A/N: This story has stereotypical themes that are commonly found in Asian dramas. If that is not your cup of tea, please feel free not to read.
"Today is the day!" Minn proclaimed as she stopped in front of a quaint red building with black and grey striped awnings. Above the black, glass door, written in metal lettering that shined like silver, was the name of the building: One Stop Shop. She could see the employees milling about wearing their white jackets and black hounds tooth pants. A wide grin appeared on her face as she envisioned herself working in that beautiful building. However, she was even happier because today was the day that her dreams would finally become a reality. Stepping out of her car, she strolled to the entrance with her application in hand. She pushed open the door, and her senses were immediately met with warm and sweet smells of freshly-baked pastries. The fragrances swirled around her, sending her to a world of whimsy and enchantment. Wistfully, she strolled toward the counter, focused only on the array of pastries and cakes that lined the counter and shelves.
She was so mesmerized; she had lost touch with her surroundings and reality. All Minn saw was a giant yellow cake topped with white frosting, blueberries and raspberries that a woman was beginning to set on the counter. Entranced, Minn had literally forgotten how to walk. Stumbling over her own two feet, Minn fell on the woman, sending the woman's face smashing square into the cake in front of her.
One year later
"Today is the day!" Minn exclaimed excitedly.
"Again?" a voice from the side of her groaned. Minn turned around to face her older sister. As usual, it was as though Minn were looking a reflection of herself. Her sister lay stretched out along the bed, her back propped against a couple of pillows. She wore a sky blue tank top and black PE shorts from high school. Light brown skin, thick brown hair and full lips. Fann had an athlete's physique; she was perfectly toned and weighed 125 pounds. All of it was muscle, of course. Minn, however, lacked any toning except for the usual curves around her hips. She was thin and weighed a bit more than her sister because of her love of sweets. Fann was a mirror image even down to their laid-back attitudes and short haircuts that grazed their jaw lines. Every time Minn talked to Fann, she always pretended she was talking to herself. At times she wondered if Fann was even real.
"Yes, again," Minn said, placing her hands on her hips. "I believe God is going to do something awesome. I believe I'm gonna get this job. I prayed for this job!"
"Doesn't mean you'll get it," Fann replied dubiously, as she flipped a page in a novel she was reading.
"True," Minn sighed, her hopes already dashed. "But!" she said, regaining strength once again, "If God doesn't let me get this job, I'll know that it wasn't for me, and I'll never apply for it again."
Fann's eyebrows knitted together in wonder at her sister's remark. "Wasn't last year a hint? After the owner face-planted into a cake?"
"I don't recall her ever 'face-planting' into a cake," Minn said, feigning memory loss.
"Yeah, and you didn't just happen to trip on her, and she just ended up with cake on her face."
"Pretty much." Sighing, Fann shook her head and resumed her reading. "But Fann, today is a different today, a different year, a different owner..." Minn smiled slyly, as she grabbed her purse from by the door.
"Okay," Fann whistled with a hint of doubt in her voice, "Let me know how it goes."
"Don't worry. I will." With a smile and a wave, Minn walked out of the bedroom and down the stairs to the front door. Car keys in hand, she confidently stepped outside the house. "Let's do this."
Minn stood before the familiar red building that she had not seen in almost an entire year. It still held its vibrant red color, and the lettering above the store still glistened like the first day she saw it. After last year's incident, the owner had banned her from ever stepping foot near her again, which meant she could never step foot near the bakery again. Instead, Minn had spent the entire year working at a bakery close to her house, admiring the shop from afar like some type of unrequited love. This was how much she longed for this job. It had been her dream to work at the famous Los Angeles bakery. Now, she finally had her chance. She had received word that the bakery's owner had fallen ill, and the bakery was currently under new management. New management meant that Minn was like a new face. It was her ticket to a fresh start, and she was determined to seize the opportunity.
