My friends sometimes make fun of me—they don’t know what I’m into at all. They joke about how I haven’t gotten any for ages, but they don’t know that I can take care of my own needs—or that no guy I’ve found has ever even been willing to entertain the idea of helping out.
Much as I wish I could find a guy as kinky as I am, I don’t claim that persona in front of my friends. They know I like something unusual, but have no idea what exactly. The closest my bestie Lara ever came to finding out was when she almost stumbled onto one of my sex-toy-of-the-month club deliveries (which would have killed me from embarrassment). But honestly, what’s the difference between this and hooking up with strangers every so often? A girl’s got needs—and I meet mine just fine. I’ve yet to meet a guy who’s even come close to being able to fulfill me, so I’d rather take my sex life into my own hands, thank you very much.
I slide the drawer closed and turn off the light. Then I face-plant into bed and try to ignore the alarm clock in the corner with its huge flashing light-up display.
11:32pm. That only leaves me 5 and a half hours of sleep before I need to be upright and getting ready for tomorrow. Tomorrow, which will be just as insane as yesterday and the day before. Great. Can’t wait.
I pull my pillow over my face and try my best to doze off. In my mind’s eye, I can still see the chiseled abs and sculpted chests of those guys from the porno. I drift off imagining myself sandwiched between them. Though part of me still feels guilty, even now, for letting myself get this distracted.
Tomorrow I’ll fix it. Tomorrow I’ll get my head in the game.
Tonight, I let myself have my fantasies, if only for a little while.
Sure enough, my trusty old alarm clock sounds right at 5am on the dot. I groan and roll over to slap snooze, until I remember that it’s Friday, and I’ve agreed to bake three more wedding cakes than we can conceivably finish by this weekend, and I don’t have time to snooze, I need to get my ass out the door as soon as humanly possible.
So I squint through my morning routine, rubbing sleep from my eyes in the shower. I’m so exhausted I brush my teeth and accidentally spit toothpaste into the toilet, then try to put the brush itself back into the shower caddy. Once I finally manage to get myself in something at least approaching working order, I throw on the same outfit I wore yesterday—we have uniforms at the bakery, so it doesn’t matter if I re-wear it, right? —and jog out to my car.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. The fact that I have to stop by a Starbucks drive-through for an XL black coffee before I even make it past the end of my road, and then blast pop music at a near-deafening level in the car the whole drive to the bakery just to wake up, doesn’t change the fact that this is my dream. My best friend Lara and I saved and schemed for years to open this bakery. We expected to be in the hole for at least two years while we built up a name for ourselves.
But now, as we near the second anniversary of opening Red Velvet, we’ve already been named Best New Bakery in Town, Top 50 Bakeries in the State, and been featured on a few really well-known travel websites and bakery blogs. There’s even a whole Pinterest page we once found dedicated to our cakes. We’re more than solvent—we’re more profitable than I’d imagined we could be this soon into the game, and we’ve got a wait-list 3 months long for big event cakes like the weddings and anniversaries that got us this far.
So I’m not complaining. Not at all. It’s just that, with this much going on, everything else tends to fall by the wayside a little. I haven’t taken a vacation, not even a day off, since our opening day. I’ve hardly had time to see my friends and family, let alone meet new people or go on dates.
But I’m living the dream. If this is the price to pay, so be it. I’m happy to pay it.
I pull up to the shop just as Lara is opening the grill out front. She’s been my partner-in-crime this whole time, as we opened and got everything set up. Lara helps bake a little bit, but it’s mostly me heading up the kitchen and the small team of assistants we’ve hired over the past couple years. She handles the front-of-shop things—invoices, customer meetings, balancing the books. All the day-to-day of the business that make me want to rip my hair out and scream bloody murder. But that’s why we make the perfect team. I’m the creative crazy one and she’s the down-to-earth voice of reason that keeps me sane—and keeps the shop ticking.
“Morning!” I call as I climb out of the driver’s seat.
“You’re early,” she shouts back, wagging a finger.