dust them with chocolate powder. After packing the cookies and truffles for the bakery and for Linda separately, I proceeded to change my clothes.
Before joining Dine Divine, I worked in Linda's bakery. Now it is operated by Emily, Linda's granddaughter but I still make some treats for them as it helps them with some money. Linda took me in when I was at my most desperate time, and I will never forget that. It is because of her that I was able to give birth to Theo safely. Today also we are heading to her home where I will leave Theo and then go to my job. Tyler is Linda's grandson and Theo's bestfriend.
I put on my jeans and a flowy blouse and put my hair into a high ponytail. Then, I quickly put on my flat sandals and go to get Theo. After he has his shoes on, I puck up the bag with the baked goods and Theo's clothes bag which I had prepared previously. Grabbing my car keys in the other hand, we are out the door.
Twenty minutes into driving and I am parking the car in front of Linda's quaint country home.
Theo ran to the door while I got the baked goods from the back.
The door opened to reveal Linda dressed in her jean slacks and floral top, with a bandana on her head.
"Oh my little tiger is here! I missed you so much." She says while bending down to pick her tiger in her arms.
"Hello Grandma. I miss you too." Theo says while kissing Linda's cheek.
"My sweet boy. C'mon inside, Tyty is waiting for you." Hearing this Theo runs inside, shouting 'Tyty! I coming'.
Linda rises and smiles at me while spreading her arms.
"Come here my child." She says, her eyes holding the motherly love that her actions convey.
I walked straight into her arms, hugging her the best I could with the bags in my hand.
"How are you faring my child? It's been so long since we spent time together."
"I know Linda. But between my job and Theo, it gets so busy that sometimes I don't even get time for myself." I say while stepping inside and letting Linda close the door.
"You need to stop overworking yourself sweetheart. I know you have responsibilities but you should enjoy life once in a while." Linda admonishes me.
"I know Linda, but I love my work. It gives me joy to make people happy by making their bellies happy. As far as Theo goes, I can never be tired with my boy." I say smiling as I see Theo and Tyler run around in the house.
After talking some more with Linda, I leave for work.
I enter from the back as always, he smell of cleaners and disinfectants greeting me. I go straight to the locker room and change into my work clothes. It includes a white chef coat and black pants. It does come with a signature chef hat but I don't wear that as it feels very irritating to manage it.
Once I am changed, I head to the kitchen and I am instantly overwhelmed with the smell of tomatoes and herbs.
"I can't get enough of this sauce Kathy. How do you do it?" I ask my oldest co-worker who is preparing our famous tomato sauce for the pizzas.
"You know Eve, it's all about the patience." She answers, moving her spatula around and start working on some pizza dough.
"That's what you always say. Well, good morning."
"Good morning to you too Eve. How's Theo doing?" She asks me.
"Theo's doing great. Out for a day at Linda's."
Just as I say this, Richard; the owner of our restaurant enters the kitchen.
"Good morning ladies. How are you faring this day?" He asks in a fake British accent. Richard is a very good boss and person. He is Linda's son, Tyler's dad. He always treats all his employees nicely, going to the length of shooing away rude customers for them. After losing his wife, he has thrown himself into his business and works equally hard as any of us. He has not lost his goofiness as his wife wanted him to be happy after her death, he is fulfilling her wish and also being a wonderful dad to Tyler.
"We are fine, my Lord. Hope your majesty is doing good?" I ask him bowing my head slightly.
Kathy laughs at our little back and forth and time passes like that as we prepare certsin pre-made items like dough and sauces. Soon all the workers are in and the work is in full swing. The day goes on with us attending to a hefty amount of customers. The place is so crowded today that even we have started taking turns in waiting the tables as the servers are having a hard time.
Soon it is my turn and I put my apron down and take the notepad and paper and head out.
"Hey Eve! Can you please attend to table nine, I'm a bit stuck here." Macy, one of the servers ask and I rush to get there.
Approaching the table where with a man and a woman sitting in it, I quickly open my notebook to take their order.
"What would you like to have today, sir?" I ask as I raise my head to look into a very familiar pair of blue-grey eyes. The eyes that make my heart skip beats and my face turn pale.