A Slice of Cake | Quick Piece

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I stared at the slice of cake in front of me, feeling tears starting to brim. Throughout my life, cake has always been some sort of indication in my life whether it was birthdays, graduation or weddings. Sometimes my friends and I liked to get cake because we finally realized that we didn’t need any specific occasion to get cake, so we would make constant trips to the bakery to try out their newest cake. Our stresses from life would melt away as we took our first bite of German chocolate cake or decadent lemon angel food cake. The vanilla wafted to me, instantly bringing back memories of when times were simpler.
When I was little, I loved desert and whenever I went to my grandmother’s house, she would make me cake. My favorite cake would be classic yellow cake with chocolate frosting. My grandmother would give me two slices of cake and a tall glass of cold milk and she would sit across from me and eat cake with me as we looked out the window, keeping watch for the neighbor’s cat. “Look! There she is.” my grandmother remarked. I quickly turned my head and sprayed crumbs everywhere. We watched the cat chase squirrels as we laughed hysterically. A couple months later, I noticed that I hadn’t been going to my grandmother’s house in a while. “Mom? How come we’re not going to grandma’s house anymore?” I asked. I really missed her cake. My mom never answered my question until I found out that my mom and my grandmother had an argument and my grandmother never wanted to see her again. I sighed as I took a bite of the cake. The rich chocolate would usually take away my stress, but this time it reminded me of more pain.
In middle school, all of my friends started to realize that they had some authority now that they were twelve. I would constantly hear my friends talking about how they got in a fight with either their siblings or their parents. It seemed like everything they did was right and the world was against them for some reason. We always had terrible lunches from soggy burgers to pizza that was too greasy, but what redeemed it and what made us buy it was the cake that came along with it. It was a light chiffon cake with simple whipped cream and strawberries decorating the top. My friends and I would always try and trick the lunch servers to try and give us another slice of cake, but it would never work. The lunch servers would bat her eyes and wag her finger at us. One day, my friends were bored out of their minds and decided to pick on a girl who always sat by herself during lunch. She was a little chubby, but to me it wasn’t a big deal except it was exactly what my friends were looking for. “Hey Luanne, how many slices of cake did you have?” Mike teased, squeezing himself next to her. “I bet you that Luanne already ate a pan of cake.” Rob said while sneering. Luanne put her fork down and looked down at the table, her hands trembling. “Yeah, she’s as big as a whale!” Mike said. Rob started to laugh, “A whale that loves cake!” My friends continued to tease Luanne until tears silently rolled down her cheeks. I would never forget the look she gave me, eyes full of tears and anger as she saw me stand in silence, too cowardice to stand up for something so obviously wrong.
I was already halfway through my slice of cake and I started to shudder from all the nostalgia. As I noted the coffee in the cake, I started to think of my friend, Lisa.
Lisa introduced me to the notion of having cake whenever I felt like it. In college, we were studying for our finals when she suddenly looked up and said, “Hey Cameron, wanna get some cake?” I remember giving her a confused look and she stifled her laugh, but I could feel her quivering from across the table. “Cam, you can get cake whenever you want. It doesn’t have to be for any special occasion.,” she said and it was like someone gave me the answer to the meaning of life. Immediately, I started packing up my stuff and we jumped into her little passenger car and headed to the nearby grocery store. With my new mentality, I browsed the pastries and saw new opportunities pop up in front of me. Every time I thought I was settled on what I wanted to get, Lisa would whisper facts about each cake, making me second guess my decision. Thirty minutes later, we were back in the library, but with cake. We savored each bite of the mille-feuille, each layer melting in our mouths. The following week, I found out that Lisa was transferring schools. She didn’t want to tell me because she wanted to experience every moment with me as wholesome as possible. On the last day we had together, we picked a cake recipe and made it, our sadness an extra ingredient in the batter. When we tasted it, we erupted into tears and started blabbering about good memories we had. After she moved away, we talked for a little but sooner than later, we lost touch. It was painful when I realized what had happened, but by that time, it was already too late.
I stared at my empty plate littered with crumbs as these memories passed by. It almost was like the crumbs represented my life, leftovers of good moments and as a whole, it was good and decadent even though things had to be lost.

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One thought on “A Slice of Cake | Quick Piece

  1. Pingback: A Slice of Cake | Quick Piece Breakdown | Perpetual Ponderings of Alice Chen

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