I tell Brian, “I’ll be right back.”
Then I go over to Candy and ask her, “What’s wrong?”
I hope she isn’t upset by something that happened at my auction. I thought that the night was going great for everyone; they were all having fun and really seemed to like the food, which makes me even more happy. I had made gold glittery chocolate cupcakes especially for this occasion, and they turned out to be a particular hit.
The next question that I ask Candy, after she doesn’t answer my first one, is, “Was there something wrong with your auction?”
I look around for Julia in case there was a problem, before I turn back to Candy.
She sniffles a little and dries her eyes before finally talking.
“No, I’m having a great time at the auction tonight, surprisingly. I’m having a lot of fun with the guy I met; In fact, I plan on seeing him again. I’m not upset about the results, but it’s something else,” she replies.
“What is it then?” I ask, feeling genuinely concerned for her.
“I didn’t make enough from my bids to be able to upgrade my baking and catering business to a larger building,” she says, and starts crying again.
I’m shocked into silence, because her reason for being here is exactly the same as my own.
“Oh, really? Which place did you have in mind?” I ask curiously.
I start to feel a little worried. But the idea I have is ridiculous. She’s my rival in everything, but there’s no way we can be in competition for the same bakery. That would be crazy, I try to convince myself.
She pulls out her phone and opens up a picture. She shows it to me, and I can feel myself getting jealous and upset. It’s like high school all over again.
My worries have come true. The shop she wants is the same one that I am after. Just my luck that this is going to happen again. Any compassion and sympathy I felt towards her is now just completely gone.
I give her back the phone and reply, “Aw, I’m sorry to hear that.”
I can’t muster any sincerity into my words anymore. She doesn’t care about what I’m saying; she just nods and goes back to crying. I turn around and walk back to Brian and Sheila, who are both waiting for me.
Now I feel more determined than ever to get ahead in my business. I have to. I might not have enough money yet, but I’ll get it somehow. I’m going to be the one to own that shop, not her.
I’m not going to let her beat me this time. Not again. I’ll do whatever I have to so that I can make this happen. Even if I have to host more auctions, it’s worth it.
Sheila looks at me when I get back over to where she was standing.
“Is everything okay?” she asks, curiously.
“Yes,” I reply, but I give her a look saying that I’ll call her later.
She nods then turns her attention back to Andrew. I smile at Brian; I don’t want to spend any more time thinking about Candy right now. I’m happy when I’m with him and I don’t want anything to spoil those feelings.
“I can’t wait for our date,” he whispers softly.
I say, “Me, neither,” feeling as if this is a dream come true.
We both smile at each other and watch the rest of the auctions with interest. As the night is drawing to a close, I’m starting to get a little anxious. I’m curious to know how we did and how much money I made for the commission for each auction.
I know it probably won’t be enough to afford my new place, but at least it’s a start and that makes me happy.
Brian catches me smiling and asks, “What are you thinking about?”
I look at him and reply, “our date later.”
That’s not even a lie, because now that’s exactly what I’m thinking about, yet again. And I have a feeling it’ll be all that’s on my mind – in addition to my bakery plans, of course – for quite some time to come.
Later that night, the auction is already over and I’m with Tammy on our date. I took her to the nicest restaurant in town. We are seated across from each other at a private table.
I ordered a bottle of champagne, so we sip our glasses of bubbly. Tammy looks around. I can tell from her expression that she is impressed by the place. She puts her glass down and looks at me.
“This is a nice restaurant. I’ve never been here before,” she remarks.
I put my glass down, too.
“I thought a beautiful woman should enjoy a night out in a beautiful place,” I say, flirting with her again.
“Do you ever turn that off?” she asks.
“What, don’t you like my flirting?” I ask in return.