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Let Her Eat Cake! This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Myfamily believes in travel. My mother adores geography, and although I find itquite boring and stuffy, she loves long trips filled with luxurious white sandybeaches, crystal clear waves, and tours, tours, tours!

The scene: St.Maarten, a little island in the Caribbean shared by the French and the Dutch.When I was younger, we made two trips to St. Maarten. The second time, mybirthday fell during the trip. How glorious! In-between swimming with my littlebrother and trying to catch lizards on the veranda, I planned my birthday. It'snot like I had any friends with me, so my happiness lay with a great bigcustom-built cake. That's right, a custom cake.

My dad dragged me out ofthe surf and took me to the most gigantic grocery store I had ever seen. It wasmind-boggling for a little kid who's used to the local market. He showed me thebig bakery and the very nice woman behind the counter who chuckled and handed methe book from which I would build my cake. This woman had the best laugh I everheard. It was straight from her large belly, which was a side-effect of workingin a bakery, I suppose.

"Ah, here now, chil' you be pickin' your cakeand don't leave nothin' out now, because you only gon' turn ten once!" shesaid with a delightful island accent. And then she laughed. She had a great gapin her teeth, just like me.

I studied the book. The possibilities wereendless. I finally decided on a "Vanillllla cake wit' choc'late frosteeng,choc'late shavings and mash-mellows." My dad thought it politicallyincorrect that I ordered it like that, but the woman just laughed. She knewtourists when she saw them, and I reeked of tourist. Then again, I was turningten, and what's the saying? When in Rome, do as the Romans do? I was in St.Maarten and doing as islanders do!

Dad wouldn't let me see the cake whenwe picked it up, but that box could have housed a pony it was so big! My dad is agreat guy and took us all out to dinner that night to celebrate. I, of course,being the classy almost-ten-year-old, ordered a hamburger. I was so ready for thecake that awaited us.

Going home that evening felt like moving in slowmotion. I felt like I was never going to get that awesome dessert! I approachedthe door and almost stopped to chase a lizard, but no, I pressed on. My

fingertips grabbed the doorknob and twisted. Egads! It was locked! Hurry,Dad, hurry! He unlocked it and I ran inside to the cake, that beautiful chocolateand vanilla and chocolate and marshmallow cake which the plump lady had made justfor me and I smiled and I laughed and I .... I couldn't find the cake. Where wasmy cake?

My dad came in, just as bewildered, and opened an envelope leftwhere the cake was last seen.

Dear Mr. Pontzer,

Thank you so muchfor the cake. It was the best tip I ever received!
-Greta

"What the hell?" My dad threw the letter in a fit of rageand called the landlord, who was a friend of his. I think I just stood there,because that beautiful chocolate, vanilla, chocolate and marshmallow cake wasgone. And Greta was so skinny. How was she going to eat that horse-sized box ofcake? I could hear my dad ranting, "It said 'Happy Birthday, Alexa!' Alexa!Nowhere on it did it say 'Greta'!"

Some day I'll sit in therapy andtalk about the time I was robbed of a gigantic cake. But then again, someday I'llsit in a Weight-Watchers and ... wait, no, I won't, because I didn't eat thatcake.






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Copyright 2006 by Teen Ink, The 21st Century and The Young Authors Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.
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This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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