The auction would be a great way to get her off of my mind.
As I headed down the road toward the address that had been e-mailed to me, I was in great spirits. I even sang along to the songs that came on the radio.
Nothing was going to make this night a bust for me, I thought.
But, when I pulled up to the address, my heart sank. I almost didn’t even want to go inside.
I had been giving the auction a lot of thought after seeing the last one. And after talking to Elliot, I realized that I really had nothing to lose by taking part. So, I decided to give it a try. I e-mailed them back and asked what I needed to do if I wanted to be a part of the auction.
The woman who e-mailed me back, Julia, said that all I needed to do was show up on the day of the auction at the address listed and sign up at the table when I got there.
It seemed simple enough. And it was actually turning into more of a no-brainer since I had found out that there was an investor who had started showing interest in the building that I had had my heart set on. I was determined not to lose it, so I thought that taking part in the auction would help me raise the money that I needed so that I could keep it and move forward with my plan.
But I hadn’t anticipated this hiccup in the plan.
The location for the auction was the bakery of my arch-rival, Tammy.
Tammy was someone that I had known from high school. We had always been at odds, but I hadn’t always known the reason. I assumed that Tammy was just an overambitious fan turned rival who was just passionate about the baking business and wildly competitive.
But Amelia had shared some high school rumors with me that made me think maybe there was more to it. At least according to what she had heard back then, rumors had been circulating about Tammy wanting to go to prom with my ex, Jim. Someone even told me that he had already asked her, but I refused to believe that he would do something like that, ask her and then ask me. If I had even had a thought about him doing something so low, I never would have gone out with him at all.
Of course, now, knowing what I do about him, it’s entirely likely that it’s exactly what happened. But, ever since then, Tammy treated me with such disdain it make me almost dislike her. But, I didn’t have any real reason to dislike her. In all honesty, I really felt sorry for her, but I didn’t care for the way that she treated me, so I avoided her. And now she was my competition, so I didn’t exactly have reason to seek her out. I thought I saw her at the other auction, but I hadn’t thought much of it.
Now, here I sat, in front of her business, debating whether or not I should even bother to go inside.
What would that look like? How could I just waltz through her front doors like it was nothing? I didn’t have satisfying answers to the questions buzzing around inside of my head like bees.
I started wondering if this wasn’t a sign, a bad omen for what was to come.
And then, I saw Elliot walk inside. My heart leapt for joy. He was here! I knew that there was no way I wasn’t going inside now. I just couldn’t help myself, but I had to see him again.
I turned off my car, took a deep breath, and stepped out of the car. I walked inside, the smell of fresh baked goods permeating the air. Even begrudgingly, I had to admit that it smelled incredible in here.
And I couldn’t help but admire a darling display of some seasonal cupcakes. She really did have a talent, especially with decorating, which I will readily admit is not my strongest suit. My flavors were incredible enough to knock your socks off, but my fondant work definitely left something to be desired.
I walked up to the table and put my name at the bottom of the list. I did it right away so that I wouldn’t lose my nerve and chicken out.
There. It was done. Now, all I had to do was wait until my name was called. I sat down in the front row by the stage.
“Is this your first time, sugar?” came a sweet voice next to me. It was a lady with curly blonde hair wearing a jean jumpsuit. She wore bright, sparkly silver eyeshadow and an even brighter smile.
“Yeah,” I admitted.
“Bless your heart,” she said, patting my hand. “Welcome. I remember what it was like my first time here. That seems like centuries ago now.”