Wake up and get ready. Eat breakfast. Work in my cubicle for hours having a fruit for a snack in between. Eat dinner. Sleep for 8 hours. Such was my life. The same boring routine happens over and over again. It was February 29th at exactly 8:00 am when my usual routine was interrupted.
I walked into work passing by my two colleagues, Aaron and Gabe, in the office. They usually just waved when I walked in, but this time they started a conversation.
“Hey Elizabeth,” they said in unison.
Gabe smiled and said, “You look beautiful today. Did you change your hair?”
“Yeah? Did you cut it or something?” Aaron added.
I grabbed at my plain brown hair that was lying on my shoulders. It was in its usual middle part, plain and straight down. Nothing was different? It was the same as any other day.
I said confused, “Uh, no? I haven’t done anything different?”
“Well, you look nice today.” The two guys looked at each other while they nodded and smiled.
“Ok? Thanks?” I turned on my heels, quickly making my way to my little cubicle.
I placed my bags down and sat in my chair that was in front of my computer. That’s when I noticed it. A vanilla cupcake with swirled light pink frosting and white pearl sprinkles.
I looked around. There was no note anywhere. I picked up the cupcake and inspected it. It was real. I rolled back in my rolly chair into the little hallway to get a view of Aaron and Gabe. They were typing away at their computers. Weird.
I rolled back into my cubicle and placed the cupcake down to the side. I started working, but every few minutes I would look at the cupcake. Was it poison? Would it blow up? Maybe I should give it to someone else? Yeah, I thought. I would give it to someone else to see if it did anything.
I got back to working until it was noon. That was the usual time when I would pull out a fruit and eat it—today was a bowl of watermelon. I couldn’t stop looking at the cupcake.
Instead of pulling out my watermelon, I picked up the cupcake again and walked out to Aaron and Gabe. I said, “Did you guys leave this at my desk?”
They looked at each other and then looked at me, confused. “No? Neither of us has been by your desk.” Aaron said as Gabe nodded with him.
My mouth made an “o” shape. Gabe spoke up now, “Is it a secret admirer? Is there a note?”
I laughed at the idea of me having a secret admirer. I hadn’t been on a date in years, let alone gone out to meet anyone. “Good one. There wasn’t even a note. Maybe it was our boss. You’ll both get cupcakes too.”
Aaron smiles, “I bet it was a secret admirer. But either way, are you gonna eat that? It looks good.”
I looked down at the cupcake in my hand. Could it have been a secret admirer? I put my hand out for him to take the cupcake. “Let me know if it’s poisoned.” I laughed.
From there, things seemed normal again… until I walked into work the next day.
There was another cupcake. But this time it was chocolate with light blue frosting and a little fondant unicorn placed in the middle. It was cute. I thought that I should keep it for myself this time since Aaron seemed fine after eating it. I took a picture of it with the disposable camera I always kept in my bag.
At noon, I went out to Aaron and Gabe to show them the cupcake. They were confused that it happened again and that they didn’t get a cupcake too. I finally ate the cupcake, which was actually really delicious.
The next day there was another cupcake and then the next day and the next and next and next. There was a new cupcake on my desk every day for three weeks. Going from chocolate to vanilla, red velvet, purple icing, green icing, rainbow sprinkles, more fondant. Whoever was leaving these cupcakes for me really knew how to bake them. I gave a lot of the cupcakes to Aaron and Gabe since they didn’t mind eating cupcakes every day.
The three of us came to the conclusion that it had to be a secret admirer. We even tried to catch the person in action by using a video camera a couple of times, but it would always cut off from before the person came till we arrived at work. It was a true mystery.
One day my daily routine was different. My hair wouldn’t lay down straight the way it usually did so I had to put it in a ponytail, which then made me late to work. Aaron and Gabe were already busy working to notice me walk in the office. I walked into my cubicle, excited to see what kind of cupcake it was today. But this time there was no cupcake left, just a little velvet black box.
I quickly picked it up and ran out to Aaron and Gabe, “There isn’t a cupcake on my desk today! It’s a box!”
They looked surprised and yelled, “What are you doing?! Open it!”
I opened it and didn’t notice anything fall out. All I saw was the engagement ring with a big diamond. It had to be 2 or 3 karats. I was speechless and my mouth was wide open.
“Elizabeth? What is it?” Gabe asked.
I turned it around for them to see. Not even able to say a word.
“Woah.” That was the only thing I heard and I wasn’t sure who it came from.
I walked back to my desk without another word and just placed the box to the side. This is the weirdest thing that has ever happened to me. I could hear Aaron and Gabe whispering to each other.
I tried to get back to work and not think about the ring. Most of the time I just found myself sitting there, staring at the box. I finally got through the day and Aaron and Gabe had left home an hour ago. I was still shocked.
I picked up my belongings but left the ring on my desk. It had to be a joke. I didn’t want to bring the ring with me. It just felt too weird.
As I was walking out, I noticed a note on the floor. It must have fallen when I opened the ring box. I picked it up and slowly opened the small folded white paper.
It read: Did you miss me? –D xx.
The note dropped out of my hand. It couldn’t have been.
The biggest smile appeared on my face when I realized all those cupcakes and the ring had to be from David. David was my best friend since elementary school. We went through everything together, even the worst accounting class in college that we both failed. His family owned a bakery next to my parent’s shoe store. I lost contact with him a little bit after the time when he went in the military after we graduated from college. I remembered sending letters back and forth before I moved and had a change of address. I sent a letter with my new address to him, but a few weeks later I got my letter back with a “Return to Sender” stamped in red on the front.
It’s been four years.
I quickly grabbed the ring and went home. As soon as I got home, I grabbed my house phone and frantically dialed David’s parent’s shop. They had to still be there. The phone kept ringing and ringing. No one answered.
I called another five times and still no answer. It was useless.
I placed the ring down on my dining room table and went to take a shower. As soon as I wrapped a towel around me, I heard the doorbell ring. No one ever visited me?
Without thinking, I just went to answer the door. I was too anxious to open the door and didn’t realize I was still in my towel.
I opened my door to find David standing there. Pink roses in hand.
He looked me up and down before raising his bushy eyebrows. I laughed and said, “I was in the shower!”
I grabbed the roses and hugged him tight for a really long time. We finally broke the hug and I gestured him inside, running to wrap myself in a robe before coming back out. “How did you find me?” I asked.
“I went through hell to find you. I did get into contact with our parents, of course. They were happy to see me. Especially when I asked for your hand in marriage. Your mom practically made me deaf.” He grinned.
I had completely forgotten about the pact we made in our senior year of high school. If we weren’t with someone in 10 years, we were going to get married. I can’t believe it’s already been that long.
I was still standing up when David stood in front of me. I saw the familiar black box in his hand. He got on one knee and opened the box. The ring stunned me again.
“Yes!” I screamed before he got a chance to talk.
He laughed so hard, “Can’t you wait for what I have to say?”
I smile and impatiently say, “Ok, go! Go! Go!”
“Yes!” I screamed again and he just rolled his eyes.
“I’ll just take that answer, I guess.” He placed the ring on my left ring finger and stood. I jumped right on him and he squeezed me back.
I smiled, “I’m glad my best friend is back. We’re going to have so much fun.”
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