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That is How the Cookie Crumbles

by Corinne Jenkins 3 months ago in Childhood · updated 3 months ago

A stroll down a street that I'll never forget

That is How the Cookie Crumbles
Photo by Tim Photoguy on Unsplash

As I clutched my gingerbread house with both hands, I realized that I didn't take into account the weight of my creation for my short walk home. After a fun night of Christmas decorating at my friend's house, I was more tired than I realized and ready to get home. My eyes scanned over Plieningerstraße, the road leading to my building in Frankfurt, Germany. I noticed the guard letting a car pass through the gate as I trudged on to the last apartment in our complex.

My right hand began to cramp so I shifted the weight of the gingerbread house. I was not looking forward to climbing the stairs once I finally made it to my destination. I peered to the left and noticed a black Labrador leading its owner on their walk. Just a few more minutes and I'd be able to set my house down, and be able to revel in all of its glory.

My mouth started to water as my 11-year-old self envisioned the sugary feast that would last for days, once I could get this darn thing home. I had layered on the white and green icing, and definitely didn't skimp on the red gumdrops. Though, I definitely was most excited for the cookie that's holding everything together. This gingerbread house was massive, and while my eyes were definitely bigger than my stomach, I couldn't wait to eat every last bit.

I daydreamed about the sugar-induced coma that was in store for me. I peered down at my dessert and congratulated myself on a job well-done. I wasn't the most creative person, but I made a damn good edible house.

Before I could stop myself, an uneven crack in the sidewalk shot up out of nowhere (when really I wasn't paying attention) and there was a split moment of me falling to the ground while my gingerbread house flew high above me. As I slammed hard into the pavement, I barely felt the rip in my tights and the new scrape on my knee. The velvet dress I'd worn to my friend's house was also ruined at the bottom, but again I hadn't really noticed... yet. No, I was too distracted by the horror before my pre-teen eyes.

Inside, all I could think was:

As I looked to where my beautiful creation had crash-landed, I saw that the walls had caved-in. The house was destroyed. The peppermint stuck to the side of the house was broken and laying on the ground. I don't think there was a single piece that was salvageable.

I looked in horror at the absolute mess that was once a beautiful home made of what every candy-crazed kid dreamt of. I couldn't come to terms with it. I sat on the ground for what seemed like forever, just staring at the crumpled sight.

I finally stood and fully came to the realization that I would not be having my dessert.

With tears running down my face, I limped home as the adrenaline winded down but the pain sped up. The walk from my self-induced, disturbing crime scene felt even longer than before as I sniffled towards my front door.

Later on that night, bandaged & bruised, my Mom and I walked back to that same spot to clean up the casualty. We tidied most of it up, but plenty of the cookie crumbles were still caked in the cracks of the sidewalk. With a promise to the nearest Eisdiele the next day, Mom and I strolled hand-in-hand back home - we made sure to pay extra attention to any uneven ground in our path.

Frankfurt, Germany circa 2008

Childhood

Corinne Jenkins

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