Alerted by the chime, Ellie looked up from the bakery case and saw a young woman gazing around the empty shop. With sunrise an hour away, the residents of Friday Harbor were still cocooned in their beds the morning after Christmas. The girl hesitated and then made a timid approach. Ellie greeted her with, “Good morning, you’re out and about early.”
The welcome earned her a shy smile as the girl focused on Ellie’s bright green apron, adorned with blotches of flour. “Are you visiting your family for Christmas?” asked Ellie, as she finished loading the case and deposited her pan on the counter.
The girl nodded her blonde head and directed her eyes to Ellie’s name, embroidered on the apron. “You’re Ellie? Ellie Carlson?”
“That’s me, I own this joint.” She paused and then asked, “What can I get you this morning?”
“Um, I don’t know yet.” The girl glanced down at the case and gazed at the pastries and confections. The dark circles supporting her eyes punctuated her pallid complexion.
“Take your time and give me a shout when you’ve decided.” Ellie gathered the pan and took it in the back. She watched the girl take another look around the shop and wander to the bulletin board. She scanned the photos of Ellie’s cakes and various celebrations and meandered to the collection of pictures showing the Carlson family working at Sweet Treats through the years.
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