Rosemary vs. Time

by Oliver M


Oliver M.
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For the greater part of his life, Teddy loved to cook. As a kid, he experimented with different flavors, adding spice to the dreary Midwestern cuisine that engulfed him. As an adult, he cooked for the cathartics of the kitchen. After a long, stressful day of grading tests and dealing with the antics of today’s youth, the serenity he achieved by cooking a warm, comforting meal seemed second to none. Over time, he developed into quite the chef. He hoped that one day, he would open a restaurant and let his meals spread their aromatic spirits and lull others into that familiar soul-lifting feeling of a good meal with their sweet and savory sensations. But this vision had no chance of becoming a reality because of his arch nemesis, Rosemary Lee. 
Since he first started cooking, Rosemary tormented him, saying he would never be good enough or get anywhere in life. Their hatred

stemmed from an incident at Teddy’s first-ever cooking competition at the age of just 11 years. During the contest, he accidentally dropped a heavy metal tub on Rosemary’s hand, crippling her chances of winning. Teddy went on to take first prize, and Rosemary did not even make the final cut. Since that competition, she made it her mission to hinder Teddy’s success in cooking.  Contrarily, Rosemary herself flourished,  blossoming into one of the world’s best chefs. 
A few months ago, Teddy, now 32 years of age, entered a raffle to compete on America's most popular cooking show, where contestants challenge a world-renowned chef to a cookoff for a $1,000,000 prize, which the winner could put toward opening a restaurant. Teddy knew that winning this contest would give him the opportunity he always needed to kickstart his restaurant dreams. Unfortunately for Teddy, his old nemesis, Rosemary, ran the show. 
With shaky hands, Teddy dragged the cursor to his inbox, nervously clicking the new email icon. His eyes raced across the screen, not believing what they saw.
 Exuberantly, he let out a yawp so loud that the students walking by his drab office stopped to peek inside. From their eyes, it just looked like old, boring Mr. Time had received some good news, but to Teddy, his dream had manifested itself into reality. He won. 

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Then a new email appeared in his inbox. His eyes cascaded down the page and his face melted into horror. The new message, from Rosemary herself, said that, although he won, she would do everything in her power to keep him off the show. She added that she had arranged for a redraw, which would find a new contestant, just a couple of days before the competition, thus making sure that
Teddy did not have time to expose her mistreatment of him. Teddy had seen his dreams chewed up and spat onto the dirt like rotten fruit.  But one seed of that fruitful dream, still intact, had a small chance of blossoming into a tree of hope. 
Rosemary arrogantly cackled, proud of her cunning scheme and impressed by her own wit. Pickling in a jar of her own vanity, she forgot to tell her producers to take Teddy’s name out of the drawing pool when running the re-raffle, and by a stroke of luck, he won for a second time. At that point, the competition approached too soon to run another re-raffle. So, although it hurt more than the burn of a Carolina Reaper pepper, she reluctantly let him on the show.  
At first, Teddy thought it a joke, but when he saw a plane ticket appear on his phone, he hastily packed his bags and hopped on the company-provided flight. He could barely contain his excitement as he touched down in New York, the site of the competition. 
A limousine pulled on the tarmac to escort him and soon, he lay in the hot tub of his five-star hotel suite, soaking away his worries as he looked forward to what wonders tomorrow’s competition might hold. 
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The next morning, upon arriving at the soundstage, where in just a few hours, the competition would take place, he wandered backstage and greeted the crew, trying his best to make a good first impression. Just then, Rosemary walked down the hall with a scowl across her face, barking insults left and right, reaffirming that she would do anything in her power to destroy Teddy’s chances, this time adding, “You won’t get lucky a third time,” to the recipe of rage. She watched with satisfaction as his confidence melted away.