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Fiction Teens & Young Adult

I feel tears flood down my cheeks, blurring my vision as I set the fresh homemade banana Cream Pie next to my little sister. 

She loves the pie, and I know it, but I just wish she would tell me herself. I wish she would take a bite of the warm cooked pastry and grin at me wide like she used to, but she didn’t. She wouldn’t. Not anymore.

***

One day ago

“Emma!” I hear Lily cry from across the room. I look up from my phone and glance over in her direction. She’s made her way to the front door, slipping on her bright yellow running shoes that our mom bought from the store the other day. 

“I’m right here, Lily. You don’t need to scream like I’m on some deserted island hundreds of miles away from you.” I tell her as I set my phone down on the kitchen counter.

Lily gives me an apologetic look, her bright blue eyes reflecting the sun that casts through the window. “Sorry, Emma. I didn’t know you were in the kitchen.”

“It’s alright.” I pull my hair back behind my ears, tying it in a tight ponytail behind my head. “What did you call me for?” 

“Oh, I was just going to ask if you could make dinner tonight. Mom and Dad are out of town, so obviously we’re not eating anything fancy.  I figured it was either your food or some chinese takeout from the restaurant a few blocks away.” she pauses, “But we’ve eaten from that place three days straight now, so…” 

I nod before she gets the chance to finish her sentence, “Alright, alright. I’ll cook.” 

Lily runs up and gives me a hug, “Thanks, Emma. You’re the best.”

“You remember that.” I respond, “By the way, what exactly did you have in mind for dinner?”

Lily shrugs, “I know you make a fantastic banana cream pie.”

I laugh, “I was asking what you wanted for dinner, not for dessert.” 

Lily scrunches her eyebrows a bit, scratching her head awkwardly, “Well, I’m kind of in the mood for pie. Everything else is up to you.” she opens the front door wide and begins to walk out, “I’m going out with some friends to a movie. I’ll be back around 6 or 7 for dinner.” 

I put my hands on my hips as she slid out the door, “Oh, I see. Leaving me to cook for two while you go enjoy a movie and popcorn with your friends.”

Lily gives me an innocent smile, and I can’t help but return it, “You’re the best sister ever! Love you, Emma!” she says quickly before shutting the door behind her, leaving me to myself as I stare at the door she had just walked out of for a second longer. 

“Alright then.” I take a deep breath and clap my hands together, “Dinner for two and one Banana Cream Pie to make. This shouldn’t be too hard.”

I glance up at the large circular clock that hangs on the wall of the kitchen room, 3:30 PM, it reads.

“I can do this in three hours.” I say to myself more confidently than I feel, “It shouldn’t be too bad.”

With that said, I rush into the kitchen pantry, scanning every corner for the ingredients I will need to start whipping up the pie.

I’ll start making the pie now, given that it will take the longest to prepare, I think to myself. Filling first. 

I begin snatching miscellaneous ingredients off from the shelves of the pantry. Then, I find my way to the refrigerator and open the two large double doors, making everything in the fridge within my reach. I glimpse over what’s available to me quickly, making a quick note to thank Mom for doing the grocery shopping before she left. Spotting a new carton of whole milk, I place it on the counter next to me along with a small container filled with heavy cream. Near the cubby where I find the whole milk, I grab a hand of bananas from the fruit stash Mom kept in the corner. 

Pulling out a fridge drawer, I grab a carton of eggs and a block of butter, setting them with the rest of the items. Then, I hurry back to the pantry and pick out my dry ingredients, “Sugar, Salt, cornstarch, and vanilla extract.” I say quickly as I grab each item from the shelves. 

Rushing back to the kitchen, I lay out a bowl, measuring cup, and whisk. I crack four eggs and separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Then, I pour the yolks into the glass bowl next to me, along with one fourth cup of cornstarch. Once that’s done, I turn my attention to the whole milk, cream, and sugar, placing them in a pot that I grab from the cupboard above. Switching on the stove, I place the pot above the fire, allowing the heat to warm the milk as I begin mixing the yolks and cornstarch together. After a minute or two, once I’m satisfied with the temperature, I take the milk off the stove and slowly stream a little from the pot to the bowl. 

Then, I pour the egg yolk mixture back into the pot and set it on the stove to cool on low until it begins to bubble. Finally, I quickly remove it from the heat, grab the vanilla extract and butter from the counter, and stir the two final ingredients with the rest of the contents. 

“Filling done!” I exclaim, setting the bowl aside to cool. “Now, what’s for dinner?”

As if to answer my question, my eyes dart to the box of dry pasta I spot tucked away in the corner of the pantry shelves. 

“Perfect.” I say, quickly snatching the container from the top of the shelf. Then, I take a quick detour back to the fridge, opening the doors once again in hopes of finding some fresh tomatoes that I can use to mash up homemade tomato sauce. However, after glancing back up at the clock, I end up opting for a small jar of prepackaged sauce instead, deciding that there wasn’t enough time for anything fancy. 

I open the cupboard for the second time, grab another pot, one much larger than the first one, and set it under the kitchen sink as the water splashes into the container. Then, I turn the stove back on and place the large pot on the fire, shaking in a bit of salt I’d found while in the pantry. 

As I wait for the water to boil, I head back to the fridge, hoping that pre-made pie shells had been on Mom’s grocery shopping list last week. 

