This Wretched Heart

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Epilogue

'How big, how blue, how beautiful' Florence And The Machine

Jane

The bell tinkles over the door and I’m waiting with a smile on my face to greet our new customer.

‘ I’ll have one of your famous pumpkin cookies’ The man smiles at me and winks and I feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

‘ Sure no problem, we’ve just cooked up a new batch I’ll go get you some’.

The kitchen is laden with all kinds of yummy smells and Lara is deep in concentration as I enter. She’s trying to ice some cupcakes and although they look fine to me I know she won’t be happy until they’re perfect. She told me that ‘decor’ wasn’t her forte when I asked her to open the bakery with me but I was sure that this would just be a detail.

‘ Your baking will make up for that I told her , besides rustic is in’. I still can’t believe she said yes. I suppose it wasn’t as if she had that many choices at the time, well that’s how she saw it, at least.

‘ Hey Lara have we got any pumpkin cookies here?’ I laugh as she looks up because she has flour on her nose.

‘ We do indeed. I just took them out of the oven’. She’s beaming and I haven’t seen her so happy in such a long time. It was an enormous shock to me when Sam’s mother rang and told me about his terrible accident. I cried all day and wanted so badly to ring Lara but it had been too long and I didn’t really know what was going on between them. I wasn’t angry with either of them, I knew he had just been my rebound. Besides didn’t want to cause trouble for her and Peter. When I saw her sitting beside Sam’s parents at the funeral, I assumed she and Peter were over. It wasn’t until months later when I finally called her that I heard the full story. Flabbergasted is an understatement . An ‘open relationship’? Lara ? She had smiled a little at my surprise.

‘ Please don’t judge’ She had pleaded with me.

‘ Are you kidding ? I think it’s fucking fabulous darling. How evolved of you both’. I couldn’t believe that my jealous friend had been in a threesome of pretty tame sorts. What would Dillon have said if I had suggested any such thing. We might still be together. Not!

She told me then that Peter and she had split up and that she was staying with Sam’s parents because she had still not resolved things with her dad.

‘ Peter just couldn’t deal with it all you know ?’.Of course I understood where he was coming from, poor guy, he was, only human after all. They weren’t on bad terms but they just needed the time apart. I had asked her then to start the business with me. She was no longer working and her social welfare was barely enough to get by on as she tried to contribute rent to Sam’s parents. They wouldn’t take it but she insisted.

‘ But I don’t have any capital’ She hadn’t been a great saver and although she and Peter were going to sell the house at some stage they knew it would probably take a while in this economy.

‘ Don’t be ridiculous . You know I’m loaded. I’ll be the face of the bakery but I need your skills. Common it’ll be fun’. I knew she wouldn’t say no especially now .. especially.The bell rings again and I go out to give the guy his cookies because someone else has come in.

‘ Thanks miss’ He winks again and I think I might at some point meet my new husband right here.

‘ Hey Jane’ It’s Margaret at the door and she comes in with a kind of stressed look on her face.

‘ Is Lara free’.

Lara must have heard us talking because she’s come out wiping her floury hands on her apron.

‘ Hey Margaret. Is everything ok ?’ Her forehead is all crinkled but she always manages to look beautiful.

‘ Oh fine darling just wanted to ask you a quick question’ Just then the bell over the door rings again and Denis backs his way in the door and he’s wearing one of those baby carrier things. I rush over and hold the door as he turns to us with a big smile on his face.

‘ Sorry to annoy you ladies but Lara what time is this fella due his bottle again?’ He hands the little bundle over to Lara and we’re all looking down now at the cutest baby I have ever seen with eyes so blue, she had to call him Sam.


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