“Bitters!? Your boss was a Bitters?” That was the face I made when the realization of what had acutally gone down hit my brain. The evil winch I worked with was somehow related to Glaze’s ex boss. Had to be. Suddenly everything was so clear. She was the only one who could have possibly been around to see what had happened that fateful day. Oh I was livid. The anger was bubbling up inside of me. So angry I was seeing red, but suddenly my anger turned my stomach sour.
Before I threw up on poor Glazes feet, I ran to the bathroom. Just as my bare feet hit the cool ceramic tiles, I lost control and emptied all the contents of my stomach into the freshly clean white bowl. This was a first for me, I had never been so angry before that it made me sick. A second wave took me over and I heaved again. Nothing left to release though. I did my best to stay quiet, but soon there was a knock at the door.
“Honey are you alright?”
“Ya!” I called out as I went to the sink to rinse out my mouth and wash my hands.
When I opened the bathroom door, there was Glaze watching me with a very concerned look on his face. He put an arm around me and I dropped my head to his shoulder.
“You sure you are ok? It sounded like you were throwing up in there.”
“Ya I think I just got a little ever excited about the whole Bitters thing.”
“Hmmm, I never known anyone to get sick over something like that….”
The truth was I had been feeling under the weather for the past couple of days. Ever since Glaze had gotten fired, he had been staying with me in my room. Mom and Dad both felt simply awful about what had happened. I was happy to have him so close, but after a couple weeks, these waves of nausea were progressively getting worse.
“You know…maybe you are pregnant.”
Pregnant…me? Well it wasn’t a totally far fetched idea. Oh my… “I guess it is always possible.”
After a little more deliberation, we decided it was worth a trip to the 24 hour market. We threw on some clothes and jumped in the car. As we entered the overly bright convenience store, my stomach started to turn again. What if I was pregnant? How would Glaze react. He just lost his job and now he is going to be saddled with a baby? I paused in the aisle and took a deep breath. Glaze grabbed my hand and gave me a reassuring smile. I couldn’t help but smile back. I grabbed one of the more expensive tests (wanna make sure its accurate you know) and we headed to the check out. Thankfully the cashier was kind enough to not make small talk about the item. He just bagged it up and wished us both a good night.
When we arrived back at the house, I ran up the stairs with my small paper bag and locked myself in the bathroom. I opened the box and paused. As if he knew I was hesitating, I heard a voice from the other side of the door.
“Saff Honey you can do this and I will be right here.”
At first I nodded, then realizing there was no way for him to see me I called back. “Ok…” I read the instructions carefully and then executed them. I placed the test on the sink for the five minutes, which in all actuality felt like an eternity. Suddenly the test started to change color, there on the side of the panel were two plus signs. Positive.
I opened the door, unsure of what was going to happen next and slowly walked into the hallway.
Glaze picked me up and spun me around. “Oh Honey congratulations! You’re gonna be a Momma! and I am gonna be a Pappa! The pride in his voice was unmistakable. He was so excited. I was excited to, but the spinning was causing me to get sick again. “Yes but can you please put me down, I think I might just…”
“Oh right! Sorry.” He placed me back down on the carpet and threw his arms around me. “Saffron I am the happiest man alive. I have always wanted a family and there is no one in this world I would rather have by my side.” We held onto each other a little while longer until another thought entered my head. Mom. I had to tell Mom the good news!
I headed out to the “Zen Room” but as I did so I started to have second thoughts about revealing my good news. Mom had been through a lot in the last couple of weeks. Pumpkin had decided to move in with her high school sweet heart Apple. She just came in one afternoon and said “Apple and I are going to rent an apartment together.” and that was that. None of us could say we didn’t see it coming though. Those two were practically inseparable since we were kids.
But that was all childs play compared to Orange. Once Glaze was fired, Mom only had a few days to get another care worker, or Orange would be sent back to the institution. What Mom didn’t realize was Orange had some plans of her own.
“Momma whats wrong?”
