Around five thirty in the evening, finished the last set of fondant butterflies. They were for the Baby shower cake. She had planned to do most of the detailed parts of the cake that day before going into the main cake the next day. They looked pretty and dainty in pink, purple and yellow and she stood and admired her work for a couple of seconds. She had done a great job.
She wiped icing off her forehead and then picked up her cell phone. According to their arrangement Justin was supposed to be here around two and when she had finished the day’s work, they would go home together. She tried to call his number but it was switched off. She sighed and concluded that he was probably on his way. Maybe his battery was dead. Maybe he went to check in at work and he was asked to run an errand, or maybe he got stuck in traffic. She cleared her work table, soaked her pots in water and then removed her apron. As she was folding it, she heard muffled voices come up the stairs. Nobody usually came into her bakery so she was surprised. She walked towards the exit and met two men who just arrived upstairs. one tall man dressed in police uniform and one short man who smelled so much of gasoline.
“Can I help you?” she said blinking at both men.
The shorter man of the two wanted to speak and then hesitated. he looked extremely nervous and fidgeted with his fingers.
“I hope there is no problem” she said.
The taller one finally spoke. “I’m afraid we have bad news.” He exhaled. The pause seemed to last forever.
“There has been an accident. This afternoon around one, we found a young man by the side of the road. He had been hit by a truck. This man here was the person who… found the body and then he reported to us. Right now, the body is in the mortuary. Through his identification card, we found his office and the office staff directed us to you. We are sorry miss…”
Anita’s eyes widened in disbelief. her heart hammered in her chest because she feared the worst. “It’s a lie.” She barely whispered. She desperately needed to hear that it was a joke.
“His name is Justin. Right?” The man asked. “You are expected to come to the-”
For a split second they thought she was laughing hysterically. Then they realized that she was not laughing at all, but was crying.
She fell slowly to the floor holding her stomach. Her words were inaudible. It’s a lie, it’s a lie, it’s a lie. She kept muttering. Please let it be a lie. Just a stupid joke, a silly lie.
Her throat tightened, she felt as if she was losing breath. She wanted it to be a nightmare, she wanted to wake up. She felt if she didn’t wake up any moment, she would die.
“Justin…” she started to shriek as if she was calling him. The pain felt physical in her chest and she grabbed at it; curled like game which had just been shot at, feeling her life force seep from her body like thick red blood from a gaping hole in her heart. She thought this was actually how dying actually felt; Excruciating pain which never ended. Time itself seemed to stop because of how present the pain felt; like an atmosphere, a blanket, a plastic bag, suffocating her very being.
It can’t be. It is not possible. A lie. He cannot be dead.
The shorter man hurried to her side thinking she was actually going to die. He reached out to her and asked her to breathe. She did painfully. Breathing in and then out with terror in her eyes. He tried to pull her from the floor and she managed to get on her feet.
Finally on her feet, she croaked between deep breathes “so… you are… telling me… that… that Justin is dead?”
“I’m sorry but yes.”
As her mind really registered those words, she simply fell limp on the floor…