A Surprise

30 Dec 2021  C. chou  5 mins read.

“There’s little that you can do now.” He said, with a smile as he cornered her. “There’s no escape.”

“You…” She started, staring into his eyes. She never thought that he’d be this kind of person. In all the years that she’s known him, he had always been decent. Always polite and respectable. Otherwise, how would he have that clean reputation? Otherwise, how would she have trusted him in the first place.

Searching for some possible exit, she backed into a shelf. The plates and dishes that decorated it, shaking on the brackets that held them. In the brief moment that she turned her attention away, he pressed her against the surface, his arm over her head.

“Where do you think you’re running off to?” He asked, with a grin.

She squeezed her eyes shut, as he leaned closer. Close enough that she could feel his breath over her skin. Stay away.

Just as quickly as his warmth surrounded her, it vanished. She looked up confused. He stood before her with a jar of sugar in his hand. What?

“Sugar?” She asked.

“What did you think I was trying to do?” He asked, raising his eyebrows. His confusion was quickly replaced by a chuckle.

The doorbell rang.

“Ah!” He exclaimed. “It must be the FBI.”

“The what?” She asked, wondering if she misheard him.

“FBI.” He laughed, as he headed toward the door.

She stood there stunned, as he returned with a box in his arms.

“What are you there staring for?” He asked.

“FBI?” She asked. Wasn’t that a bit quick for something so serious?

“Fresh Baking Ingredients, of course!” He answered, laughing. Gathering himself, he straightened. “Like I said earlier, you aren’t going anywhere without helping me today.”

Her face flushed at her misunderstanding. So was that the reason that he didn’t want her to leave?

“Come with me to the basement.” He said, waving at her, while carrying the box and the jar of sugar.

“Why?” She asked, confused. The kitchen was clearly in the next room. If he wanted her to help him with baking, then why couldn’t they work here?

“Come.” He answered.

Against her instincts, she followed him. After all, his reputation couldn’t all be fake could it? He was known for being a gentleman. He couldn’t have maintained that kind of reputation if he were one that would do things in the shadows. She sucked in a breath, as she arrived at the bottom of the stairs, nearly colliding into his back as he paused a few steps away.

“What?” She asked, trying to look past his shoulders.

“Nothing.” He answered, turning with a sheepish expression. “I just wasn’t sure where we should put all this stuff.”

His movement revealed the scene behind him, leaving her staring agape. The entire counter was covered in baked goods.

“You made all of that?” She asked.

“Yeah.” He answered, rubbing the back of his head in embarassment. “My mother’s birthday is tonight. But I couldn’t figure out how to frost it all.”

“So you called me?” She asked. Suddenly, everything was falling together. Why he called for her, and why he was so insistent that she stayed.

“Well…” He answered, his ears reddening. “I heard that you were good at decorating…”

Laughter bubbled out of her. So this was what this was all about. She couldn’t imagine a guy like him, so heavily praised by everyone for his skill, asking someone like her for help.

“You aren’t leaving till you help me.” He said, placing the box onto the ground before him, and dragging her to the counter.

She clutched her stomach, as the laughter rolled out of her. She really did think too much. As much as others respected this man, he wasn’t any more threatening than a child.

“Stop laughing.” He demanded, with a pout. “You did say that you would help me when I needed it, last time.”

“Of course.” She answered, wiping a tear from her eye and gathering herself. “Of course.”

Watching him, as she washed the remnants of frosting off her hands, she smiled. She was glad that they worked something out. Though the tubes of frosting and other decor that filled the box were hardly enough to decorate all the cakes, some improvisation also made them presentable enough. Despite all the fame and wealth this man had, he still worked hard to make his mother something with his own two hands for her birthday. She smiled, glad to be part of a son’s effort to give his mother a birthday that she deserved.

This story was inspired by the writing prompt from the “Promptly Written” Publication.

The FBI just raided your home. What are you hiding? Write a story. Restriction — Something strange is in the basement!

C. Chou
C. Chou

A writer that loves cabbages and bamboo, but also enjoys writing and sharing fiction (particularly the fantasy genre). Find me on Medium at: https://chouxherbe.medium.com/