The Cheesecake Chronicle | Teen Ink

The Cheesecake Chronicle

April 5, 2021
By Evelync123456, Wilmette, Illinois
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Evelync123456, Wilmette, Illinois
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Author's note:

This piece was created through different writing assignments I received in class.  Each part is taken from a different assignment, however they all pertain to the same general story.  I thought that it would be a cool idea to combine them all, and make it a three-part short fiction story.

     I’m sick of cheesecake.  

     Sure, many people would love to be immersed in the delectable dessert every day, but not me.  Too much of a good thing can really shift your perspective.  I used to love entering my bakery’s kitchen and creating the best cheesecakes imaginable.  Strawberry, raspberry, classic vanilla delight.  Banana crème, dark chocolate cherry, key lime.  And that’s not even scratching the surface of the options on the menu.  I receive many customers, especially because my cheesecakes all have a special ingredient.  I should be grateful for all the business and the money I receive, but after twenty-seven years my profession is becoming monotonous.  Every single day, I laboriously trudge down into the bakery’s kitchen and start creating my confections.  Every single day for the past twenty-seven years.

     Thankfully, I get a list of “customers” every day so I can prepare in advance.  I make all of my cakes from scratch, though, and it still takes forever.  My customer lists are created by different clients.  I suppose I’m lucky to have help, even if it’s just a customer list.  It’s hard to imagine what I would do without assistance from my clients.  At least I can just focus on the art of creating breathtaking cakes.  And I do mean breathtaking!  

     In the morning, I roll out of bed.  I wipe my eyes lethargically and I brush my teeth.  Gotta take care of those teeth!  Eating too many baked goods can rot your pearly whites - and mine can do other kinds of damage.  Luckily, this is not one of my worries.  I would never eat my cheesecakes.  I’m tired of seeing them, let alone eating them.  

     When I finish brushing my teeth, I head downstairs.  I live alone, above my bakery.  I named the bakery myself.  “Killing Corner.”  Because my cheesecakes are so good it will kill you!  If you see my sign, feel free to stop by sometime.  But don’t forget the customer list.  You wouldn’t want to eat my cheesecakes yourself. 

     After walking down the stairs, I wash my weary hands and prepare for baking.  I take the orders I received from my clients and I grudgingly begin making the cheesecakes.  Right before they bake, I add in my special ingredient.  Then, I slam the oven door and begin preparing more boring cheesecakes.  Some time later, my client calls me back.  They tell me of the developments surrounding the customers.  One died in their car, another died in their kitchen, another died right on their front porch.  Yet I really don’t care because these deaths aren’t news to me.  My cheesecakes always work.  

     I start preparing my different kinds of poison - excuse me, special ingredients - to add to my cheesecakes every night.  I receive a new customer list of people to indirectly kill every morning.  And I get money.  But, this line of work is such a bore.  It really tires one out: making the cakes every day, preparing the same flavors time and time again… 

   Twenty-seven years and zero breaks.  I’m sick of cheesecake.

     A piercing headache rips through my thoughts.  How am I supposed to focus when I should be paying a trip to the emergency room?  My eyes well up with tears, but I sit motionless.  I can’t display my pain.

     The job interview continues, the interviewer asks me a very long question.  But the even bigger question is the reason for my pain.  Why?  I’ve always eaten healthy.  I had a doctor’s checkup last month.  How could this happen to me, on the most important day of my life?  This job interview will make or break me.  And I have my hands pressed against my temples, pain sapping my composure, and a sickening feeling in my stomach like I have to throw up?

     Stop.  Think about something else.  Don’t let anyone see what is happening to you.  I focus my eyes on the interviewer, and smile with trembling lips.  But when I open my mouth, nothing comes out.  When I blink, my eyes roll backward.  No!  I force my gaze in the direction of the interviewer, and, with a wavering voice, I ask them to repeat the question.  I can hold on for a little longer, and then I’ll get the job and maybe some medical help.

