The Origami Cupcake

The Origami Cupcake: Chapter 1


Mother never stayed for long. She always came dressed in her exuberant outfits and never matching high heeled shoes. “Flats are for ordinary women. I’m not an everyday woman,” she would say. Father let her do whatever she wanted. He never said no to her because he was afraid she would leave if he ever did.  He bent to her every whim and once drove from our home in South Jersey to Brooklyn to get her a cheesecake. She only ate Junior’s cheesecake and nothing else. You see mother grew up on the upper east-side of Manhattan. She is the daughter of a very successful and rich broker. You’d think she’d marry to a rich man but to her parents’ and her surprise she married my dad, Henry.  Henry was a server at this Italian restaurant called Vinnies when mother met him. He didn’t have a rich family like she did and had to work two jobs to pay for college.

They met one day in September of 1965. Mother had decided that she would go out to eat with her friends to eat after her last class. Her parents were very over-protective of her. They didn’t want her roaming around the city without a body guard with her. She hated being followed by a steroid using huge dude that scared her more than the strangers her parents were afraid of.

“Sasha, let’s go to Vinnies,” her friend Carmen suggested.

“We can’t go to Brooklyn, dweeb, my mother will freak!” my mother scolded.

“Oh c’mon, Sasha; It’ll be fun,” her other friend, Julia, begged.

“We always have fun at Vinnies. All those cute guys in Brooklyn; you know you want to go,” Carmen teased.

“Ok, ok. I give in,” my mother raised her hands in defeat. They took mother’s limo to Brooklyn. Indeed, she had a fabulous life. She didn’t know that this trip to Brooklyn would change her life forever. When they finally arrived at Vinnies; mother was having second thoughts about breaking her mother’s rules.

“Relax, S” Carmen told my mother.  Vinnies wasn’t an extravagant restaurant. It was pretty low-key but with an old touch feel. Inside it looked like one of those old diners with the tile floors and walls. It was pretty authentic and the cool spot for college kids. Everybody knew about Vinnies.

“Hi, may I take your order?” Henry asked my mother and her friends.  When he saw her he was so hypnotized by her beauty that his hands started to shake. Mother and her friends just stared at him. He was handsome. He had dark brown hair and blue green grey eyes.

“I love your eyes!” Julia gushed at Henry.

“Yes, they are lovely” Sasha told Henry. They looked into each other’s eyes and smiled.

“So, are you just going to stare at me all day or take my order?” Sasha asked Henry with a smirk on her face.

“Can I do both?” Henry responded.  Sasha blushed.  Julia and Carmen ordered chicken salads.

“I’m not a salad type of girl. The only salad you’ll see me eat is on my hamburger” Sasha said to Henry.  “You’re my type of girl, then” he responded. They both blushed this time. It was 12 pm by the time they left Vinnies.  Henry asked Sasha out sometime that evening but she declined.

“Why did you reject him? He was so cute.” Julia asked Sasha.

“What would my parents think?! They would never approve.” Sasha responded. She really did like Henry, but she knew her parents will never let her go out with him. She could picture it now what they would say.

“Absolutely not, you will not go out with that boy!” her father would yell.

“Honey, he’s just not good enough for you.” Her mother would tell her.  They controlled everything in her life, such as, what she ate, who she made friends with, what she wore. She thought that going away to college would lessen their grip but it just got tighter. They had people spy on her.  It was driving her crazy. Once they put a tracking device on her car and she had found it. To teach them a lesson she put it on this hooker’s car. Her mother went crazy when she thought her daughter was in Harlem.  As my mother remembered this she smiled. It was the most fun she’d had in weeks. She didn’t regret coming to Brooklyn and eating at Vinnies. She loved being with her two best friends and meeting her future husband, Henry.

“He was cute…..” mother said to no one in particular. Julia and Carmen looked at each other and smiled. They had never seen their friend Sasha so happy. She smiled all the way back to their dorms at NYU.

Ocean Eyes

Ocean Eyes

I always wake up to the 5 a.m. waves. The sound of them splashing against the rocks by the Murder Dive Cliffs is a peaceful yet scary sound. The Murder Dive Cliffs is where the high school kids jump off from to a world pool of water. It is the scariest yet coolest thing ever. It was the cool spot for all the high school students of Aquatica High. That was until that horrific day in October when six students died and 3 others acquired life changing injuries. They closed off the pathway to the Murder Dive Cliffs and nobody knows exactly what happened but me. I know the secret of the man that came from beneath the ocean.  The memory of him seems so vague now in my mind; it’s like he never existed-just like he said it would happen.

It was my senior year at Aquatica High and I was hoping something exciting would happen for once in this ghastly town. Aquatica would seem like a beautiful place to live but when you hear the stories of all the bad things that happened here you’d run for the hills. People disappear or turn up dead here. There is an abundance of unsolved cases that go back 100 years.  My brother had this theory that there was a monster in the water that took anybody who jumped off the Murder Dive Cliffs.

