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Unspoken Things Two

Things I've never told anyone else.

By Kerry WilliamsPublished 3 years ago 10 min read

“Honey? Why didn't you tell me the school fair was this weekend?”

I looked up at my mother, surprised. Why? Why didn't I tell her half the things I didn't tell her? Because I didn't want her to know. “I don't know,” I answered dumbly.

“Well, now I’m gonna be pressed for time,” she said, and she turned around and headed for the kitchen. I turned and headed for my room. It was a Friday night, I had the whole weekend to sit in my bedroom and play Zaxon, which I had just gotten the high score on, and which my brother had promptly beaten that score just a couple minutes earlier. He now sat at the end of my bed, controller in hand.

For years, action figures had been our choice of toy. But since the unexpected arrival of our state-of-the-art Atari 2600, nothing else could compare. We even went so far as to buy a little TV for our bedroom so we could instantly access it, even while still in bed. Apparently getting up and having to walk downstairs to begin “making our eyes turn square” was too much of a hassle and delay for either of us.

With nothing else holding a candle to the electronic excitement my brother now controlled, I headed for the downstairs. Maybe mom would have dinner ready soon. I thought that would be great. As soon as my brother got the controller, it would be time for dinner. Aha.

As I neared the bottom of the stairs, I could smell something chocolaty wafting through the air. As I got closer to the kitchen, I realized my mother was baking. Chocolate cake? Could it be?

I immediately sat down at the table and started peppering my mother with questions.

“What’s for dinner?”

“Steak,” she said. “Or Chinese. I haven’t quite decided yet.”

“Are we having cake?”

My mother looked up at me and, ignoring the question, told me to go get ready for dinner. Sighing, I headed upstairs to the bathroom, acted as if I’d washed my hands, and headed back downstairs. The moment my mother saw me again, she ordered me back upstairs.

“This time, wait for the water to get hot and USE SOAP!”

I grumbled as I stomped up the stairs, and reluctantly did as she told me to... almost. Almost means, I turned on the water and let it run. As far as soap, there was no way. I detested the stuff. If mother nature wanted us to use soap, she would have made it come out of our ears. It made no sense, but that was my justification.

After a more appropriate amount of time had lapsed, I shut the water off and went back downstairs. My mother was taking the cake out of the oven, which, to my utter shock and surprise, was white.

“How? How is chocolate white?” I asked.

“You never heard of white chocolate?” my mother asked me.

I shook my head. She brought the cake over and set it on the cooling rack in front of me.

“Your hands are filthy. I told you to go wash up. Now you can go take a bath.” My mouth fell open and I wondered as I slunk out of my seat, how on earth my mother could tell these sorts of things. I’d closed the door. I'd run the water. I'd read almost every label on every bottle in the bathroom. I’d made sure to really scrub my hands on the towel too, which had left streaks on it, so I'd turned it inside out and hung it back up. How has she known, without even seeing?

Defeated, I headed up and got in the bath tub. Thank god I'd actually run the water and it was warm already. I laid back, and floated around a minute, and then something occurred to me. White chocolate might have the name, “chocolate”, but it wasn’t chocolate by my standards. I knew chocolate. I knew the smell of chocolate.

Again, once an appropriate amount of time had passed, I got out of the tub, dried off and got dressed in the same clothes I'd had on before. I headed back downstairs while the tub drained and re-assumed my position in front of the naked white chocolate cake.

“You better not touch a thing,” my mother said, turning to regard me. “Did you actually take a bath?”

“Yeah,” I said.

“Your hair looks dry. Did you wash it?”

I cocked my head to the side, not wanting to answer. My mother always asked me complex questions like this. It was never, “did you eat lunch today?” oh, no. She always asked, “what did you eat for lunch today?” and when I told her, she always knew I was lying.

“It’s wet,” I said, avoiding the question.

“But did you wash it?” she asked.

“Yes,” I replied. I had gotten it wet, in the back, with my head propped on the back of the tub, while my body floated. Theoretically, it had gotten wet somewhere, and therefore, it had been washed. Like a monkey washes an apple before each bite, it served no purpose to me.

My mother stood there and the oven timer went off, distracting her. Thank god. I was off the hook. My mother pulled the over door open and withdrew two dozen cupcakes and my heart swelled with eager anticipation.

“These are for the bake sale,” my mother said, pulling each cup cake out of the tin and placing them on the cooling rack one by one.

“What about the cake?” I asked.

“Cake raffle,” my mother said.

“Cake raffle?” I asked. Was this a new flavor? A new way of eating cake? When she explained she would be donating the cake, and whoever bought tickets for the raffle, and bought the winning ticket, they would get to take home the cake.

