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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Cooking or Baking (01/04/07)

TITLE: Cookies And Letters
By Sara Harricharan


Zane sighed, wondering where his writer wife would put a purple, flowered envelope. Officemax storage boxes lined attic walls, not an envelope in sight. About to head downstairs, a flash of neon purple caught his eye.

Wedged between two boxes, was the daisy-printed culprit. He pulled it gently. It came loose as the box toppled to the floor.

Zane scowled, scrambling to pick up composition notebooks before any pages bent. As he stacked them, he noticed one, wide open, as he reached for it and couldn’t help scanning the page mid-way to the box.

To my dearest, darling (future) husband

The words flashed in front of his eyes as the notebook landed in the box. Zane hesitated. He reached back grabbing the notebook and envelope, stuffing everything else back into the box, before heading for the stairs.

In the kitchen, he switched the pans, sliding out sheets of baked cookies onto the cooling rack and putting in new ones. All he had to do now was mix the coconut things. Shari should be back in time to bake them.

She’d gone to do errands leaving him to finish up the cookies she’d promised to Anne, the host of their 8th wedding anniversary party.

He retrieved the notebook, careful to put the envelope up safely. Scanning the recipe, he hurriedly measured out the ingredients, before propping up the notebook to read as he sifted the flour.

Dear future husband. I’ve decided to write you letters. Even though we’ve never met and I don’t know if we’ll will, unless it is God’s will, I feel it is something I must do. I don’t know if you’ll ever read these. I kind of hope you don’t.

Zane paused, turning the page as he glanced at the recipe. “Mix sugar in warm water. Add to dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly.” Zane frowned. Why couldn’t they just say ‘combine everything-liquids last’? He warmed the water in the Microwave, reading as he waited.

To my darling future husband. I hope today finds you well, I am not doing so good, I flunked English. My teacher says I have no talent. That’s not true, I’ll be a famous writer someday!

The Microwave beeped. Zane shifted, propping up the notebook again, he poured sugar into the water, stirring as he skipped to the next letter.

My dear future husband, time seems to move so quickly when we don’t want it to and so fast when we do. I got my GED today. College is very close by. I wonder if I’ll meet you there? I feel like I know you already.

Pausing to turn the page, Zane dumped the sugar-water into the second bowl, and continued stirring.

Dear future husband. This is one of those days where you would come in handy. I’ve had the worst day ever. Took an hour of prayer before I could even think of writing you a letter today. I understand that He feels and shares my pain. I just wish I could feel His arms around me. I wish you were here to hold me.

He didn’t notice the mixture thickening as he turned the page again.

Dearest future husband. Guess what? I got a scholarship! I’m so excited. I know my parents could never afford to send me to the college I wanted, but God’s opened up a door that I never even knew of! I hope all is well wherever you are and whatever you are doing.

Zane smiled faintly, flipping to the back of the book, in search of the last entry.

My dearest husband, this is my last letter-seeing as I’ve found you. God is good and so are you. I love you forever, Shari.

The sound of the front door opening reached his ears.

Moments later, Shari stood in the kitchen doorway. “We’ll be there, Anne-Thanks!” She tucked her cellphone back in her purse and stopped short at the sight of him in the kitchen. “Zane?” Her head swiveled back to the living room. “Your game-?”

Zane grinned, her confusion adorable. “I put a tape to record, we can’t have an anniversary party without cookies.”

Shari set her bags down coming over to inspect his mixing. He waited, watching as she suddenly grew very still, staring at the open notebook. “Zane-?” She started again, but he cut her off, sliding an arm around her waist and guiding a cookie to her mouth.

“I love you forever too.” He whispered. “Happy anniversary, love.”

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This article has been read 1877 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Donna Powers 01/11/07
A sweet and romantic story and very nicely written. I enjoyed it!
Julie Arduini01/11/07
What a romantic read. This had to be challenging switching from the letters to current times but it flowed so well.
Caitlynn Lowe01/11/07
A very sweet, romantic little piece. A pleasure to read.
Trina Courtenay01/12/07
Creative romantic idea. This is a cute and enjoyable read.
Sandra Petersen 01/12/07
This was so sweet, I almost had tears at the last two paragraphs. I liked the way you incorporated the cookie baking instructions into your article. I was a little confused about why his baking would be a surprise if she left him to finish up the cookies for their 8th anniversary. Or did she assume that he would watch the game and space out the cookie baking?

How typical of a man to think the recipe writers could have simplified the instructions: "Why couldn’t they just say ‘combine everything-liquids last’?" That line made me laugh. A great idea. Might be a little late to submit a revised copy of this to anywhere for Valentine's Day, but maybe next year?

Leigh MacKelvey01/15/07
Sorry to repeat the "romantic" comments, but it IS romantic! I loved the visual of him putting his arm around her and slipping a cookies into her mouth! couple of typo's but very nice writing!
Valerie Routhieaux01/15/07
Wonderful. I could see and feel every word. Good luck with the judging on this one.
Teri Wilson01/15/07
Very sweet, romantic story. I really enjoyed it. Good work!
Betty Castleberry01/16/07
This made me want to hug my husband. ;0)
Nicely done.
Jan Ackerson 01/16/07
Elizabeth Burton01/16/07
A lovely piece...I especially liked how you wove the journal entries into the story. I'm probably alone here, but I would have liked to know what was in the purple envelope, :)! Like another poster, I hope you keep this in mind to submit somewhere for a Valentine's Day issue. This has just the right amount of romance. Well done!
Phyllis Inniss01/17/07
I too enjoyed this romantic piece ad the way you interwove the baking with the reading. Well done.
Phyllis Inniss01/17/07
Sorry, I meant 'and' and not 'ad'
dub W01/17/07
An enjoyable read. I hope to see more of your work in the future.
Pat Guy 01/17/07
So precious. What a creative idea! A story within a story - very clever. Great stuff here!
Jen Davis01/17/07
Such a tender story! The letters were so sweet. I enjoyed how you intermingled his reading the letters while he baked cookies for their anniversary. Very heartwarming.
Joanne Sher 01/17/07
Very sweet - I also love how you interspersed the cookie cooking and the letters. Very nice!
Catrina Bradley 01/17/07
Wonderful story! I thought for sure we'd find out what was in that purple envelope at the end! But I love the ending you wrote. Oh, I almost forgot - its so romatic! I see a new level in your future soon!
Julie Arduini01/18/07
Congratulations! Consistent, great work!