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He Bakes

The following is a short story I wrote for a communication writing class, based on a college roommate’s life experiences.

 

Cheesecake, Red Velvet, Cookies.

Heavenly. Divine.

 

Nathan struggles to find the right words. He stutters through a thought as his mouth moves ever so slightly faster than his mind. Life is difficult on the spectrum.

 

Even Nathan’s own family struggles to connect with him. He feels only one person in his lonely life truly understands him. He feels only one person completely appreciates him. He feels there is only one person he can turn to.

 

Every Sunday, Nathan spends the day in the kitchen baking with his grandma. They plan their recipe beforehand. Whatever Nathan wants, they make. They drive together to the supermarket, buy the ingredients, and set to work.

 

He asks her advice. She shares her lifetime of wisdom. They create together.

 

Years go by. They make pastries, cakes, pies. There’s nothing special about the recipes. Ordinary desserts, made with his grandma’s love. The time they spend together is what makes them special– makes them extraordinary. These are some of Nathan’s favorite memories.

 

He leaves for college. Thousands of miles from home, he bakes.

 

Cheesecake, Red Velvet, Cookies.

 

They continue to communicate as often as they can. Across the country, she listens, she advises, she loves.

 

Slowly, she begins to struggle to recognize her family. She struggles to recognize Nathan. She can’t take care of herself any more. Life is difficult with dementia.

 

“Despite what they have, we still love them and care for them until the very end,” Nathan says.

 

“… until the very end.”

 

He maintains his treasured memories with his grandma. He knows she’s happier now. He knows she’s free from suffering. He knows through the power of his faith he will see her again. Until then, he bakes.

 

Her Cheesecake, her Red Velvet, her Cookies– They’re good.

But she– She is heavenly. She is divine.

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