She made up her mind to sell the bakery. There was no use now that he was dead. Going through with the bakery would be suicide, it would be scratching at the scab, exposing the old wound all over again, not that the wound was that old. Even thinking of achieving the dream without Justin caused her pain. After like a month of waiting for a buyer, she finally got one. A woman had called and said that she was interested in the building and that they had to meet to see it. They fixed a date and on that day, Alice waited for the woman in front of her building that afternoon.
She finally arrived though the meeting was scheduled for morning. The plan was for Alice to show the woman around and then they would settle down to discuss the price. Alice was pessimistic about the whole idea; in fact, she didn’t think anybody would ever want such a building. It was like a huge, uncompleted pile of garbage to her. The woman got out of a shiny black car looking beautiful. Even though the woman was at least ten years younger than Alice, she looked as graceful as a teenager.
She smiled and waved as she approached Alice. “Alice?”
“Yes. I’m Alice. I guess you are Mrs…”
“Oh. Just call me Mavis.” The woman interrupted her. “I’m sorry for keeping you waiting. Traffic in this town is something else.” Even if Alice was mad at her for being late, the woman’s cheerful countenance made it impossible to be angry at her.
“It’s okay.” Alice stood and looked up at the building for a few seconds, no matter how she tried; she could not see it as Just-Alice’s Bakery any more. It was just an old uncompleted building; A potential crack house/ brothel. There were dried grasses growing from the windows and brown splotches which used to be moss covered most of the unplastered walls. The smell of urine filled the air and she spotted a Hawker spraying the side of the building with a fresh supply.
Mavis looked into her face. “Alice, you seem to be lost in thought. I hope you are alright”
“I’m just wondering why you would possibly want to buy such a building?” Alice asked unexcitedly.
“The same reason why you bought it. You bought it a short while ago didn’t you?”
Alice nodded. She remembered the first day that Justin had brought her to see this building, how happy she was, she had hugged him so tightly and she had wished that they would be locked in embrace forever. Right now, he simply did not exist in her world anymore, no matter how much she willed it. Her eyes began to tear up and she brushed the thought away.
“It is in a perfect part of town. I know it would take some time and money to restore the place but I’m sure we will love it. it is not about its present state but what you transform it into.”
“You better look inside first. It’s quite spacious, I’d admit but that is the only pro about the place” Alice said.
Alice unlocked the main door which was rusted like every other metallic part of the building and they started to walk up the stairs to the bakery. Half way through the stair well, they heard chatter and laughter. Both of them slowed down and walked suspiciously to see who must have broken into the bakery. When they reached the top of the stairwell, Alice peered in carefully to see that the intruders were children; street urchins who were taking her cakes in the display glass as booty.
The oldest looking one was stuffing the cakes into his dirty back packs while others were stealing her eggs and sugar. A girl among them put one of the fondant flowers on her hair while another kid tried to eat it. They then started to debate if it was eatable or not.
“These brats… ” Alice said angrily “don’t worry; I’ll take care of them.”
“Hey!” Alice screamed at the children. Her voice echoed as the invaders began to scatter. One or two of them jumped from the window, Alice wondered how they could jump the distance when a small one slipped past Alice and out through the stairwell. Alice marched straight towards the oldest who was the only one left and she was determined to teach him a lesson. The boy zipped his back pack and started to run the opposite direction.
The boy sped away in full speed. Before Alice could follow him, a panel of rusted floor below his feet gave way and he fell down through it to the lower floor. Slowly, Alice walked to where he had fallen from. The hole was enormous, blood stained the jiggered pieces of the floor that hung down below and the boy was on the floor downstairs lying on his back, unmoving.
Mavis moved beside Alice to see the fallen boy. It happened so fast and there were both in shock.
“He is not moving.” Mavis said.
Alice prayed in her heart that he was not dead…