How Many Cookies Does It Take to Fill a Home?
Mom always wanted to be a baker—open up her own bakery on a small-town street corner, the perfect setting for a Hallmark movie. Baking was her expression, her pastime, her way to deal with the troubles of life. There were always dozens of chocolate chip scones stacked on top of each other miles high filling the whole house with a baked sugar-sweet smell. The perfect way to wake up on a Saturday morning, or warm snickerdoodles on a cold and bleak Sunday afternoon. The house always smelled of baked goods. I preferred it that way.
My sister and I loved the holiday times especially because that meant mom would spend her free time in the kitchen dedicating hours and hours baking, icing, and glazing. Our house would be filled to the brim with sweet treats and baked goods. Everyone came over to try mom’s baking. I mean, I couldn’t blame them; she did have the best chocolate chip cookie recipe, and she would always make cinnamon roasted pecans. Those were a fan favorite.
“Ms. McIntyre, these cookies are so delicious.” My friend Mitchell said while frantically packing away all the cookies set out on the table into a Tupperware container to take home.
“Here, take another container so you can bring some home for your parents.”
My sister and I would always sneak downstairs in the middle of the night, me for more roasted pecans, her, for mom’s lady locks. “The best late-night snack around,” according to her, but she would eat lady locks whenever wherever. That’s why when mom made lady locks she had to make about three dozen especially if she wanted to give some to her friends or co workers. Mom always had to separate what we can eat and what she’s giving to others; My sister and I would definitely eat everything.
While baking seemed to be what made her happy, sometimes I would find her in the kitchen covered in so much buttercream frosting as if it could take away the pain, as if the frostings sweetness could take away the sourness of life. She was trying to put her life back together after it was forcefully and unwillingly torn down; after love turned its back on her and forced her to hand over divorce papers. After her husband betrayed her and left her to question everything about love and a faithful relationship. After life told her to move, get out, and start somewhere new and all alone to raise two kids. Help always seemed so far away. So, maybe she thought if she made more cinnamon rolls or snickerdoodles than our table could hold it would fix something inside of her. Maybe the frosting would be the glue to hold her broken pieces together. Or maybe the sugar sweetness of her bake goods would mask the sour hand she had been dealt. The sour hand she has been forced to live with and make do.
It’s hard to imagine mom ever being upset. She was the buttercream frosting glue that held our family together. She was always there, always ready to put my needs before hers, and while I will never stop appreciating everything she has done for me, I wish she would chase after her dreams and go after what she wants. While I know she does not regret much in life and she says she wouldn’t do anything differently, I think a small subconscious part of her would. A small part of her would open up her own bakery or even apply to culinary school.
Mom always wanted to be a baker—open up her own bakery on a small-town street corner, but she gave up that dream because everyone else gave up on her too, and what she going to do with two kids? Finish icing a cupcake while her kids were screaming in the next room? No. She had to step up and be what a parent should be. So, she did what any mother would do, she tucked away her fantasy into the deepest darkest corners of her mind, and she raised her family.
She raised her family on snickerdoodles and lady locks.
I Answered Satan’s Craigslist Ad
“It sounded like a good idea, but everyone told me it wasn’t safe and that he would end up killing me, blah, blah, blah. So, I did the only logical thing and ignored all the warnings. And moved in with some guy I found online.”
“Why would you still choose to move in when everyone suggested otherwise?” Dr. Klopp asks me.
“The rent was cheap, the apartment was nice, he was nice. And I was frantically trying to find somewhere to live while I have my internship. It wasn’t until two months later that things started to get freaky.”
“Freaky?” she gives me look telling me to explain.
“Well…it started out small. He would get mad if I was up past 3am which isn’t often, but if I can’t sleep, I study for my online classes. I can’t have more than one person over at a time, I can’t use anything that’s his. He’s really weird about that, but it gets worse.” I say while watching her make a list of all the things psychos do.
“Just remember you asked for this.”
“Liv! Are you home?” I heard Justin shout. I quickly picked everything up off my floor and threw all the trash away that was lying around.
“In my room!” I scrambled to open my laptop and pretended I was answering emails.
I could hear his loud footsteps as he made his way through the apartment. He knocked on the door even though it was open. “There’s still dishes in the sink,” was the first thing he said.
I nodded. “I know, I got home thirty minutes ago and haven’t had the chance to do them.” “But you had thirty minutes since you got home.”
I didn’t say anything as I brushed past him to do the damn dishes. “How long have they been there?”
I rolled my eyes. Here we go again. “Since this morning, Justin. I rinsed them out and set them in here because I didn’t have time before my internship to do them.” I grabbed the soap and started scrubbing.
He didn’t say anything as he stared at me washing and scrubbing and rinsing. He did that often; it’s like it turned him on to see me clean. It was disturbing to say the least.
“MaryAnn is coming over later,” he said after I was done washing.
I internally groaned. Oh no, not that bitch. “Great.”
“Remember to stay in your room.” Trust me, I will, I thought to myself, but I just nodded at him and plopped down on the couch while he made dinner.
I tried to enjoy the latest episode of Game of Thrones since I was only allowed two hours of TV time a day. Another one of his weird rules. I was barely at the apartment so it never bothered me. Plus, I had a laptop to watch whatever and whenever I wanted.
Then there was a knock at the door. “I’ll get it.” Justin opened the door and in walked MaryAnn. I thought she wouldn’t be here until later?
They didn’t say anything to each other as they came over into the living room. She was carrying a black garbage bag that smelled so foul and nasty it made my eyes water. Justin was holding newspapers, scissors, knives, and a giant bowl.
What is this, some sort of sacrifice?
“Olivia, do you mind?” Justin said while trying to casually nod towards my room.
“Got it, but I have to say I’m a little offended I never get to partake in the sacrificing of small woodland creatures in the middle of our living room,” I said only joking, but neither one of them laughed. Tough Crowd.
I locked my room door and continued Game of Thrones.
It was about two hours later when I heard a knock on my door. Justin was standing there with a very unsettling expression on his face. “Liv, I need you out here for something.”
“For what?” I asked trying to roll my eyes.
“Something,” he said as he walked back down the hall.
I slowly followed him. It was dark except for the few candles that were lit. MaryAnn was mixing something in a bowl and Justin was pointing to a giant red pentagram painted on the hardwood where our rug used to be.
“What the- I am not paying to fix that.”
“Liv, you’ve been the best roommate which is why I think it’s going to work this time.” He gripped my arm and led me to the center of the circle.
“So…your roommate tried to sacrifice you to Satan?” Dr. Klopp asks me. I nod. “Basically.”
She writes something down in her notepad. “Is there anything else you want to say about that?”
“Don’t answer roommate ads online.”
“That’s all?” she asks, prodding for more.
I shrug. “Always do a background check on any potential internet roommate. There’s a lot of creeps out there, and I’m not about to make the same mistake twice.”