#Bonus 4: Missing Ingredients
Anxiety was bubbling its way up in my chest as I stared down at the phone in my hand.
Once again, the attempt to call my mother proved to be futile.
I couldn’t even count how many times I had tried calling her over the past three weeks, all of which had gone unanswered. This time, however, it even went straight to voicemail; either she had hung up when she saw my name pop up on the screen, or her phone was officially shut off.
“Don’t worry, Nina,” Enzo said, wrapping his strong arms around me from behind as he planted a kiss on the top of my head. We were standing in the kitchen; our beautiful sage green kitchen. “She probably just hasn’t switched to an international number yet. She’ll call you soon; I can feel it.” I nodded and turned around in Enzo’s arms, inhaling his scent and letting his warmth emanate through me as I buried my face in his chest.
“You’re probably right,” I said quietly. “I just wish that she could be here in time for the wedding. Maybe we should .” I bit my lip, stopping myself from saying what I had said a million times over the past few weeks; that we should put the wedding off until I could get in touch with her.
“Don’t even say it,” Enzo replied. ” Trust me, Nina. She’ll be there.”
“You really think so?” I asked, looking
up to meet his soft brown gaze. “You 4 think she’ll show up at the wedding?”
Enzo nodded and shot me a gentle smile. I felt my cheeks tinge pink as he planted a gentle kiss on my lips before he walked off to the dining room.
With the wedding imminent, her silence was deafening. I was desperate silence was deafening. I was desperate to hear her voice, to share the details of our preparations, our excitement.
One such preparation was our
upcoming engagement dinner. Enzo and I had been working tirelessly to transform our once drab, gray house into a warm, inviting home.
The renovations had made the house brighter, more comfortable, and it was filled with anticipation for the celebration.
It was the eve of the party, and we were in the midst of finishing up the final touches on our house. All that was left was to finish putting together some furniture that we had purchased, and then this house would finally become our home.
I stood there in the kitchen for a few minutes, smiling softly as I watched Enzo putting together a dining chair. The entire first floor was open now after we had knocked down a few walls, and it felt much more airy and comfortable inside.
It was nice being able to see everything from where I stood in the kitchen.
Most of the furniture that we had now had been purchased secondhand, giving the house an eclectic, vibrant look.
I liked how the plant pots and pictures in the living room were all mismatched and colorful, and I had found a few stunning armchairs at a local estate sale that each had a history of their own.
The dining room furniture, however, had to match; I couldn’t bring myself to have an entirely mismatched dining set, and so we had made a last-minute trip to Ikea for a set of chairs and benches to go around our enormous farm-style table that practically
stretched the entire length of the
Suddenly, I had a thought. We had an array of food prepared for our engagement dinner, but nothing for dessert.
“Enzo,” I began, “I think I should bake a cake for the dinner.”
His eyebrows shot up, a surprised grin stretching across his face as he deftly twisted a screw into the bottom of one chair and then set it down on the floor when he was finished. “A cake? You sure, Nina?”
I nodded, feeling a rush of excitement. ”
Yes. I’m craving sweets and I just realized that we don’t have anything for dessert.”
“Alright then,” he chuckled, slipping the parts for another chair out of their cardboard prison. “What do you need? I
can run to the store.”
I opened the kitchen cabinet to take stock, expecting to find baking essentials. My heart sank when I saw the empty shelves. “Oh no,” I muttered. “We’re out of supplies.”
His laughter filled the kitchen, making me smile despite my disappointment.” Well, looks like we’re going shopping after all. Let me just put this one chair together and then we can go quickly.”
“No,” I protested, grabbing my keys
from the counter. “I can go. You finish
up here. Besides, I want to pick out
“A woman on a mission, I see,” he teased, offering a mock salute. “Good luck, soldier. And get a good cake mix. None of that cheap stuff. I like chocolate cake, for the record.”
“Got it,” I replied with a grin, saluting
him back. “Chocolate cake it is. I’m
feeling peanut butter frosting.”
Chuckling, I left the house, feeling a surge of enthusiasm despite the hiccup in my plans. The winding country roads, flocked on either side by tall pine trees through which I could see the ocean lapping against the shore in the distance, made for a relaxing scene.
I quickly forgot about my anxiety surrounding my mother as I turned the radio up high and danced and sang along to the music.
My enthusiasm quickly deflated, however, when a raccoon darted out onto the road. I let out a surprised shriek, followed by a jerk of my steering wheel that sent me straight into a ditch.
My heart pounded in my chest as I sat in the sudden silence of the car, a cloud of dust settling outside my window.
The raccoon, equally as surprised by
me as I was of it, twittered anxiously and scooted off into the darkness between the trees.
When I came to my senses I groaned, resting my head on the steering wheel. I knew I had to call Enzo, knew that he’d likely never let me live down my raccoon encounter.
“You fucker,” I whispered, watching the fat little creature with my eyes. ” Why did you have to run out into the road just when a car was coming?”
The raccoon, of course, didn’t answer; he was a raccoon, after all, and well out of ear shot.
I sighed and climbed out of the car to 4 take a look at the damage..
Thankfully, my little car, which I had purchased only a couple of weeks ago from an old man down the road, wasn’t damaged at all. But it was stuck deep in the ditch, and there would be no pulling it out on my own.
I would have to call the local tow company to come and get me out, but right now, I didn’t have the time; our engagement party was in just a few hours, and I had a cake to bake.
Sighing once more and cursing to
4 myself, I took a deep breath as I A pictured Enzo’s teasing grin over my raccoon scare. With a disbelieving chuckle at this nice little mess that I got myself into, I pulled out my phone to dial his number.