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A Cake in the Road
Caroline’s sister had always been a beauty queen. From the tip of Sandra’s head to her toenails, there was not one imperfection worth noting.
If that wasn’t stunning enough, Sandra also happened to be blessed with a vibrant, soprano voice, and when talent converges with beauty, the road to fame is brief and bitter sweet.
Although, Caroline had every right to be jealous, she supported Sandra through thick and thin, and was always there with a tissue when Sandra placed second in a beauty pageant.
Fortunately, Sandra had very recently placed first in the State Beauty Pageant and landed herself a spot among the national finalists.
Returning home after the big win, Sandra was unsurprised – but still delighted – to be met with an assembly of friends and admirers.
The only thing that perplexed Sandra among this gaiety was the absence of Caroline. Best friend – check; boyfriend – check; Mom – check; photographers – check; three-tiered cake – triple check; but where in the world was Caroline?
Sandra had never told Caroline this, but she appreciated her support above anyone else’s. Sandra had been consoled and praised by more people than she could count, and not one person struck her as genuine – not one person except Caroline.
Even though the party below her was calling her name, Caroline stood in her bedroom, her eyes glued to the floor. She stood up and paced around and finally took a seat at her desk.
Her eyes began to focus in on the acceptance letter from Yale she had received earlier that morning, and she quickly darted them away.
I can’t do it, she thought. I can’t go down there and celebrate and not mention it.
Then, it was decided. She wouldn’t mention it. She would descend the staircase and not acknowledge her accomplishment in the slightest.
As Caroline stood in the stairwell, with a clear view of the festivities, her eyes lingered on one thing – no, three.
At that moment, her eyes narrowed and her heartbeat quickened. She wasn’t Caroline anymore; she was a leopard ruled by its instincts and braced to pounce.
Her target within reach, she extended her arms to grasp it, her fingers imprinting on its gooey extremity.
It was slippery beneath her fingertips, but the obstacle was surmountable. She wrapped her arms around it in a secure embrace and carried all three tiers of fluffy, flamboyant magnificence out the front door.
Facing the empty street, she hurled the cake with a vengeance fueled by a loathing of all things superficial.