Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Baker's Choice

                                                   A Baker's Choice

          Ty Sinclair had graduated top of his class at Le Cordon Bleu cooking arts school. No sooner was he finish with school; he found a job at a local bakery in central Chicago. Within a year the bakery went from dead to thriving and saw more customers in one day then it use to cater in a week. People loved his signature filler in the éclairs and his own recipe of apple and cherry pies. His boss constantly asked for the recipes but Ty knew if he relinquished his notes, his boss would no longer have any need for him. His boss was not an appreciative or respectful man. He treated him like he owned him and was ungrateful after all Ty had done for the man.
          Cindy Watts has been visiting the bakery for the last six months. The word got out that the neighborhood bakery was finally selling excellent pastries and the service was upgraded. She had taken notice of the head baker, not only was he an exquisite baker, but to her and all the women who stopped in he was very handsome and charismatic. Whenever he saw or just heard her voice he would take the time to personally greet her. It wasn't long before he had asked on several occasions for her phone number that she agreed for him calling on her. The two had become good friends and shortly thereafter started seeing each other as a couple. The first nine months were the best relationship Cindy had ever been involved in.
          Fourteen month after starting his profession as head baker for the Chicago Bakery, Ty just up and quit. He was fed up with the treatment his boss dished out daily. Having just enough to put down on a new location and with Cindy's moral support, Ty opened Sinclair's Bakery and Deli within walking distance for his old job. It wasn't long before the place became a hit in the neighborhood.  Ty was used to being at work by four in the morning and being home by two in the afternoon at his old job. There he would work till all the baking was complete and others worked the sales counter; but here at his place, having no one to help him, he arrived long before sunup and worked till long after closing.
          Cindy loved spending time with Ty and at the beginning of their relationship he was always around in the evenings. He would take her out to dinner at some of the finer eateries or he would cook and bake for her something special and always unique. On weekends he would leave orders for the other bakers and he would spend those days with her going to movies or art shows, always somewhere new.  These days since opening his own place she rarely saw him at all. He worked seven days a week fourteen to sixteen hours a day and was more obsessed with the success of his business then his relationship. She recalls the day after he open his shop that he gave her an engagement ring and how happy they both were. Today was just like every day at seven in the evening, she sat with a frozen dinner and Alex Trebek on the tube. Sunday's she found herself going to church alone because Ty was too busy working, claiming it was his "busiest day of the week." They had been taking baptism classes together and plan to be baptized on the same day, but he had just stop going to church and she ended up getting baptize by herself.
          Ty could not be happier, nine months and business could not be going any better.  After another three months, he wasn't even bothered on the evening Cindy walked into his shop and in front of a couple of customers, she put her engagement ring on the counter and said, "I'm not going to be your mistress while you're married to your ovens." She turned, walked out without another word and didn't wait to see or hear his reaction. Ty had gone right back to the kitchen and kept working as if changing a flat and continuing ones journey. Fifteen months after opening his bakery Ty had a second location where he was going to bake his pies, éclairs and cookies on a larger scale and sale his goods at every food chain store in Chicago and the neighboring states.
          Cindy missed Ty and her heart was still in pain from their breakup but she knew she had done the right thing. It had already been almost eight months and she still couldn't stop thinking about him and how she still was in love with him. He had promised her after the first three months of working long hours every day, that it would only be for another month or until he got things up and running. Eight months later nothing had change and she decided to end the relationship. Days like today were not good ones, they seem to carry a burden too heavy to bear and the thought to pray for Ty was at times overwhelming. “Lord I have no idea why you have chosen me to be his advocate? Because he doesn’t even know that I exist.” Her question always went unanswered and in the silence she still knew that God was asking her to pray for the man who had injured her heart.
         Two years and Ty couldn't be more excited, the large food chains combined brought close to ten million a year from the three baking factory's he now owned. Things had gone better than he had ever imagined in his wildest dreams. He had brought a new house in the suburbs and drove a late model Cadillac with twenties and a stereo that could be heard four blocks away. His employees considered him a fair employer and as an individual they respected and generally liked him. He had reached the pinnacle of success and felt like the luckiest man alive. No sooner had he finished the thought and a sharp pain in his stomach caused him to buckle over at the waist. His head also suffered a sharp pricking or needle like pain that quickly subsided. The whole experience lasted about two minutes then the pain slowly eased and faded. The following day he arrived at one of the factory's and while in the rest room relieving himself, the pain was back twice as sharp and lasted about a minute longer. When the pain passed he found himself in a cold sweat and his entire body was shaking.  This continues to happen for over a month. Ty did not share his experience with anyone, and for the last week, ran his business entirely from his home. When the pain attacked, it was always unexpected and so sharp that Ty would lay down in a fetal position and grind his teeth to the point that he had chipped a molar.