“I’m serious Jenna. I read in a book about Aquatica that a lot of people had witnessed something taking people under when they jumped off those Murder Dive Cliffs.” My brother said to me.

“Really, Brandon, you actually believe that crap? A sea monster is terrorizing Aquatica. Don’t be silly.” I said. I mean sea monsters only exist in fiction stories and on Syfy TV.  They aren’t real.

“Ok, so let’s jump at night then.” Brandon suggested to me. People who had jumped at night from the Murder Dive Cliffs never came back up. They vanished under those unforgiving dark waters to the uncertainty that is the ocean.

“Fine, but you owe me ten bucks if no ‘sea monster’ takes me under.” I told Brandon.

“You’re on!” Brandon yelled. I had jumped from those cliffs hundreds of times before but for some reason today I had this sick feeling in my stomach. We hooked up with some of my brother’s friend at the climb. It was a cold summer night in August and I was wearing a grey thin sweater with my swim suit underneath and my billabong board shorts.  As we walked up the steep pathway I felt like my heart was going to beat out my chest. My brother looked at me and saw the crazed expression on my face.

“You scared, Jenna?” Brandon asked me

“No. Be ready to fork over those ten bucks.” I responded.

“Dude, you still spreading that hocus pocus crap about sea monsters? My man I love you but you’re crazy.” Nick said to Brandon. Nick has been my brother’s best friend since kindergarten. Couldn’t believe I was spending my day with sophomores. All my friends went to the Benton Cabin at Ruder Lakes.  The Benton Cabin was a senior favorite because it was the infamous “make-out cabin.” Specifically why my parents didn’t let me go; so I got stuck with my brother and his friends jumping off Murder Dive Cliffs.

The cliffs aren’t that scary-they are actually quite beautiful. The view is amazing. I love the water because it is teal in color but tonight they were tar black and menacing.  The waves are a killer though so you must be a good swimmer if you dare to jump these cliffs. The rocks are so soft; almost marble like. However, they are very slippery so you have to grasp at them with your feet so that you don’t fall to your death, hence the name, Murder Dive Cliffs. As we drew closer that sick scary feeling was still tormenting me but I just shook it off.

“We’re here!” Brandon yelled. There were warning signs everywhere. “Unsafe grounds”, “Dangerous”, “Don’t Jump these cliffs”, “Death precedes you if you jump.”  So many have jumped off these cliffs; some have come out with major bragging rights and others aren’t so lucky. I was the first girl in Aquatica to jump these cliffs. My jump was so sick. I even jumped from the highest point on the cliff and did a triple twirl in mid-air. It was my freshmen year and I wanted to be cool. After that, I was so in with the guys at surf practice.

“So, Jenna, are you going to jump or just stand there?” Brandon said to me with a smirk on his face.

“Relax, dude. I’m just warming up.” I responded. Truth is, I was scared but wasn’t really sure why. Maybe because I never jumped these cliffs at night. There was a storm coming and the waves were rough. I climbed higher to the mid-level of the cliff. It’s pretty high; about 15 feet. I counted to three as Brandon and his friends cheered and yelled for me to jump.

“Jump, Jenna, Jump!”  I heard them taunt. I took of my sweater then took a few steps back.  I made for it and sprint for the edge but I slipped, hit my head on the edge, and fell down into the black pit of water. I thought for sure that I was a goner. The water was so cold and it was overwhelming. It engulfed me and I couldn’t get to the surface. I kept on sinking deeper and deeper. Suddenly, I felt something grab by right arm and pull me up. It wasn’t Brandon or Nick or any of Brandon’s friends. It was a man but not quite. He didn’t have legs but a fish tail. His hair was long and glowing red. I was hypnotized by his eyes. They were changing color as he lifted me up towards the surface. One second they were red; the next second they were glowing green. When we got to the surface he slid back down and I got one last look at his fiery red eyes.  I was about to say thank you but he disappeared into the dark waters.

“Jenna, are you okay?!” I heard Brandon scream. I turned to see him and the other guys swim towards me.

“We saw you slip and hit your head” Nick yelled.

“I thought I lost you” Brandon said when he got to me. He gave me a bear hug.

“I did hit my head. I thought I was a goner down there but this man saved me” I said.

“What man? We didn’t see any man.” Brandon said.

“It wasn’t actually a man. He had a fish tail and red glowing hair and multi-color eyes.” I said breathlessly. Brandon and his friends erupted in laughter.

“Are you telling us that you were just saved by a merman?” Nick asked me.

“I know it sounds crazy but that’s what I saw,” I said. Then to all our surprise the merman jumped out the water and for a split second we all got a view of his fish-like body. He looked at us then disappeared again under the dark waters. The boys screamed.