Our birthday barbecue was a big success! Sure it was overcast as all heck, but once you live in Twizzlerbrook, you pretty much learn that unless it is actually raining, you don’t let a little weather ruin your plans. We see the sun very seldom. Butterscotch was up first, and unfortunately was not on the best mood.
While some were not in attendance at all, Lime was unable to make due to her mother being in the hospital. Others were definitely unwanted guests. It seemed, after Tigra and Butterscotch split up, Mika and she decided there was a little more there than a game of tag…
So needless to say Butterscotch was none too pleased.
I was up next…I thought about my wish long and hard and then blew out the candles. What did I wish for? I can’t tell you!
Not too bad huh?
After the cake was cut, little munchkin asked me to come and sit with her. I grinned a huge grin as I took my plate and placed it on the table next to her. We were having a little chat about Fluffy Bear when Mom called from the siding glass door at the back of the house.
“Sweetheart! You have a phone call! Its someone from Moonfruit Pohtography!”
I was recently hired on by Moonfruit as a spare photographer, so I wiped my mouth of frosting and headed for the kitchen.
“Don’t eat my cake while I am gone now!”
“No promises…” Symphony teased as she stuffed another forkful in her mouth.
“This is Pineapple.”
“Hello Pineapple, this is Miracle Moonfruit calling.”
“Look, I am sorry to bother you on your birthday, but there is a big gig tomorrow and unfortunately I will not be able go. I really don’t want us to lose this client, but there is no way I can do it. Would you be willing to do a wedding in Sugar Valley tomorrow?”
“Oh wonderful! Its going to be at the Wedding Cake Chapel on the hill.”
“Uh huh…wedding cake chapel” I repeated as i jotted down all the info.
“Yes the Bitters-Cado wedding at 12 noon.”
My pen froze on the paper. “I’m sorry the?”
I think my heart completely stopped.
“Pineapple are you there? Did I lose you?”
“No I am here. I am terribly sorry, but I can’t…”
“No Ma’am I am…err kind of acquainted with the Bride.”
“I see… Well I suppose I will have to find someone else then. Good day Pineapple.”
She hung up the phone, and I just stared at the receiver. It was happening already. Honey was getting married. My birthday party buzz had fizzled and all I felt was sick to my stomach. I hung up the phone and went to my room, I did not feel much like partying after that.
I sat on my bed, just staring at my shoes. I could hear Miracle over and over again in my head. “The Bitters-Cado wedding… Bitters-Cado wedding.” I just couldn’t believe it, her birthday had only been a month before.
Once I was sure all the guests were gone, I slipped out back.
I sat by the fire-pit just watching the crackling flame. My thoughts were so scattered. I would think about Honey, but then I would remember Lime. Sweet Lime… I couldn’t figure out why it was this bothering me so much? We had said our goodbyes over a year ago, but hearing that she was getting married, started churning up emotions I had not felt for a long time. Suddenly I missed Honey with every fiber in my being.
“Something bothering you Son?”
I was so lost in my own little world, that when Grandpa sat down and started to speak, it caused me to jump about two feet off my chair.
“Whoa, take it easy kiddo!”
“You kinda disappeared there. Is everything alright?”
“Grandpa I am so confused right now.”
“Tell Pappa Pummy all about it.”
“Well…There is this girl…and I love her, so so much, but her family is forcing her into a marriage she doesn’t want.”
“Oh I see?”
“Ya I guess all Bitters have arranged marriages.”
I soon realized it was not just Grandpa who had inquired about the “Bitters”, but mom as well. Her face was contorted in the most angry mom face I had ever seen. Even worse than the Sunny indecent.
“The Bitters are just like their name says they are. They are nasty and mean and the deserve to be unhappy.”
“But shes different mom. She’s gentle and kind, she is nothing like them!”
“Trust me son, all Bitters are the same. Its best to just let this one go.” She stated matter o factly and then stormed off.
I turned back to grandpa, the look of defeat was written all over my face.
Grandpa didn’t say a word, he just grabbed a couple sticks and places some marshmallows on the end. With a smile he handed me one of the sticks. “Don’t mind her. She had a pretty bad experience with a Bitters back in the day.
“Oh yes. Heck the whole family has had their fare share of trouble thanks to them.”
“How come no one ever talked about it?”
“Well there was no need. We lived here, they lived there. We kinda did our best to forget. You know?”
“So this girl…what is her name?”
“And you love this Honey Mint?
“With all my heart.”
“Then you need to fight for her. Tell her how you feel. If she is the one, you nee-” All of a sudden Grandpa stopped right in the middle of his sentence.
For a millisecond I had no idea what had caused him to stop, but then I heard a muffled gasp from behind.
“Lime!” I stammered as I stood up from my chair. “What are you doing here?”
“I found a ride…”
I wasn’t exactly sure how much of she conversation she had heard, but it was obvious from the look on her face, that she had heard enough. She wouldn’t look at me. I could feel these huge knots in the pit of my stomach.