“Sweetheart if I don’t get another worker in here tomorrow, they are going to take you back to Fraise Falls.”
“But Momma I wanna go back to Fraise Falls.”
“Really its ok. I was happy there. I was even making new friends. I know how hard and expensive this has been on you. Please Momma? You can come and see me when ever you want. I wish I could get better, but it just doesn’t seem to be happening. I don’t want to burden you any more.”
“Sweetheart you are never a burden. I love you with all my heart. I just want you to be happy.”
“And I will be Momma. I love you too.”
It was probably the most “Pre fire Orange” conversation any of us had seen or would see from her again. The next day Orange was back at the Sanitarium and for the most part, I think the main stress and concern had been released from my mother; knowing that Orange was happy there.
I reached the door of the “Zen room” and quietly knocked. “Mom? Can I come in a second?”
“Of course dear!”
I found her in the far back corner, she had been breaking space rocks, her new favorite past time. Excitedly I broke the news. To my surprise she was almost as excited as Glaze had been.
“Oh Thats wonderful baby!”
I am not sure if it was due to my hormones, but in my excited frenzy, I unloaded all the other news I had learned that evening. I told her about Glazes ex boss and Celly’s evil heart, but instead of sympathy, it was almost as she was defending her!
“Honey…the Bitters are an unusual lot. Its best to just try and let them be.”
“Are you acutally defending her?!”
“No no. I am just saying…She probably doesn’t mean to be like that.”
Frustrated I stormed out of the room. How could she even give one ounce of understanding to such an evil witch?!
“Loganberry Hospital. How may I help you?”
“Yes. I need to speak to Doctor Bitters?”
“Her shift ended a few hours ago. Let me see if she is in her office. Hold Please.”
“This is Bitters? Who is this?”
“Olive it’s Apricot.”
“I’m calling about Glaze Lemon Tart.”
“What about him?”
“You know as well as I do why I am calling. Couldn’t you give him another chance? He and Saffron are expecting a child. Berry, Olive! Isn’t there some part of your heart that can offer him some understanding?”
“…I suppose I might be able to arrange something. No promises though.”
“Oh Olive Tha- *Click*
That night we went to bed proud parents to be. I looked into his eyes and all the strife we had gone through just seemed to melt away. “Goodnight my love.”
“Goodnight Saffron. I love you.”
The next morning, I got myself ready for work. I was still pretty steamed about Celly, and I knew that it would be almost impossible for me to work anywhere near that evil creature. I had decided just before I went to sleep, that I would be quitting. I could always find a job closer to home and sell my art on the side. It probably wouldn’t offer as much money, but we could make do.
I went to Mint’s office and announced the good news of my pregnancy. Then I dropped the bombshell.
“But there is more. After the baby is born, I won’t be coming back.”
“Oh my. Why? You are such a wonderful artist? Are you not comfortable with the live exibit?”
“No Ma’am it has nothing to do with you or the exhibit. Celly has caused me and my growing family some serious setbacks and I can no longer stand to be around her.”
“I see. May I ask what happened.”
I gave Mint the shortened version of what had transpired and the look on her face was that of disappointment. She then pleaded with me one last time.
“Saffon please let me discuss this with Celly before you make your final decision.” I nodded.
Mint then called Celly into the office. As she entered the room I couldn’t help but glare at her.
With a sickening sweet smile she asked “You wanted to see me Auntie?”
“Yes. Celly. That will be all Saffron thank you.”
I saw my way out of the office and quickly headed to the restroom. My morning sickness had been relentless.
“Celery Apricot Bitters what is the matter with you!?”
“Geez Auntie Mint whats the matter with you?”
“Do you realize how important the live exhibit is to this gallery? It was bringing in more foot traffic than even I had imagined. It’s practically the lifeline keeping this place afloat. How could you do this to us? I specifically expressed how important Saffron was here, and what do you do? You deliberately sabotage her. I’m sorry but you have given me no other choice. Celly you’re fired.”
