Food - Soothes the Soul

Submitted into Contest #100 in response to: Write about a character preparing a meal for somebody else.... view prompt


American Christian Drama

Tonight, it's finally here; no turning back now. Seleena has planned a dinner for her two children. They neither like nor associate with each other. God saw fit to send them to her 10 years apart never developing a sibling bond. She thinks they try to tolerate her most of the time. She is now retired at an old age of 67. Thinking of her family she shakes her head and realizes she has such a dysfunctional family. She thought by this time in her life she would have a little control over something but definetly that's not the case.

She was excited to do this but now anxiety has taken over. She doesn't like to cook. Her husband tells her she's only a good cook when she's the hungry one. Her mother tried to teach her to cook but she was only interested in cakes or pies no main course items. She's sure hoping that she gets hungry soon! This meal should be one that she can't mess up...steak, baked potato, salad and roll. There will be no desert. They all like different things and she's not the kind of mother that will try to have something everyone likes. Is there something wrong with that, she wonders. Even something to drink is a problem. She loves sweet doesn't drink tea....hubby needs unsweetened tea....everyone just needs to bring their own drink. Thank goodness none of us are alcoholic drinkers she thought. The son's wife does like wine with a meal...but here she's out of luck. Of course, it might relieve tension; she'll have to rethink that in the future.

All the while cooking, she thought about the Suzie Homemakers and how they would have everything matching. They would set a table with a centerpiece and candles and have a dish set that matches. She never cared for any of that; maybe it was because she couldn't get her husband or children interested in keeping things nice. She just gave up trying, wondering if her children will judge her on that now too?

She always messes the whole kitchen up making the simplest of meals. "Nothing is simple for me. It's a chore to fix the meal and a chore to clean up afterwards and just not worth the effort for people who don't show any appreciation. Maybe that's why I know this dinner is doomed from the start!" she exclaims outloud looking around to make sure nobody heard her outburst.

She's managed to create a pretty decent looking meal. Everything is ready. No disasters and the kitchen is straightened back up. They will be shocked to see that she thought and she laughs out loud.

She stands and looks at the dinner table pretending to see a happy family sitting there all enjoying the meal sharing the days events.

It must be nice. She wonders if there are real families like that. She feels the tension as she can foresee how it will really go. Her daughter will arrive on time due to the punctual husband she has now. Her son will arrive late to make his "grand" entrance. As they pass the food around she will hear how they really like their steak cooked; what they really like in their salads; what potatoes they prefer. They will try to out talk each other. She will sit and watch their facial expressions....listen to the tone of their voice.....see how they handle their silverware.....all while she's waiting for the explosion. "Oh how I dread this night!" she says...while looking at herself in the kitchen mirror. "When they start, I will be the explosion." She can't take all their bickering with each other. Why can't they just try to see that when she and their father is gone, all the family they will have is each other. They think all they need is their own family unit and when they look at each other all they see is a stranger.

Most women would take the time to dress like she were going out to dinner. Not her! Nobody seems to see her anyways. Looking at her hands, she utters to herself, "I don't get to have my nails done or see the hair stylist just any ole day." She's used to wearing scrubs to work so she doesn't have a lot of social clothes. Her husband doesn't take her out much for her to have a closet full of nice clothes. He isn't the kind of man to hand out compliments or encouragement. He just assumes she's happy like she is. "Is that important? she asks herself, "to look nicely dressed for a dinner at home? Would it help make the tension go away?"

She sets an extra plate. This is her surprise for the occasion. She will tell them it is for a special guest. Before they start the meal, she will take the plate of food and pick up the steak and ask how it's day was...and it will answer that it was okay until she burned him and she will toss him out the door. Next she will pick up the potato and ask him about his day and he will reply that it was okay until he realized he wasn't quite soft enough and she will toss it out the door. The same for the salad; it will answer it had a good day until she tossed in the nasty tomato and shewill throw it out the door.

Then she will look at her family and ask how their day was.

Will they get the point or will they scream and leave? "I'm sure my husband will be upset the steak being tossed out," she thought but she laughed as she realized their dog will be grateful. If they leave what will she do? If they understand will they laugh?. How can a planned dinner be so hard to do? She's sure they will never understand that all was done in love. Love for the two of them and their father and just showing them that Mom controls the dinner tonight. We will love each other for just one night. Moms have the ability to do that ya know. She just doesn't know any other way other than dramatics. So, she's praying that food is the way.

Food....soothes the soul....for her it brings out the hurt, anger and disappointments in herself and others. Now, she thinks her plan will make for a good and quiet dinner. "Food may not be the answer to all my problems," she says as she looks at her extra plate, "but food does soothe the soul," and she laughs thinking about all the shocked faces.

June 28, 2021 02:22

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