Once upon a time there was a teenage boy called Val, named after Saint Valentine, the historical figure who inspired what is now known as Valentine’s Day.
Val had a good heart but a lonely soul, his shyness preventing him from finding true love.
Actually, he believed he had found true love, in a girl from school named Tracy, but she was a full year older than he, and he had no confidence to talk to her, so he only admired from afar.
One day while walking home from school Val came across a heart-shaped cookie-cutter. It was lying on the sidewalk in front of a bakery, and given the boy’s honest nature, he decided to return it to where it belonged. But when Val tried to open the bakery’s door he found that it was locked, and so he went around to the back. There he discovered an open door, knocked, and waited.
No one answered.
He wondered if he should place the cookie-cutter in front of the door, so that whoever owned it could find it later. But then he thought it might not be seen, and that someone could accidently step on it and break it. And so Val chose to be brave and walk through the open back door of the bakery.
Inside, an old baker sat alone, sad and quiet.
“Excuse me,” Val said. “I-”
The old baker looked up, a tear falling down from his eye.
Val couldn’t say another word, his kind heart hurting for this stranger, even though he didn’t know what was wrong.
But then the baker’s eyes widened, the boy following the old man’s gaze to the cookie-cutter in his hand.
“My love!” the old baker said.
A smile rose across his face.
For the next few minutes the old baker explained to Val how he had owned the cookie-cutter since he was Val’s age, with the simple baking tool having led him to the most important things in his life. First his passion for baking, which eventually gave shape to his bakery, where he used the cookie-cutter to make heart-shaped cookies.
The old baker went on to explain how one of his first customers had been a beautiful girl who fell in love with his sweet treats, with his heart falling for her.
The two had soon married, the next fifty years being spent surrounded by the warmness of true love and the wholesomeness of freshly baked goodies.
“What about you, young man? What raises your passion?”
Shy, Val’s answer was short, and not really true.
Not really true, because passion lies within everyone.
“My dear boy,” replied the old baker, “everyone possesses passion. Perhaps this cookie-cutter you were so kind to return to me can help you find yours.
“Come now, why don’t you help me bake a dozen cookies. You can give some to whomever you like.”
And so the two made a batch of walnut chocolate chip cookies, the old baker sharing with the teenager how this was his granddaughter’s favorite dessert.
Val was amazed at how different kinds of ingredients could come together to form something so special, watching through the oven glass window as dough blossomed into heart-shaped cookies that looked so delicious! The intrigue within him indeed began to create a passion, making him wonder if he too could one day become a baker.
Once the cookies had been cooled and packaged, the old baker told Val he could take half of them home with him, so one by one he picked up six cookies, thinking of who he would give each to. His mother, his father, brother, sister, and uncle. That left one more, which happened to have come out the most beautiful, and it was then when he thought of his secret love, Tracy.
Just as Val picked up the last cookie, the one that reminded him of the most special person he had ever met, a familiar voice called out, “Grandpa, you must have found your cookie-cutter! I could smell cookies from upstairs!”
“Actually, my new friend here found my heart for me. And he also helped me bake this batch of your favorite cookies.”
Val turned around.
The old baker’s granddaughter was Tracy, the girl he had admired from afar for so long. The beautiful girl he had intended to give the most beautiful cookie to.
And so he did.
And so she smiled.
- Author: Rico Lamoureux
- Published: 2016-03-03 18:05:18
- Words: 737