The Baking Life of Amelie Day

The Baking Life of Amelie Day by Vanessa Curtis Read Free Book Online

Book: The Baking Life of Amelie Day by Vanessa Curtis Read Free Book Online
Authors: Vanessa Curtis
‘Mr’ and not ‘Doctor’ even though they ARE doctors, but I’ve got used to it now.
    â€˜Hi, Mr R,’ I say, flicking the glossy pages of a BBC food magazine. ‘How’s it hanging?’
    Mum sighs.
    â€˜Not a great question to ask a doctor,’ says Mr Rogers. ‘I’m likely to give you a long, medical and potentially boring answer.’
    I smile. I like Mr Rogers and his weird sense of humour. Somehow he always manages to make me feel like Amelie-The-Person rather than just Amelie-The-Patient.
    â€˜Your Mum tells me you want to go to London,’ he says. ‘Some big competition, I hear. That does sound very exciting.’
    â€˜Yeah,’ I say, ‘but has she also told you she’s not allowing me to go?’
    Mum flushes pale pink when I say that. Her face clashes with her red jacket. I think of the pink slices from a tub of Neapolitan ice cream and the red of the strawberry sauce I like to pour over them.
    â€˜I was just about to get round to that,’ she says, all defensive and huffy. ‘Mr Rogers is a very busy man.’
    He perches on the edge of the bed where I’m lying.
    â€˜Not too busy to discuss your health,’ he says. ‘So I take it you still want to go to London?’
    I put down the magazines with a sigh. I’ve just found a glorious twist on a traditional baked cheesecake recipe which involves major use of chocolate.
    â€˜Of course I do,’ I say. ‘It’s only like the biggest baking competition in the country. And I don’t see why I can’t still go, so long as I’m careful and look after myself.’
    Mum stands up and folds her arm. She looks tired, wary and wired up all at the same time.
    â€˜I’m getting a bit fed up of this stuck record,’ she says in a voice I hardly ever hear. ‘I’ve told you you’re not going, and that’s that. Don’t try to swing me by dragging Mr Rogers into it all.’
    Mr Rogers stands up and clears his throat.
    â€˜It’s your annual review next week, isn’t it?’ he says. ‘Perhaps if I might suggest, Mrs Day, we could make a final decision based upon the results of that?’
    Mum flushes again. I can tell that she’s angry that Mr Rogers hasn’t entirely backed her up.
    â€˜Oh, alright,’ she says. ‘But I can’t see Amelie being much better than she is now and right now she is in no fit state to go anywhere. I’ll be at the coffee machine.’
    She goes out of the room and lets the door bang behind her.
    Mr Rogers and I regard one another for a moment. He has kind eyes – dark like chocolate raisins and with a sort of glint behind them. I try to picture what his kids are like and reckon that he’s a good father.
    â€˜I only want to get on with my life,’ I say in a whisper. ‘That’s all.’
    Mr Rogers nods and puts his hand on my shoulder for a moment. The brief gesture causes tears to well up in my eyes.
    â€˜I’ll leave you in the capable hands of Sister,’ he says. The nurse is unhooking the flush from my portacath. ‘Don’t worry. I’m sure we can sort something out.’
    My heart lifts a little.
    â€˜Oh, here,’ I call after his retreating back. ‘I made you something.’
    Mr Rogers comes back and peels back the lid of the box I’m holding out.
    â€˜I did them all on a medical theme,’ I say, shy.
    He bursts out laughing. I’ve been practising biscuits for the competition. Inside are some iced golden syrup cookies with little piped pictures on top. I’ve done a pair of lungs on one, a heart on another and a selection of pills, beds, syringes and stethoscopes on the rest. It took me half the night to perfect the drawings and I did them in a dark green colour in the same shade as Mr Roger’s operating overalls.
    â€˜You are something else, Amelie,’ he says, wiping his eyes. ‘I can’t

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