My eyes instantly shoot open when a heavy weight falls onto my stomach, causing me to feel an intensely sharp pain. "Ow," I moan as I force my eyes to open, feeling the ache in them willing me to shut them again and fall back into my peaceful sleep. It's not very surprising to me to see my best friend and roommate, Amelia, laying beside me in my bed, her blue eyes bright and her smile wide, clearly pleased with herself for being up before me, as she almost never is. Normally, I have to drag her out of bed and basically get her ready myself to go to our jobs at the bakery.
I met Amelia when I first moved to Los Angeles. It's a really, really big city, so meeting the girl who is basically my best friend in the world was extremely unlikely to happen, which I can say for a lot of things in my life. Sometimes, the best things in life come from unexpected events, which could probably be the motto for my life.
I moved from an extremely small town in Pennsylvania after my parents died in a mass shooting at their work not too far from the city. They left everything that they had to me, their only daughter. I sold the house that I grew up in and used the money to buy an apartment here, to start a new life away from the bad memories I now had associated in the small town world I was accustomed to. The apartment is spacious and very close to the city center, so it shouldn't be cheap, but it also happens to be in the midst of a bad neighborhood well-known for drug interactions. Simply, there is no real danger here, but it's not a great place to raise a family, or anything like that. Luckily for me, I had no family and needed a cheap apartment.
I was planning to hang up flyers to find a roommate on telephone poles and other random places throughout the city. I just happened to get into a taxi where the driver was also new to the city and couldn't find any other job. He got lost and I told him just to drop me off where we were. Amelia's mother is an outstanding baker and owns one of the largest cake selling companies in LA, which just happens to be the bakery that I wandered into, frustrated and tired, on that fateful day. Amelia was the girl who was waiting on me and she noticed the roommate flyers in my hand. She had mentioned how she wanted out of her cramped room that she shared with her two sisters and the rest is history. I started working at the bakery not too long after. For now, it's not the world's greatest job, but it pays the rent each month and we never have a shortage of food, courtesy of Amelia's family.
"It's time to get up," Amelia screams, causing my ears to hurt for a moment. "We have that party tomorrow night and there is a shit ton of work to be done at the bakery," she explains.
"What needs done?" I mumble, wishing that I could have only gotten ten more minutes of sleep.
She starts counting on her fingers what all needs to be done. "Fourteen hundred cupcakes and an eight tier celebration cake need made, plus decorated."
My eyes are wide open hearing this. "I have to decorate those all?" I moved to Los Angeles with the hope of getting some of my artwork into the huge name galleries here. Unfortunately, many of them told me that they weren't interested in showing artists whose names are not already at the top. Luckily, Ace's Cakes needed another hand for decorating, and I seemed perfect for the job. There had previously been two decorators at the bakery- myself and Gina. But Gina quit last week because God knows why. This left me with all of the decorating. Not only did we have this extremely large order for some celebrity party, but we also have regular orders and the cakes and cupcakes that we put out on the shelf, fresh each day.
"Sounds like you're in for a long day," Amelia says. "I'll totally hang out with you and keep you company."
I glance at the time on my phone. It's currently seven and the bakery opens at nine, so I need to be there in twenty minutes to have everything decorated for the showcase before opening. Saturday mornings are our busiest time of the week, so usually there are extras made, which is just more that I have to do.
Nearly two hours later, I am sitting in the kitchen of the bakery, piping icing as quickly as I can onto the tops of nearly two hundred cupcakes. I had finished our array of "Happy Birthday" and "Happy Anniversary" cakes and handed them off to Rob, Amelia's eldest brother, to set out for the day.
"Did you see the instructions for the cakes for that party?" Rob asks from behind me, startling me slightly. He's very tall and dark, and has similar features to Amelia. I've always gotten the sense that he's got a crush on me, but he's never said anything about it, which I've always been thankful for.
I shake my head while handing him the final tray of cupcakes. "Looks rough. You're not going to have a fun day." I roll my eyes and huff, pulling at my hair tie to tighten my ponytail. When I finally take a look at the order, I realize that I better start icing immediately.
I'm about done with four hundred cupcakes- three different colors of icing, all shaped into various types of flowers- when Amelia bounces into the backroom without a care in the world. She smiles as she approaches me. "Did you know that I love you, Ms. Billie?" Her eyes are wide and her smile devious.
"Whatever it is that you want," I say, already irritated, "the answer is already no."
"Okay, hear me out first, Billie," she says, whining.
"Jonathan asked me out!" she exclaims, which makes me more interested.
"That cute guy who comes in everyday? I didn't know his name is Jonathan. That's kind of an ugly name," I say, in my "disinterested" voice, as I'm often told it is monotone and I don't ever sound like I care about anything.
"It's perfect," she snaps, then turns back to her dreamy self, "He asked me out on a date."
"So what do you need from me?" I ask, throwing a cupcake away that I screwed up. "I mean, I just don't know what you want me to do."
"He asked me out for tomorrow," she says, quietly.
Instantly, I know what she wants. "No," I say, my voice flatter than normal. "I hate catering."
She begins to whine, again, "But it's for me. I already told him yes!"
With my movements sharp, I turn to face her, my nostrils flaring and my eyes narrowed. Her face is like that of a puppy, completely aware that she had done something bad, but innocent looking nonetheless. "Fine, but I'm totally not talking to you for a week. And you have to stay here until I'm done with these after we close."
She huffs, but knows that this is not an unreasonable request, and mumbles a "sorry" before exiting back to the front room to sell more cakes, while I sigh and continue to frost cupcakes. Before she exits, though, I holler, "I do love you!" and she turns around and smiles at me, and she knows that everything is okay. After all, she's pretty much my soulmate in friend form.
At a quarter after nine, I am completely finished with the cake and cupcakes, and Sallia, Amelia's mom, has packed everything up, prepared to be delivered tomorrow at six o'clock. The party starts at seven, and whoever this celebrity girl group- Fifth Harmony, I think?- is, requested that all food be at the venue at six.
"Thank you again so much," Amelia says as we sit in her parents' living room, having a drink of wine before heading home.
"You're too good of a friend to her," Sallia says, shaking her head in disapproval of Amelia's inability to commit. Her Brazilian accent is very strong, despite having lived in America for many years. I take another sip of my wine and say, "She's taking my counter shift tomorrow. I'm only coming in to decorate the morning cakes, and then I'm leaving."
"You'll be here at five-thirty tomorrow evening, though, right?" Sallia questions and I nod my head, indicating that I will be attending the event with her.
Amelia and I head home soon after that, and I quickly crawl into bed, not even thinking about showering. Amelia is bounding about throughout the living room, playing the playlist that she always plays when she's happy, and I am truly happy for her. Her and Jonathan have been flirting for months, now, and he finally had asked her out. Of course I couldn't let her down, no matter how much I have always hated having to interact with other people.