     But my arms become numb from the pain.  My eyes unfocused.  My head delivers agonizing blows, and I can only sit, helpless.  I give up.  I yank my phone out of my pocket, fingers poised to dial 9-1-1.  But everything hurts too much.  I slam my phone on the table and hold my head.  I can’t see anything, except my phone’s new lock screen.  I just changed it to a picture of my ideal dessert which I ate to lift my spirits before my interview.  What a great last meal.  Classic vanilla delight cheesecake, from Killing Corner.

     Today’s gonna be rough, I grumble, stretching my thin arms towards a pastel blue bedroom ceiling.  My heart-shaped alarm clock reads five minutes until fourth grade, but I stay cool as a cucumber.  No use stressing about my tardiness, the teacher will excuse me as usual.  What a pushover.  I suppose I can take my time.  I yawn deeply, and stare straight ahead with drooping eyelids at the Perfect Petite Petunia Playhouse I received for my birthday.  Those things were selling like hotcakes last year, so of course my parents absolutely had to get me one.  They’ve always given me whatever I want, as I sure am the apple of their eyes.  Although it’s one of the most expensive toys in the world, I’ve fallen out of love with it - and every other thing my parents have bought me.  Now, at age ten, there’s bigger fish to fry.  Starting with waking up at eight for school.  My parents are actually forcing me to attend fourth grade, even though we all know that I’m one smart cookie.  At this point, they’re on my last nerve.

     Slow as molasses in January, I stumble out of bed and stagger down the impeccable white hallway of my lakeside mansion.  The sun beams at me from outside like I’m the greatest thing since sliced bread, but I couldn’t care less.  Every day is boring, and I’m going bananas.  The same walls, the same people at school, the same friends, the same parents, the same kind of food - some might just roll with the punches and say “that’s the way the cookie crumbles,” but I will not succumb to such a weak state of mind.  Last night, I thought long and hard about how I might be able to spice things up.  To start, I decided to turn to YouTube for inspiration.

     In the kitchen, I see my mother and father sitting at the table, wolfing down eggs and waffles.  I groan.  How annoying.  The same breakfast after only one month?  They certainly are two peas in a pod, with their forgetful natures and cheesy jokes.  My dad opens his mouth to tell one, but I grab my brand-new iPhone 12 pro and start scrolling through YouTube.  Out of the corner of my eye, I see my dad frown, but I know that I don’t need to score brownie points with my parents for them to get me whatever I want.  I click on a video on YouTube about space travel, and my eyes immediately widen.  A trip outside Earth?  A “stellar” experience?  Only billionaires can go?  My parents are billionaires; I can go!  I whirl around, lock eyes with them, and smile my sweetest smile.  To further butter them up, I take a large bite of the distasteful eggs and waffles and chew with vigor.  There’s no way they can refuse me now.  Scoring that trip will be a piece of cake.

     “Okay, spill the beans,” mom smiles.  “What would you like, my little pumpkin?”

     “I told you not to call me that,” I sigh with a disappointed air.  Best to be dramatic when you’re going to ask for something.  “My name is Marie.”

     “Marie,” dad returns, “what would you like?  A new dollhouse?  A car?  A mini-mansion in our backyard?  A trip to France?”

“I would like a trip,” I brandish the YouTube video, “but not to France.  To space!”

     I know something is wrong by my parents’ sudden change in expression.  They have never looked at me in such an absurd manner, and never have I felt so offended.  I clench my hands into fists, and I blink rapidly.  Tears spring to my eyes, my face flushes, and I snatch the video back.  “What do you think?” I inquire, stabbing at my waffles in defiance, although I already know the answer.

    Dad begins with an apologetic tone.  “I’m so sorry Marie, but space travel really isn’t my cup of tea.  Don’t you think it would be a bit unsafe to be in zero gravity, especially for a ten-year-old?”

