I tap the link, and it opens up a bright, cheery, robin's-egg blue web page. P&P Bake, it's called. It's clearly one of those WordPress blogs converted into a website, but that doesn't make it any less captivating--- the pictures on the posts are so vivid, I can practically taste them through the screen.
I scroll down, glancing at the dessert names, lingering on the pictures. The most recent is Tailgate Trash Twinkies, which are apparently a homemade cake roll infused with PBR; I scroll down and see A-Plus Angel Cake, and Butter Luck Next Time Butter Cookies, and then---
And then, on Halloween, there's an entry for Monster Cake.
My breath stops before it can leave my chest, my entire body stiffening on the couch like a corpse. There's no mistaking it. I may have a bad habit of eating Pepper's baked goods so fast, it threatens the time-space continuum, but the bright colors and gooey mess of that cake are so distinct in my mind and in my taste buds, I could see it in another life and immediately identify it.
Yet my brain still refuses to process it, and I'm still scrolling as if I'll blink and it will disappear, a vivid, sleep-deprived teenage hallucination.
But the further I scroll the worse it gets. The So Sorry Blondies. The Pop Quiz Cake Pops she and Pooja were eating the other day. A few things I've never heard of before, with irreverent, silly names, some of which must be Paige's, but others that are so distinctly Pepper it stings to read.