Brianna VanSchoelandt

EG 380A Fiction Writing




I am standing between the meat slicer and refrigerator behind the fingerprint-streaked sneeze guard looking at a well-dressed woman in her thirties who is looking back and forth from the menu above me to the piece of paper in her manicured hand.

I bet she doesn't know how to cook and that's why her list is so long- she's buying dinner for her family. Judging from her expensive purse and 3 carat ring, I bet she's never needed to know how to cook.

Wives who can't cook are either too busy trying to look charitable by keeping busy in community events or are cheating on their husbands.

"Hi, what can I get for you tonight?" I ask through the pasted-on smile attached to my face.

"Um… well… are all your footlongs five dollars?"

"No, just those ones on the banner there." Is she really worried about fifty extra cents?

"Oh, okay. I guess I thought they were all five dollars."

She looks back at her list, at the menu again, and finally holds out the list for me to grab from over the glass.

I notice above the cursive writing there is a purple butterfly on the stationary. It reminds me of the set of blank cards with butterflies on the front my favorite grandma had given me some years ago because she thought giving thank you cards was a show of good manners. My grandma knew how to cook. I am in her small kitchen, standing on a chair due to my childhood height mixing cake batter in a bowl next to her, who is pinching the edges of a pie crust and telling me about the snake under the back deck.

And now here I am ten years later, making a slew of sandwiches for some snotty bitch who probably buys pre-made cakes from the bakery.

What if chance would have had this woman be my grandma? I bet I would have had all the toys I wanted and new clothes every time I went to spend the night at her house, but no idea of how to make anything other than cereal. I bet I would have loved her anyway.

This woman, the snake compared to my grandma's butterfly.