With a short prayer to the Lord to give her strength, she strolled into the establishment. Stopping at the entrance, she glanced around, looking for any sign of the previous owner. Once again, she was met with the nostalgic scent of pastries. Nothing had changed much. The employees still strolled about in their pristine uniforms, delivering small cakes to the customers sitting nearby. There was no sign of the woman who had practically sealed her fate. Minn breathed a sigh of relief and started toward the empty counter. She looked around for a cashier or an employee but found none. While she was looking about, she was startled by a young man who seemed to appear from literally nowhere. His black hair was ruffled about his oval face. His dark brown eyes were darker than hers; they appeared to be almost black. He looked down at her from height that seemed near six feet. Minn's eyes traveled from his handsome face to the black name tag pinned to his jacket: Dante. "Can I help you?" he asked in a friendly tone. Surprised, Minn glanced at him before holding up her application.
"I want to apply for a job here," she announced confidently. The man's eyes shifted from her to the paper and back to her again, but he made no effort to take it.
"We don't accept paper applications anymore," he informed her.
"What? Since when?"
"Since a year ago when my aunt got a paper cut because some klutz applying for a job here fell on top of her and pushed her face into a cake."
"Oh," Minn laughed nervously, "that's horrible."
"It was," the man nodded. "So if you want to apply here, there's an online application you can fill out and send."
"Great!" Minn exclaimed, quickly stuffing the application into her purse. "Thank you for your time; I'll do that."
"No problem." Nodding at him, Minn walked briskly out the front door. Once outside, she bolted toward the direction of her car. Why she was running, she had no idea, but she knew she did not want to stay another moment with that guy. She could not be found out.
Finding the parking lot where her car was, Minn stumbled to a halt and attempted to catch her breath. "I didn't know that was his aunt," she panted, starting to walk to her car. "Well, at least he doesn't remember that klutz," she sighed before coming to a realization, "Klutz? Did he call me a klutz?" she asked to no one in particular as she looked back in the direction of the bakery. "I am not," she proclaimed, before she tripped on her shoe lace and fell onto the side of a car, causing the alarm to sound. Getting to her feet, she glanced around to see if anyone was looking and straightened her clothes out. With nonchalance, she strutted over to her car and pretended as though nothing had just happened.
Dante sat at the end of the bakery with his laptop. He sat straight up with perfect form and posture; he was careful not to let his back touch the chair back. His fingers grazed over the keyboard of his laptop as he scrolled through the new emails that flooded the bakery's email inbox. All the emails bore the usual contents: a new appointment, a new suggestion, a new order… He would have to organize and categorize all of them. It was not something Dante dreaded; it was something that would have to be done to keep the efficiency of the bakery at an optimum level.
Scanning through the emails, Dante's eyes fell upon one that was different from the rest. A new application. Dante's eyes widened in surprise. He had never received an application since he took over the bakery. He knew it was in part due to his brash and criticizing nature; none of the previous employees he had hired wanted anything to do with it. He had sent them out to streets screaming or crying on more than one occasion. However, it did not bother him. Dante looked at it as the weeding out of inefficient workers. The ones who did stay with him were bound to become the best patissiers. He wondered if this person was cut out to be the best.
Clicking on the email, he looked at the person's application. "Hmm, Name: Richmond, Minnie J." he said quietly, before skipping down to the rest of the application. "Experience: Life…" A laugh escaped Dante's lips as he continued to read on. "Work experience: Krispy Kreme…" A disgusted smirk appeared on Dante's face. "Sweet Things Bakery…Schooling: High school home economics…Lovely," Dante remarked sarcastically. "California School of Culinary Arts…even better." Dante sighed in mental exasperation and moved his mouse toward the bottom of the email where two buttons were. One read "accept" and the other, "deny." This application made his decision much easier. Just as he was about to click the "deny" button, he found out quickly that he could not. It was as though something were keeping him from doing so. The Lord was keeping him from pushing the button, and Dante felt that if he did click it, he would have a troublesome night to look forward to. With a sigh, Dante swiftly but reluctantly clicked the "accept" button. "I hope she's better than this application, God," Dante sighed, as he reclined in his chair and rested his hands behind his head.