“Yes. Love you Mom.” I whisper under my breath as I take out the pie crust I find neatly placed in the bottom drawer of the fridge. Leaving it on the counter with the bananas, I grab the pudding filling from the table I Ieft it on to cool earlier. With everything set, I pull two bananas from the bunch, peel off the skin, slice them into thin pieces, and arrange them neatly in the shell. Then, I take a clean white spatula from the kitchen cabinet and use it to carefully spread the vanilla pudding filling on top of the fruit. Once I scrape all the pudding from the bowl, I find a plastic wrap from the kitchen drawer, place it directly on top of the pie, and pop it in the fridge. 

Glancing around my work space, I reach for the box of dry pasta I’d picked out earlier and dump half the pack into the now boiling water. With a large cooking spoon, I begin stirring the pasta slowly in the water to prevent it from sticking anywhere. Once the water simmers, I place a lid onto the pot.

“Ten minutes.” I say, “In ten minutes I’ll check back on that.”

Then, I grab the jar of pre packaged tomato sauce, spoon out some into a container, and pop it in the microwave. 

From across the kitchen, I hear my phone ringing loudly. I hurry over to the table I’d left it on earlier and pick it up, feeling the vibrations against my skin. My eyes scan over the number that’s calling, but I don’t recognize it. Regardless, I answer anyway.

“Hello? This is Emma Willow speaking. How may I help you?” I say calmly, glancing over at the pot of pasta on the stove.

The voice on the other end of the line lets out a short sob, “Hey, um, this is Rachel.”

Rachel, I think. Sounds somewhat familiar.

“Are you okay, Rachel? You sound upset?” I pause, “Are you sure you have the right number? I don’t think I know a Rachel.”

“Yeah, I have the right number.” she lets out another muffled sob. This one lasts much longer, and I wonder if she’s going to just hang up on the spot. Through the speaker, I hear another voice talking to Rachel. It's a boy’s voice.

“Hey, Emma.” the boy has taken the phone, “This is Michael. I’m one of Lily’s friends. I think we’ve met a couple times before.”

Michael. Now, that name does sound familiar. I remember countless nights that Lily would rave about how cute this new boy at school was. Michael, that was his name. 

“Ah,” I say, “Right, I do believe I know you. Well, is everything alright? Your friend Rachel sounded pretty upset.” My eyes dart back over to the pot on the stove, the lid now beginning to shake. 

I hear Michael inhale sharply, “Emma, it's Lily. She…” there’s silence on the other end of the phone.

My hands grow tense and I hold my breath, “She what?” I ask.

I hear the girl next to Michael let out another massive sob.

“She what, Michael? What’s wrong with my sister?” 

I hear more noise. Michael's crying too now, “There was a crash. It all happened so fast. Lily, Lily….” he pauses, endeavoring to collect himself, “She’s gone. I’m so sorry.”

My blood runs cold. My heart skips a beat. I feel my hands and body tremble, and the phone slips from my hand, hitting the ground with a thud.

“Hello? Emma, are you there?” I hear Michael's voice ask faintly from the speaker of the phone. 

My knees buckle, and I slowly crouch down to the ground, wrapping my arms around myself as I pick the phone off the ground. 

“Yes,” I whisper, “I’m here.”

“Ok.” Micheal whispers back, “Do you, um, want to come see her. I know your parents are out of town right now. I think the hospital has contacted them, but I thought you should know so that you could come see her now.”

I shiver slightly, “Yes. Thank you. What hospital?”

“The one on South Fork lane. It's maybe a ten minute drive from your house.”

“Alright. I’ll be there. Thank you.”

***

Tired and drained, I drag myself back into the house, shutting the front door behind me. Unlike the busy hospital I had just come from, everything around me is quiet. The lights are turned off. The rooms are empty. The silence makes me shudder.

Slowly, I head over to the kitchen and switch on the lights above me. I take out a bowl from the cabinet above me and open the lid to the large pot resting on the stove. Mechanically, I use the cooking spoon in the pot to ladle out a bit of spaghetti, putting it in the plastic bowl. 

Then, I walk over to the microwave and pull the tomato sauce out, spooning out a small portion and put it on top of the noodles. Grabbing a fork from the drawer, I walk over to the dining table, set my food down, and begin eating the knock off spaghetti. The noodles and sauce taste cold, but I force the food down regardless. As I eat, tears stream down my cheeks, and I have to stop midway through a bite, choking down a sob.

“Dinner for two and dessert for one.” I say, but no one responds.

July 01, 2021 02:43

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3 comments

Pahani Wijeratne
18:22 Jul 15, 2021

Aw, wow. This is such a sad story, but you’ve written it in such a beautiful way. I didn’t really expect the plot twist though; it was upsetting to read about how the sister was in a car accident. I love how you explained the method in how the older sister made the homemade banana cream pie, I’ve got to tell you, you made my tummy rumble! I’m craving for pie now! 😂😂😁 The ending was the most sorrowful, and it felt like for me, without the little sister there to eat with her, somewhat made the dinner feel incomplete ( but, that’s what I love a...

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Eve Y
19:55 Jul 15, 2021

Thank you so much! I'm so glad you enjoyed the story, and I really appreciate your positive feedback! And yes, this story was a bit on the sad side, but sometimes those are the ones we remember the most. :) I hope you have a wonderful day as well and keep writing!

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Pahani Wijeratne
07:57 Jul 16, 2021

Hiii! Of course, it’s my pleasure! I totally agree with you, I’ll definitely remember this story for sure 😁. This is a spectacular read, and I hope you keep writing more as well! I hope you have a great day too 😊✨

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