It was pouring in London. As usual. But he didn’t care, he had to deliver this wedding cake and fast. Of all times for the cell phone not to work. Right in the middle of the worst rain storm and right when he most needed it for he had forgotten the exact address he was supposed to deliver this cake to.
He did think of going into one of the pubs and ask for their permission to use their phone. He would even pay for it from his own pocket, but, hey, we are the generation 2.0! We are all but sad extensions of our phones, right? Our memory is now entirely stored on our phones … Including phone numbers of course! A landline would be of no use he did not know the number by heart.
He stood there under a porch hoping the cake would not get too wet, but already he could feel the cardboard box becoming soft in his hands.
He stood and scratched his head. He felt like a fool. He was a fool. He had promised himself that this would be the one job in his life that he would not screw up. How complicated could it possibly be, he had asked himself a million times. How bloody complicated could it be to deliver wedding cakes. A fuckin’ piece of cake, right!?
At that very moment he felt really sorry he was not a girl. And even sorrier that he was not a blond girl. And good looking, and charming, and a bit vulgar, because, had he been all that, he would have shed a tear or two, while appealing to any male above him in the bakery hierarchy and they would have forgiven him/her in no time. He knew it. He/she might have been asked for some extra service but he was sure attractive blond girls must like those too. Otherwise, why would they look how they look? Duh.
But here he was, a sturdy black, real black, twenty something youngster from the ’troubled youth’ neighbourhood. At school he had always been in the special classes with “all them nutcases”, cracking their knuckles at the teachers. He himself had cracked a nasal bone or two. Not really on purpose, but that’s another story.
Everything had changed after he had met “her”. The most beautiful thing he had ever laid his eyes on and he knew she was “it”, his “it”. He also knew he had to stop breaking bones, nasal or others and had to stay clear of his friends for a while. So he went to look for “recspectable” jobs, the sort Keanu Reeves would have held in a movie. He loved Keanu. That man was genius he thought. The bakery and the deliveries were his sixth job in two months. There had been some sort of nasal or anal problems in the other jobs too.
And so now, he was standing in the street with his cake all wet. It must be all wet now. He had put it on the floor ten minutes ago. The thing was getting too heavy, man!
He stood there with the cake at his feet and felt fearful about what he thought would be the sorry next phase of his life, after yet another failure. First thing, of course, there would be no more “it-girl” without respectability, he would certainly go back to his old habits and petty crimes with his bone breaking friends.
He could not even shed a tear because he was not blond. So instead he just stood and stared at the rain falling, when, all of sudden the door he was leaning on opened behind him, letting a very well-dressed and classy couple out. He looked at them, and felt a hot rush of blood springing to his face, illuminating it with pure joy and happiness as he ran inside shouting “God is great! God is great!”, or “Allah wakbar” in his mother tongue. This was the place he had been looking for all the time. This is exactly where the wedding was taking place. He had been standing right outside getting all soaked while the place he was looking for was right behind him. Talk about stars! He was the happiest he had been in a long time. Life was sweet after all, even when poured on, even when soaked. In a bout of happiness he gave another shout in celebration of God, who definitely was on his side today and at the top of his voice he shouted again, “Allah wakbar”, lifting the soddy cake in its soaked box high above his head, as an offering to the one and only God! His merciful God. They had not always been on best terms, but now, he was surely going to try and do a little more for God.
He was walking tall and happy and was so absorbed with his happiness that he had not noticed the commotion amongst the wedding guests, the screams of fear, the panic, the security guards that had been deployed all around the place. The elite unit.
(February 12th, 2014)