Monday, February 5, 2018

Love at The Candy Heart Cafe—Chapter Five by Jean C. Gordon


Love at the Candy Heart Cafe (Our Valentine Serial)
Chapter Five
Jean C. Gordon

Candy scooped up Chad's business card from the top of the pastry and cookies case and held it between her thumb and index finger over the trash barrel behind the counter. But somehow she couldn't let it drop. Like she couldn't let go of the remnant of feelings for Chad that lay buried deep inside her, of wondering why his sister Taffy had lied to her.

She raised the card in front of her so she could read it. Her gaze went to the phone number, 555-222-5683—555-222-LOVE. Candy shook her head. The first six digits were different, but the last four were the same as his old number, the one he'd had when they were together. The number that he’d “had to” change to when he’d lost a dare with her over who could eat the most pieces of her grandmother’s famous triple fudge whipped cream pie. The green look on his face before he’d rushed to the men’s room brought a smile to her face.

“So, is whatever is on that card, good or bad?”

Candy raised her head to see Honey Sweet, her grandmother’s best friend, part-time pie supplier to the Candy Heart Café, and Candy’s high school home and careers teacher. Mrs. Sweet was the one who’d first recognized Candy’s creative talent and encouraged her to pursue her design degree.

“Neither. It’s Chad Hersey’s business card.”

“I see,” Honey said, bustling around Candy to place the two already sliced pies she carried in the case.

Uneasiness crept up Candy’s spine. Honey had been very close to Grandma, whom Candy had confided in. Honey might see more clearly than she did. “Chad wants to buy the Café,” she said, hoping to redirect whatever the older woman night be thinking.

“That’s what he does, I hear, buy and sell property,” Honey said. “But it’s not what you’re thinking about.”

Candy glanced around the empty café and dropped into the nearest chair.

Honey joined her at the small, round table for two, one of several in the middle of the café floor between the two rows of booths. “You may not want an old woman’s advice, but you’ll get it anyway. I always thought that if you’d just talked, you and Chad could have patched things up after that incident with Ginger Spice was resolved.
 

Candy stared at her fingernails, polished red with pink hearts for the upcoming holiday. So Grandma hadn’t shared everything. Words spilled out of her of their own volition. “When Ginger came back here to visit six months after she and Chad had left on the same day, I confronted her and her sparkly engagement ring, and found out Taffy had lied to me about Chad seeing Ginger behind my back when we were dating. The engagement ring was from Ginger’s now husband.”  She stopped for a breath, and Honey patted her hand.

“I tried to talk with Taffy about it, and she wouldn’t. She’d been one of my closest friends all through school.” That had broken Candy’s heart all over. “Taffy has done her best to avoid me since. Nearly ten years.”

“Sweetie,” Honey said, “did you try talking with Chad after you'd spoken with Ginger and Taffy?”

“Yes.” Candy slammed her palm to the table, startling the older woman and herself. “I called the phone number I had for Chad and left him a message that I wanted to talk with him. When I hadn’t heard back from him by a couple days later, I swallowed my pride and called again. He’d apparently blocked my number.”

Honey muttered something about electronics and the demise of modern society. “What are you going to do now that Chad is back?”

Candy steeled her spine. “I’m going to carry on with my life.” As she had when she and Chad had broken up, when her grandmother had become sick and she’d had to give up the job she’d loved at the bridal shop in Tampa, and two months ago when the local bank had turned down her loan request for funds to update the Café.

She rose and brushed her hands together. “And the Café is my life.” But somehow, since Chad’s appearance, the Café looked dingier than it had when she’d arrived to work this morning.

The bell on the door chimed, as a young couple stepped in. Candy pasted a smile on her face to greet them. But the joy she always felt in sweetening up the lives of the residents of Sweet Tart Village didn’t bubble up.

12 comments:

  1. So why did Taffy lie and why didn't Chad call her back? Can't wait for the next installment! Loving this story!

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  2. This just keeps getting better and better! :)

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  3. Sounds like there are a lot of crossed wires here!

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  4. What did Taffy do? Candy needs to get to the bottom of this asap!

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  5. Fingers crossed for Chad and Candy to get together again! So fun to read each episode! I'm on pins and needles!

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  6. Hmmmmmm.

    Taffy, Taffy, Taffy. BFF means something.

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  7. Why did Taffy lie? I'm so curious to see what's next!

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  8. Maybe Taffy didn’t want to lose her best friend and her big brother. Not the best way to go about it, if she lied!! Waiting for tomorrow!

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  9. Oh Taffy and her machinations. What will happen next?

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  10. Oh what a tangled web we weave....looking forward to the detanglement...lol!

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  11. I just remembered something that happened to me in high school...my BFF at the time told me my boyfriend was seeing another girl behind my back, which made me break up with him. Come to find out later on that she lied to me because she was jealous of me. Needless to say, she wasn't my BFF or any kind of friend of mine after that! Who needs enemies when you have so-called friends who stab you in the back, lol!

    I just thought maybe Taffy was jealous. Jealousy can make someone do something they wouldn't normally do...I've read it too much in fiction books and seen it happen in real life :-)

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