Daysong Graphics
Sweet As Pie

He’d been coming into the bakery every day for a week now, including Sunday, when it was open for only part of the morning, before most churches began their services. He always ordered a slice of crumb cake and a coffee—“sweet and light,” both extra sugar and extra cream. Though not the only regular customer at the bakery, I’d begun to look forward to seeing him the most. He acted so polite toward the other customers and thoughtful to us bakery workers that there were times I shook my head, wondering if he could possibly be for real.

When he approached me at the counter that Wednesday morning, I headed straight for the crumb cake in the display case. But he halted me with a raised hand. “Actually, before I get my usual, I’d like to place a special order, if I may.”

“Sure.” I grabbed an order pad and pen. “What would you like?”

“Well, I was thinking of a peach pie, but it’s for a birthday. Is there any way you could write ‘Happy Birthday, Betsy’ in icing on the top crust? I know that sounds kind of weird.”

“It’s doable.” I silently berated myself for ever thinking flirtatious thoughts about this too-good-to-be-true guy. Well, now I knew why that was the case: Betsy must be his girlfriend, or else he was married, though he didn’t wear a ring—because, yes, okay, I’ll admit I had already checked that. “Whose name shall I put on this order?”

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New Year, New Possibilities

“Have you ever wished you could go back and change an event in your past?” Corey cocked his eyebrow.

Jerry thumped the glass onto the soft wood counter, years of patrons’ use dulling its once shiny veneer. “Sure I do,” he dragged out his words, winking at the young man. “Like needing to ask ya’ for your ID when all you wanted was a soda.” Jerry chuckled and moved down the counter, collecting empty bottles and glasses.

The kid sipped his soda. He sighed and ran his fingers through his buzzed hair. “Awfully quiet in here for New Year’s Eve.”

Jerry’s jovial smiled slipped to a frown. Sadness seeped through his soul as he glanced around the poorly lit room. How bleak it must look through the eyes of the uniformed young man on the stool. That was the way of business.

“Yup, it is. Ever since that new place uptown opened . . . well, let’s just say I’ve got a lot more time to watch the sports channels.”

Corey nodded at several signs hanging over the bar. “I’m sure they have something to do with how slow business is. How can you stay open with that kind of policy?”

Jerry shrugged. The two-drink limit signs throughout the place had been his way to soothe his conscious when he first opened. Though he’d given up drinking, he couldn’t quite seem to keep away from it.

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