“Milo,” my father hissed. “Stop texting and say hello to Mr. Sweeney.”
I looked up from my message to the most popular girl in the tenth grade, Carla Bloom. Didn’t he realize this was life or death? I sighed and pushed my cell phone into my pants pocket. This job is going to ruin my life.
My father scampered to open the door for the petite elderly man in brown trousers and a dark gray overcoat that could easily have been plucked from a rack at the Salvation Army. His face swanked more wrinkles than all of my mother’s great aunts combined.
“Good afternoon, Benny,” the old man chirped. A brisk February wind accompanied him into my father’s bakery, Benny’s Italian Pastries, blowing rose petals from the counter onto the floor. Groaning, I picked them up, noting his tattered black shoes.
I estimated that it would take him three minutes or more to shuffle across the floor to the counter in front of me. Plenty of time for me to have finished my text message to Carla.
My mother swooped in with a tray of fresh strawberries dipped in chocolate and placed them meticulously inside the glass pastry case. Sweet aromas of chocolate cake and cookies lingered in the air like a chocolate fog, heavy and delicious. My stomach growled, even after all these years of helping out in our family’s famous establishment I could not resist my parent’s pastries.