“Is it true? Are you still in love with Honey.”
I was frozen where I stood. After several excruciating moments, I dropped my head. “Yes.”
I half expected her to start hitting me or yell and scream, but instead she dropped her head onto my chest and started to cry. I felt so awful. I cared very deeply for Lime, but I realized that I did not love her. I stroked her hair and whispered her in ear. “I’m so sorry.”
I held her for a while, until she finally spoke. “Promise me….You will to go to her Pineapple. Don’t let her family get in the way of yours and her happiness. I want you, but she needs you… She was so sad all the time. It broke my heart to see her like that.”
I could feel the tears starting to well up in my eyes. I kissed her on the forehead and I nodded. “I promise.”
Thankfully my brother was kind enough to give her a ride home. I would have offered, but I figured I was the last one she would want to spend an hour car ride with after the previous events. I wished her nothing but the best, and waved goodbye as they drove away.
The next morning while I was preparing for my trip, there was a knock at the door.
Grandpa’s face came into view. “Hey son…I have something for you.”
“Yes.” He confirmed and stepped further into my bedroom.”
He was clutching something in his worn and tired hands.
“I want you to have this. It…It was your Grandmothers.”
I was speechless…
“I can’t take that.”
“Yes. You can. And you will.”
He opened my hand and carefully dropped the locket into my palm.”
“I gave her that locket as a symbol my love. Now I give to you, so you can do the same.”
Soon we were interrupted by another knock at the door. It was mom.
“I will leave you two alone.” Grandpa stated as he slipped out the door.
“Pineapple, I came to apologize for the way I acted last night. I was out of line.”
“Listen Son. Its not going to be easy getting her away from those horrid people, but if you somehow succeed. Bring her home, she is welcome here and I am so sorry for judging her so unfairly. Bitters are horrible people and if she is a gentle soul like you say she is, she needs you. Someone told me once I would make a decision that would change a life forever, well I think this is it. Go save your Honey.”
“Thank you Mom.”
I stood before the grand mirror looking at my gorgeous gown and lovely hair, but all I felt was sadness. I was about to marry Cado Pitt. My only chance for happiness, I foolishly pushed away, and for what? To make my mother happy? What about my happiness?
Celly and Grandmother entered the room and I took a seat in the chair. I did my best to retouch up makeup before they could tell I had been crying, but it was fairly obvious that was what was happening.
“Honey please don’t cry. This is supposed to be happy day.”
“But I’m not happy Grandma…I hate this!” I cried as I threw the mascara bottle back on the table.
“Enough sniveling! Get your act together, this wedding is happening in 20 minutes, so get over yourself!”
I turned to my mother again. “Please don’t make me do this! PLEASE?!?!” I screamed, the tears rolling down my face.
“Honey…This crying act has to stop. I will not stand another second of this nonsense!!”
“Its not fair!” I couldn’t fight it, the tears continued to fall. I dug my head into my grandmothers chest, my shoulders were heaving from the sobs.
“Shhhh shhh I know. I know. It will be alright.”
My whole body froze, I knew that voice, I looked up to see Pineapple standing at the door.
Automatically my mother jumped in front of me and sneered.
“What are YOU doing in here!? Get Out!! Cordial!!” Oh Berry no, She had called out for my father.
With in moments all three men including my husband to be, were standing behind my beloved Pineapple.
“I am not going anywhere without Honey.”
“Hah! Where is she going to go? You are a fool if you think I am going to let you waltz in here and take off with my daughter! Remove him from the premises!”
All three grabbed a hold of his shoulders and I screamed. “NO!!”
To everyone’s shock, my grandmother shot across the room.
“Enough! Celly this has gone on long enough! I can’t do this again! I can’t watch another heartbroken soul walk this earth because of choices I have made. I missed the one chance I had at love, and then I made you do the same. Celly I am so sorry!”
“I have no idea what you are talking about.”
“You know exactly what I am talking about!”
“I should have never forced into marrying Cordial, and poor Honey shouldn’t be forced into marrying Cado.”
Mother was still for several moments looking all parties over carefully. Finally she dropped her head in defeat. “Let him go.”
My father and the other men released Pineapple and he rushed over to me.
“Honey, I love you and I can’t spend another moment without you. Please come with me! I want to dry those tears.” As he spoke he brought one hand up to my face and wiped away a tear with his thumb.
“Oh Pineapple I love you too.”
“I want you to have this.” He pulled a locket from his pocket and carefully unfastened the one that had been around my neck. Once it was around my neck, I held it in my hand and up against my chest.
He pulled me into his arms and kissed me, that kiss I had been longing for since the night we parted and I stupidly said goodbye, it all seemed surreal. My Pineapple was really here and I was ready to leave my old life behind, just to be with him.
I squeezed his neck even tighter and then whispered in his ear. “I want to go home.”
We walked hand in hand out the front door, and no one even tried to stop us. I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders as we made our way out to his car. A smile began to grow across my face. Finally a Bitters would be loved.