Happy

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I’m sure that the little girl in that back seat is waving at us.  She looks like me as a child.  Brown eyes big as saucers, frizzy pigtails with loose ribbons, a crooked, mischievous smile. Thinking about that girl, the girl that I once was, emboldens me.  I turn to my mother.

“So, I have some news…” I begin.

“What is it?”

“They called me yesterday.  I got it!  I’m going to be a travel writer.  Getting to travel the world and write – that’s my dream!”

“Oh, that’s nice, I guess.”

“You guess?  Mom, this is my dream job!  I’m going to get to see the world for free and write about it.”

“I know, honey.  I was just hoping that…maybe…you and Brian…”

“Mom, I told you that Brian and I broke up weeks ago…”

“But, all of my friends are grandparents now.  They always ask when you’re going to settle down and I don’t know what to say…”

“Tell them I’m happy.”

The light turns green and I signal for a right turn.  The car in front of us keeps straight and I blow a kiss to that little girl as it disappears around the curve.

For Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner

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Writing 101, Day Ten: Franks and Beans

beans and franks

Tell us about your favorite childhood meal — the one that was always a treat, that meant “celebration,” or that comforted you and has deep roots in your memory.

It’s so funny to think of it now, but my favorite meal as a kid, simple as it is, was franks and beans. My brother and I visited my maternal grandmother often as small children. My Gram would always ask what we wanted for lunch – pizza? burgers and fries? mac and cheese? But we would always shout in a loud chorus, “Franks and beans!” Gram would chuckle and shake her head, heading toward the stove.

My favorite memory is a rainy afternoon, me and my brother sitting around my Gram’s dark wooden table in her warm, sweet-smelling kitchen, looking out the small window next to the cabinets as the raindrops streaked down the glass. I remember feeling so safe as my brother and I played some game we’d made up, the rules of which I can’t even remember now, as our lunch simmered on the stove. My Gram would pull a huge canister of our favorite beverage at the time, sweet peach juice, from her cavernous pantry and opened it with her dangerous-looking can-opener, deftly creating two perfect triangular holes on each side, it seemed like magic to me.

Looking back on it now, I realize now why that meal was always my favorite as a kid, besides the fact that Gram made it best, it meant fun, Gram’s house, playing with my brother, no worries, simplicity, safety, love. Not bad for a can of beans and some cut up hot dogs. Sometimes, every blue moon, and maybe today qualifies since there’s a full moon on Friday the 13th, I still make it for myself, curl up on the couch, watch cartoons, and pretend to be five all over again.