Jason was covered in flour. He was not happy about it.
“Why am I doing this again? Come on Jules. You know I can’t bake!”
A young, brunette woman stood on the other side of the counter. Her face, also covered in flour, also sported an ear to ear smile.
“Because it’s my birthday, and I wanted a cake. I can’t very well make my own birthday cake, can I?”
Jason pouted, “But did you have to pick one called the ‘Convoluted Cake’? Not only do I have to bake, which we’ve established I can’t do, but then I have to put together a puzzle with the pieces. Also not a strong point of mine.”
Jules slid the cake into the space between them. “Yeah, well look how great we did.” The cake was impeccably iced and topped with freshly baked macaroons.
Jason smiled, then winked at his wife. “You never stop teaching me new things do you?”
“Not since I taught you to do handstands when we were kids,” she said.
“Not sure how a managed to get a paper cut opening the box though.”
Jules snorted as she laughed. “And on your elbow no less!”
Jason frowned as he looked at the freshly applied band-aid.
“Well, I helped with the cake. Are you still going to make me watch Maury?”
Jules looked at him in mock horror “But I thought listening to hillbillies yell at each other with made up words was your favorite post baking activity!”
“Alas, it is not. But, like you said, it’s your birthday.”
She smiled, then shimmied around the counter, unsuccessfully trying to stifle a giggle. Flour exploded from their clothes as she leapt into his arms. She kissed him, pressing her lips hard against his.
He held her tight, pulled his lips from hersand smiled. “Happy birthday sweetheart. I love you.”
Jason slid the viewfinder from his head, returned it to the cradle. His eyes slowly adjusted to the room. Soft, warm lightning blanketed the cubicle. He blinked away tears, took three deep breaths before rising from the chair.
A soft voice called out to him over an unseen speaker, “Please follow the yellow lights in the floor. The exit is just past the first doorway. Thank you for visiting Memory Cache.”
Jason followed the lights. His eyes had adjusted to normal by the time he reached the door. He pushed through the first door, then the second, emerging into daylight. His car was waiting for him. As he slid behind the wheel he turned one last time, looking over the sign above the door.
Memory Cache: Where The Past Lives Forever
“Happy Birthday sweetheart. I sure do miss you. See you next year.”