Artemis and I walked to the bakery where the cake tasting would be. He had warned me it might be a pretty big tasting but I wasn't prepared for what I saw. I was joking with him when we walked in and froze.
There were at least 15 cakes. My jaw dropped. They were set up in a semi-circle. All of them were single layered and the baker was standing in the middle, beaming at us. He was a short and stout man. He was bald and had cheerful blue eyes.
"I'm so glad you could come to my humble bakery!" he said, coming forward to shake our hands. "These are all the cakes I could think of! After you taste them all, we'll decided on a design!"
"After you," Artemis said, amused at how overwhelmed I was by all the cakes.
You had your generic flavors like chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla. He also had rather... interesting ones. There was lavender, passionfruit which tasted awful, and maple. I had to take long swigs of water just to get my palate reset after the exotic ones. Thankfully, the passionfruit was the last one. The baker stepped out to let us talk among each other.
"If you pick the passionfruit, I'm leaving you," I muttered and he laughed loudly.
"That one was very... different."
I laughed, too, and we shared our thoughts on all the different cakes. The baker came back in five minutes later, an excited look on his face.
"Have you decided?" he asked.
"Yes. We'll go with the red velvet," Artemis answered.
The baker's face fell. "But what of the passionfruit?" he said, rushing to the cake. "It is perfect for weddings! Passion is in its name!"
"Ah," I said. "Yes but... some of our guests will be more interested in inhaling the cake in one gulp. The... exotic flavor will be lost on them."
"Yes, yes," he sighed. "I see what you mean. Some people cannot appreciate a good flavor. They are more interested in eating it without even savoring the taste." He shook his head tragically and took us to a table where a thick book awaited us. "In here you will find all of the different designs I can make."
"How many are in there?" Artemis asked as I opened the book.
"Only 200," he said and we looked at him.
By the time we left the bakery, it was dark out. We had picked a traditional three layer cake. I yawned on the way home.
"You know, that wouldn't have been so bad if he hadn't been so damn pushy," Artemis said.
"Tell me about it. 'But what of the passionfruit'?" I mimicked. "In other words, 'I made this up. Take it so I can get some recognition.'"
Artemis laughed. "But passion is in its name, Deidre!"
We walked into the house, still laughing. When we got into the kitchen, though, I groaned loudly. Every inch of the counters was covered in invitation samples. Evelyn was straightening a few of them and she frowned at us.
"What took you so long? I didn't expect you to be gone for five hours!"
While Artemis told her of our experience, I wandered among the different samples. There were traditional ones that I really liked but also some more modern, intricate ones. Artemis was looking at one in particular with an impressed look on his face.
"Whatcha got there?" I asked, leaning on his arm.
"Watch," he said.
At first glance, it just looked like a greeting card. As he opened it, though, a popup of our fountain opened at the top. Inside it had the information about our wedding. I looked at the other invitations. None of them had the fountain on them.
"Hey, Evelyn?" I asked and she came over. "Who made this?"
She picked up a piece of paper. "Someone named 'Ethan Monos'. Why?"
I looked at Artemis.
"This is the one," we said in unison.
She stared at it. "Are you sure? It's a little.... Forgive me, but it looks very poorly made. In fact, it looks like a child made it."
"We're sure," Artemis said firmly. He glanced at the clock. "I'm too tired to cook. Let's order Chinese."
I agreed and we sat in the living room while my mom got the phonebook out. Immediately, I got my phone out and Artemis looked over my shoulder. I went to Facebook first but Ethan Monos wasn't on there. Frowning, I went to Google.
"Oh, my God," we groaned.
"Cancel the dinner," I breathed, "and take us to the hospital."
I held Deidre's hand tightly as we waited in the lobby with our mothers. The woman was on the phone but she indicated she'd just be a moment. Deidre was trying not to cry and I squeezed her hand. I was about to cry, too, but I didn't want to. Especially not in front of Ethan.
"Sorry about that," the woman said. "How can I help you?"
"We'd like to visit Ethan Monos please," I whispered.
"Visiting hours are over sir," she began but I got the invitation out of my coat pocket.
She stared at it.
"Please let us see him," Deidre whispered.
The woman sighed and nodded. "He's in room 405."
"Thank you," I breathed.
We walked slowly. We hadn't explained it to our mothers and, now that we were walking to his room, I probably should have. I knocked lightly on the door and a nurse opened it with a frown.
"Visiting hours are over," she said.
"We've been given special permission," I said. "Please let us in."
She looked ready to argue until she saw the wedding invitation in my hand. She opened the door and ducked out, covering her mouth with her hand.
"Judy?" a little boy's voice said. "Who's at the door?"