Can Cassie re­sist?

My Weekly - - Contents - By Rose­mary Hayes

Cassie stood out­side the bak­ery store star­ing into the win­dow. Any­one pass­ing by would prob­a­bly think she was pon­der­ing which of the en­tic­ing sweet treats to buy. Last year they would have been right – but they didn’t know about the res­o­lu­tion Cassie had made re­cently.

She had walked past the bak­ery sev­eral times since then, but hadn’t gone in. Now here she stood. She never dreamed that keep­ing her res­o­lu­tion would be this hard. Should she? Shouldn’t she? Cassie headed in­side. There were sev­eral peo­ple in the queue wait­ing to be served and as the line grew shorter, her stom­ach churned. Cof­fee. She’d just or­der a cof­fee, that’s all.

While wait­ing, her cell phone beeped. A text from her sis­ter, Jess.

Good­tim­ing, Cassie typed. Guess whereIam? Jess was the only per­son she had told about her res­o­lu­tion. The bak­ery café. Have you gone in? In queue. What should I do? Only you can de­cide. Jess wrote. Pic­ture your­self in twelve months time. If you break your res­o­lu­tion, will you look back with re­grets? Good ques­tion. Would she? Last year, com­ing here af­ter work helped her un­wind. Mrs Wat­son baked ev­ery­thing her­self from scratch, recipes handed down from her mother. Her son, Nick, helped run the place.

It was usu­ally Nick who served Cassie on Fri­days. He had a per­son­al­ity as sweet as the treats in the shop, and if her reg­u­lar vis­its were also an ex­cuse to chat to Nick, could any­one blame her? He was al­ways able to make her smile no mat­ter how tir­ing or stress­ful her week had been.

“He’s sin­gle, you know,” Mrs Wat­son said once, wink­ing at Cassie. “And he’s nearly thirty – it’s about time he set­tled down if you ask me.”

Nick had been within earshot. In­stead of be­ing em­bar­rassed he put his arm around his mum and smiled.

“Don’t scare the cus­tomers away, es­pe­cially not my favourite one.”

Yes – there was so much Cassie liked about Nick.

Soon it was her turn to be served. “Hi, Cassie.” Nick smiled. “You’ve not been in for a while. The usual to­day?”

There was a smudge of flour on his cheek and she re­sisted the urge to reach out and brush it away. Her nerves buzzed. She wanted to keep her res­o­lu­tion but… Sec­onds ticked by silently. She took a deep breath. “No. Just cof­fee to­day, thanks.” He raised an eye­brow. “I’m not ac­tu­ally hun­gry at the mo­ment. Re­ally.”

“No prob­lem. I’ll bring your cof­fee over when it’s ready.”

Cassie sat down. It wasn’t long be­fore Nick placed her cof­fee on the ta­ble, and also a plate with what looked sus­pi­ciously like choco­late cake. “Oh, but I didn’t or­der the cake.” “I know, but I’m hop­ing you can help me out. I no­ticed the first few weeks af­ter every New Year, sales of cakes drop off. I’m sure it’s be­cause ev­ery­one’s made res­o­lu­tions to get health­ier.

“Not that I think you have to,” he blurted, “you’re per­fect as you are…” She’d never seen him flus­tered. It made him even cuter than he al­ready was.

“What I’m try­ing to say is, I’ve cre­ated a low-fat, low sugar, low calo­rie ver­sion of our choco­late cake. Could you taste it and give me your opin­ion, please?” It cer­tainly looked de­li­cious. “Low calo­rie? Sounds too good to be true.” She took a bite. “Mmmm, so good.”

“Thanks. We’ll make them a reg­u­lar item then. Now cus­tomers won’t need to keep away if they’d made res­o­lu­tions.”

“Are you al­ways so de­ter­mined not to lose cus­tomers?”

“Ac­tu­ally, Cassie, I’m only de­ter­mined not to lose you.” He looked into her eyes. “When you stopped com­ing in, I re­alised how much I missed you.”

They were the sweet­est words she had ever heard. Her nerves dis­ap­peared.

“You know, I made a res­o­lu­tion,” Cassie ad­mit­ted. “It wasn’t to go on a health kick though. My res­o­lu­tion was to ask you some­thing… Would you like to go out to din­ner with me?”

“Now there’s a co­in­ci­dence.” Nick smiled. “That’s ex­actly what I was go­ing to ask you next. To­mor­row night?” “It’s a date.” Cassie watched him head back to the counter know­ing in twelve months she’d have no re­grets now. In fact, her heart sus­pected the year would be filled with sweet sur­prises.

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