“You can’t fire me! I’m your niece!”
“I just did?”
“But…what about my wedding! How am I supposed to pay for it now?!”
“I will give you a nice severance package. It should be good enough until you can get another job.”
“This conversation is over Celly.”
Unaware of all that had just happened, I continued to wash my hands in the sink as I heard the door open. I saw a flash of green in my periphery, but chose to ignore it. Then I heard a voice full of venom.
“Thanks a lot.” She spat.
I turned from the sink and snagged a paper towel. “Huh?”
“Thanks to you I just got fired! I was getting married soon. Now I have to add finding another job to my list!” Someone was acutally going to marry this beast?
“I didn’t ask her to fire you. I went in there to quit.”
“Oh save it Sugar Lips. I know you don’t like me.”
“Celly I think you have this whole situation backwards. You don’t like me. You got my boyfriend fired. Did you forget that part?”
“Ya I remember and I would gladly do it again. Low life’s like him don’t need to be taking care of nut cases.”
That was the proverbial straw. I had officially had my fill of Miss Bitters. “LOOK! I am glad you got fired! You are by far the meanest person on the face of this earth. You have an empty hole where your heart should be! I don’t know how anyone would ever agree to marry your sour a**!!! Now get out of my face before my fist rearranges yours.”
“Wow…Maybe you should be in that nut house with your sister.”
“Get out!!” I had never been so ugly to anyone in my life. She quickly made her leave and I felt like a brand new woman. I had to admit I was quite proud of myself for standing up to her. Good job Saff.
Meanwhile back at the house…
“Yes Mr. Lemon Tart please.”
“This is he.”
“The nursing staff at the Loganberry hospital is looking for two new hires. It would be in your best interest to get down there as soon as possible with your credentials. They know you are coming.”
“Thank you Mrs. Bitters. This really means so much.”
“Don’t thank me. Thank your mother-in-law.”
“She’s not my mother-in-law. Well not yet anyways.”
“Well…Whatever. Loganberry hospital…” *click*
To add more excitement to the afternoon, just as Glaze was hanging up the phone the doorbell rang. Persimmon bolted to the door to let in the mystery guest. Her online lover was supposed to be at the house soon. So she pretty much new it was him waiting on the other side. She opened the door and…
But it wasn’t her Australian cutie, it was Dewey from our old high school. He was dressed in his nicest sweater vest and sheepish grin. “Hey Persimmon.”
“Dewey…what are you doing here?”
“Well…its me. Romeo.”
“Persimmon I wasn’t exactly honest with you about who I was. I used my dads old screen name and pretended to be that hunky aussie guy. I knew you would never give me a chance if I just came out and said ‘Persimmon I like you’.”
“Dewey…how could you lie to me like that?”
“I know. I am so sorry. It was a stupid thing to do, but I loved talking with you so much.”
“I don’t even know what to say right now.”
“I may not be the guy you were expecting, but I am the guy you have been chatting to all this time. Everything I said was genuine. I care so much about you. If you would just give me a chance to show you how much.”
“I don’t know…”
“Please just take a walk with me?”
It didn’t take very long for the wonderful guy she had been chatting to, to resurface in the sweet face of Dewey. He took hold of her hand and they walked all the way to the Lemon-mint Esplanade. She soon realized that she cared a great deal for Dewey. Which in turned made her feel slightly ashamed, that she probably would not have given him the time of day other wise. They shared their first kiss and the rest was history.
When I got home, Glaze was eager to give me his good news. He told me about his phone conversation with his ex boss and how he would be going to the Loganberry Hospital to apply for the nursing position. I was so ecstatic! We hugged each other again.
“I don’t know what she did Saffron, but your mom is a miracle worker or something.”
After he elaborated on what he was referring to, I ran to find her. She had been upstairs in her room, and was just heading back down to the living room. I caught her about half way and threw my arms around her. I was so grateful that I started to cry. “Thank you.”
She patted my back and held me tighter. “Anything for you my darling.”