I quickly turned the corner, not paying attention until I heard the metal on metal collision.
“Fuck,” I swore as I made eye contact with the person who I had literally run into. I looked up just in time to see a specialty cake from the store’s bakery topple off of the stack of groceries it was meticulously stacked upon, and onto the floor.
“Oh God. I am so sorry,” I quickly said. “Please tell me that’s just a basic cake that has no specific purpose.”
“I could, but it would be a lie,” he said as he bent down and picked up the container. The cake was entirely smashed against the plastic lid; there was no way to save it. “I had it specially ordered for my wife’s fifty-fifth birthday party.”
“I’m so sorry,” I apologized with full sincerity. “Oh, I know, come with me. I will totally pay for a new cake and I don’t care if I have to pay extra to have it rushed.”
I quickly turned my cart around, only briefly glancing to make sure that he was following me. I swerved through customers, paying them no mind, focused solely on getting to the bakery counter as fast as I could. Finally I reached the counter, the counter that was decorated and adorned with beautiful cakes aplenty. “I need to get a cake,” I said with authority.
“Okay,” the young man behind the counter said. I tapped my foot impatiently as the kid, who looked no older than seventeen scoured the area for what I assume was the order forms. “What kinda cake do you want?” Seriously kid, act as though you at least kind of like your job. Was it really only five years ago that I was his age?
“I’ll make this real easy for you. Look through the orders that got picked up today, find… Oh, I’m sorry, what was your name?” I asked turning my attention from the kid behind the counter to the salt and pepper haired man next to me.
“Ian,” he answered. “The order is under Ian Greene.”
“Okay, look through the orders that were picked up today and find Ian Greene’s cake. I want that exact cake.”
He began flipping through the receipts until he found the correct order. “You want it exactly the same?” I nodded my head in reply. “When do you want to pick it up?”
“As soon as possible. I am trying to replace this cake that is now ruined.” As if to prove my point, I picked up the container with the smashed cake and put it on the counter.
“It will be ready Thursday,” he said transferring the information onto a new order form.
“Whoa whoa whoa Mark,” I said reading his nametag.
“I need that cake like today. It’s for a very important lady’s birthday party. I’ll pay the fee for a rush order or whatever.”
“The lady who makes the cakes isn’t here,” Mark replied.
“Fuck,” I swore out loud. “Is there any way you can help me? I need a cake. Can I have one of these? Which one do you think your wife will like, Ian?” I gestured to the beautifully decorated cakes that were on top of the counter.
“Those aren’t real cakes,” Ian said softly, almost as though he didn’t want me to hear him.
“They are just Styrofoam with the icing on them.”