     I begin to protest, but mom further rubs salt in my wound.  “Marie.  Nothing you say will change our minds.  This is for your own good.  You could die, and we would never want to lose you.  You’re my sweet little pumpkin.”  Quickly, I realize that I’m not going to get what I want.  For the first time in all my years of living.  When I wished for an interesting day full of firsts, I didn’t mean this kind of first.  Whatever happened to being born with a silver spoon in my mouth?  I don’t deserve this sadness!  Tears start flowing, and I let out an earth-shattering wail.  What a pickle I’m in.  As soon as there’s a sign of adventure and the chance to leave a boring life behind, my parents decide to be bad apples.  I refuse to listen to all of their useless consoling, and I grab my backpack.  I dash outside, my tears flowing freely, and sprint across the carefully manicured lawn.  If my parents won’t help me get that trip to space, I might as well snag it myself.  I stomp down to a bus stop, and catch the nearest bus.  No time to call our family’s driver, for my idiotic parents would have probably alerted him to take me back home.  What a bother!  I find the address of the company who offered to send people to outer space, and I schedule an appointment.  Now, all I have to do is pitch my case as the wealthy young daughter of my billionaire parents, prove that I have the money in my various accounts to take the trip, and leave my cumbersome parents behind.  

     Wow, the city!  It’s been so long since I’ve visited, and the buildings look stunning.  There are rows and rows of shimmering towers, people walking to and fro dressed in various colors, and delicate sculptures stretching skyward.  The bus stops, dropping me off in front of a looming, dark skyscraper.  I glance down at my iPhone 12 pro and double check the address of the company offering to send people to space.  Yep, that’s it.  Located right where the bus stopped.  What great luck!  However, I’m still stewing about what happened earlier with my parents.  Even though I’m eventually going to get what I want, I still can’t believe the nerve of them.  My foul mood persists through the slender glass doors, up the marble stairs, and into the golden elevator.  Pushing the button to floor seven, I tap my foot impatiently after a few seconds of waiting.  Could this thing go any slower?

     The elevator opens to an airy waiting room.  Sunlight filters in through the glass ceiling, and all around I can see the bright blue sky outside.  I’m all alone, aside from a woman wearing an olive green sweater.  She has mousy, shoulder-length brown hair with bangs, and is obviously nervous, as her hands are furiously shoveling cheesecake into her mouth.  As soon as the woman spots me, her eyes widen like a deer in headlights.  Caught with her hand in the cookie jar, I suppose.  Well, that’s her fault.  Why in the world is she eating all that cheesecake?  I stare rudely at her, and she appears to be embarrassed.  “Hi,” the woman says timidly.  “I’m really nervous.” Then, she laughs uncomfortably.  “You’re a little young… Why are you here?  I’m here for a job interview.  Wish me luck!”  At this, the woman gives me a small smile.

     I don’t return the gesture, for I have suddenly realized how hungry I am.  And that cheesecake she’s partially devoured is looking mighty good.  All I had for breakfast was a forkful of eggs and waffles, and in no way am I going to pass up such an opportunity.  Who does she think she is, eating that right before an important meeting?  An undignified peasant, that’s who.  Turning my nose up, I pin her with a haughty glare.  How inconsiderate.  She doesn’t even realize that one’s sweet tooth could be triggered just by looking at that succulent cheesecake.  

     “What flavor?” I ask pointedly.

     “Classic vanilla delight!” the woman exclaims.  “Best cheesecake I’ve ever had.  Certainly calms the nerves before a job interview.  In fact…” she then proceeds to take out the most dirty, disheveled, old phone I have ever seen.  “...I’m going to take a picture and set it as my lock screen!  Much more interesting than a boring floral print, right?”

     I don’t give her my answer, and instead my mouth waters.  I need that cheesecake.  Right now.  I deserve to have something good today, after suffering through such a disappointing breakfast with such obnoxious parents.  I can’t wait to ditch them on Earth.  In fact, I hope I never see them again!  My anger bubbles over, and I snatch the cheesecake from the woman’s clammy hands.  “You don’t deserve this!” I yell, stuffing my face until the cheesecake is completely gone.  That woman was right about one thing, I think, this is the best cheesecake ever.

     “Um, at least I got to eat half..?” the woman utters, confusedly, “but that was kind of rude.”

     I prepare a nasty retort for this bothersome woman, but an interviewer comes in to interview her.  “When is my appointment,” I question pointedly.  “I want that trip to space.”

     “Soon,” the interviewer nods politely.  “After this lady has concluded.”

     I decide to say one last thing to her, before she leaves for her interview.  “It may seem like I’m a spoiled ungrateful brat, but I’ll have you know -” I brandish the empty cheesecake box - “that this was my just dessert.”

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