“So… we’re not eating any of this?” My mother shook her head and I almost cried. Absolutely defeated, I marched back up to my room and vowed to never take another bath for the rest of my life. I flopped down on my bed and then looked out of the corner of my eye to see my brother smiling, like an evil little imp.

I sat up and looked at the screen. I had to blink to make sure I wasn't seeing things. The top of the screen said; HI SCORE 260,100 and I groaned. My high score had been half of that. The fact that it said HI instead of HIGH was completely lost on me.

“That was my first run. I’m trying to beat it again. If you blow everything up on the level, you get double points,” my brother cackled.

I turned back to my pillow and buried my face in it, and I didn't move until my mother called us down for dinner.

When morning finally arrived, my plan was to take the controller from my brother, either through coercion or by force, but neither happened before my mother came into our room and told us to come down for breakfast. We would be going to the school fair, after that. Video game time was “over”.

After swearing to kill my brother in as many ways as I could, we both headed down to breakfast. My brother sat down and then turned to me. “You might be able to kill me… but you'll never beat my score.”

I seethed with pre-teen anger and kicked my brother under the table, but he didn't care. He was busy stuffing his face with sausage and scrambled eggs, toast and orange juice.

“Hurry up and eat. We have to get to the fair early so I can give them the cakes for the raffle.”

“Cakes?” I asked, wondering what my mother was referring to. Cakes, with an “S” meant plural. “What cakes?”

“I made cakes for the raffle.” She looked at me as if I had three heads. “You know that.”

“Cakes. You said cakes,” I reiterated, my mouth full of eggs.

“Yes,” my mother replied and then went back to whatever it was she was doing.

The moment we were done, my mother was herding us into the car. The moment after, she was bringing cakes, and she did mean cakes, plural, out for us to hold.

“Don't let the plastic wrap touch the frosting,” my mother said with a warning as she handed each of us a cake.

My brother was handed a white cake with little snowmen on top, surrounded by snow covered trees and, what looked like a little ice covered pond beneath their feet. My sister was handed a pink cake with, what could only be a princess with a little gold tiara on top of her head. The top of the cake was a crown of ruby red strawberries and there were strawberries around the bottom edge as well.

My mouth was already watering by the time my mother brought out the cupcakes for me to hold, but when she headed back into the house one last time, I was truly baffled. Had she actually made a third cake?

A moment later she brought out a gigantic chocolate cake and sat it on my dad’s lap.

“You really outdid yourself this year, Honey,” he said, admiring her work.

The entire way to the school, I could do nothing else but think of that chocolate cake, and the fact that it would be going to someone else. Someone we didn't even know. Someone completely undeserving.

As soon as we arrived, my mother brought in the cakes and the cupcakes, and instantly I was shocked by the lack of participation from the other parents. There were only two other cakes, and both of them looked so flaccid and poorly made, I wondered if adults had cooked them at all.

“What is that?” I asked, pointing at one of the cakes which was clearly dark black underneath a thin yellow frosting that appeared to be dripping off one entire side of the cake.

“Sweetie, don't make fun of the other cakes,” my mother said, but when I looked up at her, she smiled… and I knew. She was thinking the same thing. My mother’s cakes looked like super models next to, what I could only assume were minimally edible cakes.

“Come on. Let’s go buy some raffle tickets,” my father said, and he left my mother to stand and gossip with the lunch ladies and other mother’s while we went to go spend some money. It was the school fair after all.

My father bought raffle tickets, which I thought was a stupid thing, taking precious money away from buying game tickets where we could at least win something worth while, like a stuffed animal teddy bear, a cap gun, or the new Rubik’s snake.

Both my brother and I put our skills to the test and while he ended up winning a giant teddy bear, I ended up getting the snake, and I was mighty pleased with myself.

As the fair wound down, my father bought my early release from the “jail” which my brother had paid his remaining tickets to put me in.

As we made our way to the car, I silently said my goodbyes to the chocolate cake, which I would never have a chance to taste. The drive home was unnaturally slow and quiet, but when we arrived, and my father opened the truck of the car, I realized why.

There, in the trunk of our vehicle, sat five cakes. Apparently, nobody else had thought the price of a $5 raffle ticket was worth the “chance” of getting a cake. My father had bought FIVE raffle tickets and we’d won all five cakes.

As we sat down to the table, my mother decided, this one time, we would have cake for dinner. It was the best chocolate cake ever.

Short Story

About the Creator

Kerry Williams

It's been ten days

The longest days. Dry, stinking, greasy days

I've been trying something new

The angels in white linens keep checking in

Is there anything you need?




Thank you sir.

I sit


Tyler? Is that you?


I am... Cornelius.

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