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Mystery Cookie

Day 3 of 16 – Writer’s Digest Writing Prompt Bootcamp

One day you come into work and find a cookie mysteriously placed on your desk.  Grateful to whoever left this anonymous cookie, you eat it.  The next morning you come in and find another cookie.  This continues for months until one day a different object is left–and this time there’s a note.

I work at one of those large conglomerates where you are pretty much just a number.  I work to make ends meet, I have no passion for what I do.  One day usually runs into the other with nothing unusual happening.  Outside of the occasional birthday and retirement celebration, it’s pretty ho-hum.  Until the cookies changed all that.

It was a Monday in June.  My morning was the typical rush to get out of the house on time which included getting not only myself ready but my 2 children.  The typical “no time to breathe” type of morning.  I already had visions of that evening of my sweatpanted-clad self sitting on the couch with a large glass of red wine, watching reruns of Grey’s Anatomy, the kids in bed.

After sitting in rush-hour traffic for an hour, I pulled into the parking lot at work.  I made the 10 minute trek to my desk, where I plunked myself into my chair.  As I reached over to turn on my computer, I saw something in my peripheral vision.  I looked to the left and was greeted by a big, fat, macadamia cookie oozing with large white chocolate chips.  My favorite.  The cookie was still warm.

“Looks like Jane has been baking again,” I said to myself as I bit a quarter of it.  After all, I was starving.  I usually don’t have time to eat breakfast before I leave for work in the morning.  The cookie was gone in another 3 bites.  After it was safely in my belly, I walked down five cubicles to Jane’s desk to thank her.  Except Jane said she didn’t do it.  “Oh, did you get a cookie too?”  She did not.  So I went back to my desk, started and ended another typical day at the office.  Not giving another thought to my cookie surprise.

Until the next day.  And the day after that.  The cookie was always the same type…macadamia with white chocolate chips.  And it was always warm.  I sat a little perplexed that first week.  I continued to wonder who could be doing this.  By Friday, I had asked everyone in my department and a few of the surrounding areas if anyone was leaving me this sugary surprise and the answer was always “no.”

I usually bring my lunch to work every day except Fridays.  On Fridays, I treat myself to the taco bar in the cafeteria.  Hell, I work hard all week, I owe it to myself.  All that is missing is a margarita.  Which is fine really, extra sour cream always makes up for that.

While I am talking to Bertha, the cafeteria worker who dishes out the tacos, I decide to tell her about my cookie mystery.   I love Bertha.  She’s always so sweet and easy to talk to.  I tell her that it’s always warm.  After I explained the type of cookie it is, she reminded me that they sell the same cookie in the cafe.  So, whoever is leaving me these treats, comes in before me and gets to the cafeteria first thing while the baked goods are still hot.  Was I getting warmer? Only time would tell.

I spent a couple of days going into work a few minutes early and going to the cafeteria.  Looking to see if someone was buying a macadamia white chocolate chip cookie.  Not only did I not catch anyone, but I didn’t really have the time.  It’s practically impossible to leave the house when I should, let alone a little early.  Besides, anyone could buy a cookie.  How would I tell which person was buying it for me?  The cookie was always on my desk.  Every single day.  This situation was becoming more bazaar and mind boggling by the day.  Who the hell was it?

At this point, I was starting to feel agitated, a little freaked out and frightened.  I was starting to not welcome the cookie.  Most mornings, it wound up in the trash.  I was becoming sick of macadamia white chocolate chip and I had gained a couple of pounds.  Was it a woman who disliked me and my size 4 self?  Was it a secret admirer?  I hope not.  I know I’ve been divorced for a few months now, but I was not ready to start dating again.

Then 4 months later on a Friday, almost to the day it began, I got to my desk and got another surprise.  Instead of my morning cookie, there was the birth certificate of a woman.  A woman who seemed familiar.  And laying next to it was an envelope with my name written across the front.

Here’s to hoping for the moment of truth.  With shaky hands, I reached over and ripped the envelope open with my letter opener.  What I found inside changed my life.  Inside the envelope was a letter.  This letter was from my sister.  A sister I never knew I had.  Her adopted name was Bertha.  The cafeteria worker.