     Cindy had not stop by one of the bakeries in months; Ty now owned three in the greater Chicago area, not counting the three factories. Today her sweet tooth had gotten the better of her and she was in the mood for one of Ty's signature custard éclairs. The bakery in her neighborhood was the first one Ty had opened. Robert the manager had been the first employee and knew Cindy since her days as Ty’s fiancé. Robert was always a little uncomfortable around her, maybe because he had been there the day Cindy had dropped off the ring and broken up with his boss. Robert greeted her with a simple "Hello" and a smile. Cindy ordered a few goodies and then out of curiosity or courtesy, she didn't know which, but she asked, "And how is Ty these days?" Robert looked away at one of his coworkers, than back at her and replied, "haven't you heard, Ty has been hospitalized for three days now. He's been in a coma for the last two days and the doctors have no idea what's causing his illness. They have done all kinds of tests and nothing that would give them a clue as to what is happening to him." Her eyes were wide open as she listen to the news from Robert and then they shrunk to a frown. "What hospital is he in?" She manages to ask under all the panic she felt. "All those prayers may have been about this moment" she thought to herself. "God please keep him safe and help the doctors find out what's wrong with him" She was listening to Robert but was silently praying inside of herself. She was about to pay for her goods when Robert waved her off and told her, "It’s on the house" She left the bakery in a hurry and drove straight to the hospital. Once inside she asked for Ty's room and was told that he was in ICU. When she found her way to the ICU she was asked if she was family. Not really knowing how to answer she said, "I'm his fiancé, I just got in from out of town" for a moment she felt guilty for having to lie. "Sorry Lord I didn't know what else to say.” The nurse showed her to his bedside and explained the rules. "You can only stay for fifteen minutes and will be able to come in the ward every two hours for fifteen minute periods at a time. They are planning to move him this evening to a private room with a nurse around the clock and you will be able to stay by his bedside" Cindy walked up to his bed and her heart flew up to her throat. She reached out and took his hand and he felt cold like a dead body. She stood there and began to cry; closing her eyes she prayed and prayed some more in silence.
       Ty Knew he was not home or at any of his locations but couldn't pin point where. He had heard voices but couldn't remember how many or how long ago. He couldn't seem to open his eyes or talk; no matter how much he told himself or better yet think of what he wanted to say, it wouldn't come out of his mouth. He also couldn't move no matter how hard he tries to move a limb or just a single finger, not even a twitch. This was not good he thought, "I must be dead, but then again I'm still in my body" He had heard stories where people had out of body experiences and they were looking down at their body and this was not the case. Ty had no clue that he had already been in the hospital for three days and in this state for two. At times he couldn’t remember if he had slept or been unconscious because he couldn't remember hearing the voices. Someone was touching his hand of this he was sure. He had no ability to react or squeeze back and give any kind of signal. At that moment fear gripped his thoughts, "what if they think I'm dead and bury me alive" was the first fear. "What if they cut me open and I feel the scalpel cutting open my flesh" was fear number two. "What if they inject me with some kind of medicine like penicillin, for which I'm allergic to" He tries to stop his mind from continuing to run with its thoughts, but he wasn't able to control the thoughts. He wanted to yell but he also had no control of his physical functions. The fear that he would wake up blind made him want to open his eyes but couldn't. “Maybe they have removed them.” He wanted to cry but that also proof to be impossible. His next fear constricted his heart, the fear that he would never walk or be able to touch anything; which meant he would never cook or bake again. At the moment he wasn't able to touch the one holding his hand and that fear became so real he wanted to die. The fears became so real he could literally see and feel them. The worst was the fear that he would wake up one day like those comatose patients, who wake up after ten years, and all he worked for was gone. He had no idea how long his mind had been haunting him, tormenting and torturing the life out of him. His mind wondered to all he had financially built and how he had horde it all. For some reason he thought of all the starving people and the fact that in two years he had made millions and giving nothing back. The thought and fear that he would soon be one of them, again he wanted to yell but couldn’t. The Fear that he would wake up and everyone he knew or loved would have died and he would be alone. Fear that once again Chicago would suffer another fire like back in 1871 and he wouldn’t be able to move and he would burn up. Fire got his attention, why was that, he thought. The fear of fire became stronger and he knew if he died, he was going to hell. The thought of everything he had given up or let go of for the riches of this world became daunting. "Cindy, what have I done Lord; I have ruined everything, and I have been greedy and selfish, thought of no one but myself. I hurt the only woman who showed me true love and I let her go without saying a word. I walked away from you and now I understand that you gave me everything I own." All the fears started to ease themselves and Ty felt himself drifting and then he was gone.
        Cindy had been sitting in the hospital recliner for two days and the only thing she had put in her stomach was a few cups of coffee. She had asked for a bible and had been reading it every waking hour. The doctors had run every test possible from Cat scans to MRI’s and taken blood every four hours and turned out no answers. It was day five and Ty laid there breathing and nothing else, he had not even pass water. The instruments readouts where all normal but Ty just remained in his comatose state. It was seven in the morning on day seven when he opened his eyes. He looked at the face of an angel sitting by his bedside, "Cindy" he said before he realized he could speak. She looked back at him and the tears where apparent and genuine. "How long have I been here" he asked. "Seven days" she replied with a small hiccup in her voice. Ty just stared and with a sad look and remorse in every word he asked, "How long have you been sitting there?"She wiped the tears by her nose before she spoke. "Four days and from the minute I found out you were here" She replied with tears streaming out of her eyes. "Why would you do this when I let you dump me without fighting for you?" He asked looking at the foot of the bed and not daring to look her in the eyes. She leaned over, kissed him on the lips and with a smile she replied, "Well, truth is Mr. Baker, because sometimes we can’t feel the love, until we taste it.”

You Cannot Serve God and Riches

24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Matthew 6:24