She drank her coffee while the rain gently tapped on the window as if asking to be invited in. It made her smile, partially because the thought of rain coming from her ceiling was silly but also because her plants needed the rain. Peonies, roses, begonias, bluebells, camellias, hydrangeas. She had quite the green thumb and a beautiful garden to show for it. “Morning love,” her husband’s voice, two warm arms around her waist, and a routine kiss on the shoulder greeted her. “Hey honey,” she said back to him, leaning her head against his chest. They stood in silence for a few minutes watching the rain and listening to the coffee maker brew another cup.
“Is it supposed to rain all day?” he asked, knowing that she knew the answer.
She shook her head, “No, just this morning.” Another small bout of silence and the coffee maker beeped.
“Do you want to bake today? I picked up that butter you like at the market yesterday,” he said grabbing his cup of coffee, knowing that she’d probably say yes.
“Baking is my favorite. And that butter is perfect for it,” she added, smiling at him.
“Of course. Oh, and I have a surprise for you. C’mon!” he said, grabbing the car keys suddenly.
“But I’m still in my pajamas!” she objected.
“Well, you’re not naked. Let’s go!” he motioned to the door, unaware that he was still holding his coffee cup.
“I haven’t finished my coffee and you haven’t finished yours,” she declared.
Matt quickly grabbed her coffee cup and dumped the rest of it in a Thermos to go, doing the same with his. He hurried out to the car with the keys and two Thermoses as she followed.
“Matt, what’s going on?” she asked confused.
“Here! Put this on,” he said, handing her a bandana. “It’s supposed to be a surprise.”
She rolled her eyes but put the bandana around her eyes anyway and secretly, she loved it. Surprises came only a few times a year and she sincerely enjoyed them. She knew not to ask questions. Matt wasn’t one for giving up details easily.
A twenty-minute drive, a few turns, and a few of her favorite tunes later they had arrived.
“We made it, but keep that on. We’ll get out first,” he demanded.
He helped her out of the car and laughed as she took baby steps on the sidewalk while holding onto his arm. It was funny watching her use her toes to feel the steps before she took them, especially since they were only getting out of the car and walking a few steps onto the sidewalk.
“Now can I take it off? I probably look ridiculous in this city full of people standing in my pajamas with a Thermos in one hand and bandana around my face. Now Matt?” she asked, more curious about what he was trying to pull.
“Wait for it. Wait, and…now!” he proclaimed.
She pulled off the bandana and saw an old, empty brick building with large, dusty windows and a “for rent/for sale” sign in the window. The bricks were dark colored from the rain and the mortar between them was a dark gray, once a vibrant white. The windows were in good shape and the design on top of building store belonged to a shoe store that had moved deeper into downtown.
“So…I’m standing in front of an old brick building in the rain because…why?” she asked perplexed.
Matt smiled nervously and looked down.
“A bakery, Emma. I want to open a bakery with you,” he replied softly. “I know it’s your passion and this just went on the market and I just thought that you’re so good at it and everyone loves everything you bake. Some of my coworkers have offered to pay for your cakes! And the market isn’t too far away. We can get all our ingredients there, which I know you love because they have amazing stuff, you know? We have an appointment on Thursday so we can cancel if you don’t like it. I mean, it is Saturday – we have time. You don’t have to like it but do you like it?” he rambled breathlessly, finally ending with a hopeful yes.
She smiled for the third time that morning, nodded her head, and hugged him in tears.
“I’ve only dreamed of owning a bakery,” she whispered to him through her tears.
“I know,” he replied squeezing her tighter. “C’mon, let’s go home and bake with that butter to celebrate,” he said merrily.
And they did.