As I start to plan things out for the next day, I hope that we can start up these auctions soon. They would be the perfect distraction from work. I’m sure others would be interested in them too – they would have to be crazy not to. That would mean good business for everyone.
The next day I’m busy at the bakery, setting up for another busy morning. I’m happier because I have noticed my sales have been doing well. However, when I run the numbers in my head as I need the dough for the cinnamon buns my customers love so much, I know that I won’t have anywhere near enough to pay my uncle back within three weeks.
That would be a whole lot of cinnamon buns, I think to myself, and I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
I need to calm down and talk to someone. I’m going to get all emotional if I keep trying to figure this out on my own.
I decide to call my friend Tammy from high school. She was also into baking and owns her own bakery back home. She stayed in Bloom after graduating from high school, but we’ve stayed in touch, of course. We weren’t best friends in school, but we’ve grown closer due to our shared profession.
So, if there’s one person I can ask for tips and tricks about how to make my bakery better, it’s her. I mean, mine already has loyal customers and they like me and the food I make, but that alone won’t help me make enough to pay my uncle back.
Tammy answers right away, happy to hear from me, and she and I talk for a while. We reminisce about high school and share a few laughs. After a few quick updates on each other’s lives since then, I finally get around to asking her to help with my business. She is eager to help, which I’m grateful for.
“Why don’t you open it up to catering and event hosting?” she asks.
“I like that idea,” I tell her. “There are always a lot of things going on around town, but I don’t know that many people.”
She is quiet a moment, then says, “Well, I know of another way to make money, but I’m not sure that you’d like it.”
“Well, that sounds intriguing,” I tell her. “Now I have to know what this opportunity I might not like is all about!”
My humor hides my racing heart, which contains a mixture of excitement and fear. I shouldn’t be so curious that I ask about this apparently taboo thing that Tammy has in mind.
But it seems like fate that this opportunity has arisen just now. I’m so desperate that I’m open to all suggestions at this point, so I agree to listen to her idea with a mixture of hesitation and excitement.
Tammy explains to me that she has hosted an auction at her bakery, where billionaires buy women. This is the way that she met her boyfriend Brian. Before I even have a chance to be shocked, she says that Brian told her that there is a contingent of his tech company that is in Pittsburgh and looking to go to such an auction.
I can’t believe it. I’m in total shock right now, but I have to be honest. So I tell Tammy that I really don’t think that I can do it. Secretly, I have a much different opinion. I’m actually getting wet and thinking it sounds hot.
What an interesting and fun way to meet a guy. It’s important for my sake that I keep this opinion to myself, though. I don’t trust such wild thoughts. I need to mull them over privately before I go around announcing them to the world, or even to my friend who is the one who has proposed them.
“I understand completely,” Tammy says. “But let me just say that you don’t have to actually auction off anything. You get a fee just for hosting the auction, because they are looking for places to have it. That amount of money would be plenty to get your bakery plans off the ground. And if you do decide to auction anything off, it could be something as simple as a dinner date. It doesn’t have to be, you know, going all the way, or anything close.”
Hmmm, now we’re talking, I think.
“So, if I were to host the auction at my bakery, then I would get a hostess fee, just for having it here?” I ask, incredulous and trying to make sure my understanding is correct.
Because if it is, this is a really good deal!
“Yes, and it’s a pretty hefty one at that,” she says, “of somewhere around $100,000.”
“What the hell!” I exclaim, truly unable to contain my disbelief.
This is more unbelievable than her telling me about the auctions in the first place. That amount is more than twice what I owe my uncle. Not only would it get me out from under that debt, but it would also give me money to get my own place for Maxim and me. We would finally stop being a burden on my kind Aunt Barbara.