Tuesday = #Blogbattle
#BlogBattle is a weekly short story challenge using a single word for inspiration. Hosted by the talented Rachael Ritchey. Feel free to join in, or click here to read the current week’s stories and vote for your favorites.
This week’s word: Legumes
😦 I have missed the last two weeks of battle, but I’m back with some of my favorite characters. Since my last couple of stories were a little melancholy, I thought I’d lighten things up a bit. Happy Reading.
Nita walks into the Cosmetology school and heads towards the break room carrying her coffee and donut. Her and her friend Michael usually meet up early so they can take a moment to chitchat before they have to start their day.
When Nita enters the break room, Michael isn’t there yet. She puts her purse in her locker and gets out her white lab coat. Just then Michael enters, and she greets him cheerfully, “Good Morning Michael.”
Michael replies with less bravado than usual, “Good Morning Chickpea,” he cringes at the moniker and shakes his head hoping Nita doesn’t notice.
Chickpea? That’s not right, usually my nicknames are sweet desserts…something’s wrong…he looks really tired. “Michael…what’s the matter?” Nita questions gingerly.
Michael shuts his locker a little too forcefully, he looks at Nita and says, “It’s the legumes,” he draws out the word legumes as if just allowing it to roll off his tongue leaves a bad taste in his mouth.
Nita echoes flatly, “The legumes.” Having no clue to what he is talking about.
Michael lets out a sigh and says, “You remember I went to visit mumsy at the vineyard, Green Bean.” He winces, not waiting for her to reply. “Well, all she served to eat all weekend were foods cooked with legumes…you know…peas, beans, nuts…I mean everything, even dessert.” Rolling his eyes he continued, “Her new beau was there, he’s a transplant from California, some old surfer dude named Wade. Because of him she is embracing the vegan lifestyle. It was dreadful, I tell you, simply dreadful. But then…she brings out the brownies…you know how I love brownies…so I think this is her, extending an olive branch. Nope…they were Garbanzo. Bean. Brownies.” He says with horror, and drops his head to his folded arms on the table with a loud thud.
“Oh Michael, I am so sorry. Here…you need this more than I do.” She slides her coffee and donut towards him with great reverence. When he looks up, she thinks she sees a tear in his eye. He nods his head in thanks as he breaks off a piece of donut and places it in his mouth. He closes his eyes, chews slowly, savoring every bite.
Nita didn’t want to interrupt him, but she wasn’t going to be in class that morning, her regular patron, Sophia was coming in to get her hair done before her trip. She quietly says, “Michael…I’ll have to catch up with you after class, Sophia is coming in this morning…are you feeling any better?”
He nods his head with a little more enthusiasm and with a content smile he says, “Thanks Sugar Snap.”
“See…you are better!!” She says with excitement.
“Not quite…Sugar Snap is a pea.” He says with no emotion as he lifts the cup of coffee to his lips to drown his despondency.
“Oh…you’ll be OK?…I have to go.” Nita says reluctantly. She really didn’t want to leave him in this state. Without looking at her, he waves his hand like he is swatting at a fly to dismiss her.
By the time Nita is combing out Sophia’s shampoo set, Michael is back from class, and begins setting up his workstation.
Sophia looks towards Michael, and then eyes Nita in the mirror with a questioning look. Nita explains, “He’s not himself this morning Sophia, he spent the weekend with his mother and all she fed him was food made with legumes, he’s having meat withdrawal.”
With wide eyes, Sophia says, “Oh Michael dear, it can’t be all that bad. Your dear sweet mother probably made some fabulous dishes, I know that Vegan diet can be very flavorful when prepared correctly.”
Nita leaned down and quietly said in her ear, “She made him Garbanzo Bean Brownies.”
Sophia literally gasps and clutches her pearls that are draped around her neck, “Oh no…NO…that’s just wrong on so many levels…Michael you poor dear.”
To add to the drama, Michael is leaning on his workstation as if it were the only thing that could keep him vertical, then he says to Nita, “Is it lunch time yet? I think I need a McDisaster.”
Nita replied with a scolding tone, “Michael.” As she cut her eyes at him.
Sophia questions Nita, “Did he just say a McDisaster?”
“Yes, yes he did.”
“What…is…a McDisaster?” Sophia asks not sure she wants to know.
“It doesn’t matter…he’s not getting one.” Nita says with great resolve.
With a faraway look, Michael slowly says to Sophia, “A McDisaster, my dear Sophia, is when you put a McChicken, between a McDouble, to create the McDisaster,” using hand gestures to indicate each layer, as his expression turns to pure euphoria just talking about it.
“Michael!! That’s not real food, how can you even think to eat such a thing?” Nita says with fervency.
Sophia chided, “Nita is right, Michael…that fast food will kill you. What you and Nita need to do is go to the Greek Island Restaurant for lunch. Hank and I just love the Greek Island. You can get one of those Gyros, now that’s some real meat, and the desserts they have? They are to die for.”
Nita agreed. “That’s a great idea Sophia.” Nita turns to look at Michael, and notices he is slumped in his chair, with his eyes closed, she loudly says, “Michael,” to stir him from his melodramatic stupor, he startles, then she says, “Michael, I’m taking you to the Greek Island for lunch, my treat.”
With a little more energy he says, “I don’t care where you take me Peanut, I just want some real food. Is it lunchtime yet? Can we go now?” Sounding not unlike an impatient child.
Nita answers with a calmness she has to muster, “Let me finish up, meet me in the break room.”
She puts the finishing touches on Sophia’s hair, and says, “I hope you and Hank have a wonderful trip.”
Sophia replies with a smile of pure joy on her face, “Oh Nita dear, we will. Be sure to take care of that one,” she says with a chuckle as she points her thumb in Michael’s direction. She hands Nita a larger than normal tip and says, “Here’s a little extra, be sure you get that boy some real dessert…it’s on me.” She gives Nita’s shoulder a little squeeze as she leaves.
© 2015 Carrie Ann