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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Hear (07/08/10)

TITLE: You Did What?
By AnneRene' Capp


As Suzie leisurely climbed the rear steps that lead to Nona’s kitchen for her usual lunchtime rendezvous, she heard her grandmother-in-laws excited voice from inside. Although she wasn’t able to hear what was being said, she knew something was wrong.

Quickening her steps, she hurriedly entered the normally serene family gathering spot where Nona always had something cooking, fresh brewed coffee and cold Iced Tea awaiting anyone’s arrival.

Sitting at Nona’s chrome table adorned with its yellow marbleized top and matching chairs, was Tessa, Nona’s daughter and Suzie’s mother-in law. With tear-drenched eyes, Tessa acknowledged Suzie’s arrival with only a nod.

Gently closing the door behind her while keeping one hand on the doorknob, Suzie cautiously asked, “What’s going on, is everyone in the family all right?”

While motioning Suzie to the table with a wave of her hand, Nona spoke up, “Yes Suzie, everyone okay, you no worry, get yourself some Ice tea and sedere-sit down while I get Tessa a cup of coffee.

Handing her daughter a cup of coffee, Nona continued half in Italian and half in English. “Mamma Mia-my goodness Tessa, grazie a Dio-thank God you didn’t loose your job.”

“I know Mama but now I feel so much shame to see my boss tomorrow.”

As Suzie looked over at Nona, she could see a slight smirk hidden behind Nona’s concern for her daughter and with a gist of a smile herself, asked Tessa, “Why are you home from work so early?”

“Oh Suzie, I look like idiot. This very nice man, he come into the restaurant this morning. He only order coffee while he read his newspaper. I tell him, I be back to check on him if he should want to order some food. He was at the restaurant a very long time and then I check on him a second time and ask again if he should want some food now. He wave one of his hands in the air and said, “Just get a sweet roll and you heat it,” so I heat it.”


“Maybe 30 minutes go by and I take my break in back room, then my boss come to me and ask me where is gentleman’s sweet roll at table seven? I tell him, I heat it, so he ask me where was it. In my stomach, I say. I heat it because the customer told me to.”

Then he laugh and said he would explain to customer that I just hear him wrong, but then I get mad and say, “No, I no hear wrong, the man tell me to heat it!”

Bolting out an irrepressible laugh, Suzie then asked, “But didn’t you think it was odd that he told you to eat it?”

Now smiling, Tessa replied, “Of course Suzie, you think I am stupdio? I just think it another crazy American custom I never hear of and no want to be rude and refuse.”

“What’d your boss do then?”

“He just tell me to take rest of day off and go home to relax. He see me tomorrow. Then I ask him if I was fired and he said no and not to worry because he have much worse things happen at his restaurant.”

Author’s footnote:

Suzie’s husband was the first child in the De Luca family to be born in America after his parents and grandparents migrated from Italy. When they arrived here, they only spoke Italian and took great pride in their self-taught labors to speak English.

Suzie’s actual name is Heleena but she was given the nickname of Suzie by Nona during their first introduction to one another. Nona claimed that Suzie was, “Good American name,” but as Suzie learned later, H’s and L’s were the hardest letters in the English language for them to pronounce.

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This article has been read 532 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/15/10
This is a charming story. The broken English was done well and really helped to develop the character.
Ruth Brown07/17/10
I loved the story. Clever and witty in a very Italian way!No wonder Nona had a hint of a smile. It was quite clear as the story developed. Excellent, family stories are the best! May God bless your future writings and you,Your sista'in Christ,Ruth
Lollie Hofer07/19/10
I loooooooooooooooove it! What a hoot. I needed a good laugh today and you delivered. Thanks for sharing this well-written story.
Mildred Sheldon07/19/10
A very well written story of how certain letters in English are so difficult for those from Europe or Asia to pronounce and understand. Fumi use to call my daughter Lobin because she could not pronounce the letter R. Also very amusing story. Good job and keep writing.
Dorene Lang07/19/10
Very enjoyable read. Thank you for sharing. I was actually embarrased for her when I read what had happened.
Chely Roach07/20/10
Ah, you made me smile. Thank you!
Angela M. Baker-Bridge07/20/10
Well done...could have been one of my relatives :)
Virgil Youngblood 07/20/10
On topic and a fun read. Well done.
Sarah Elisabeth 07/21/10
Ah, poor Tessa.

Good job in getting the voice on this!
Maria Kana Santos07/22/10
Well done! Relaxed and enjoyable. So true-to-life story. Good job in writing this. I'm so glad to have met Tessa. Sweet story :)
Carol Penhorwood 07/22/10
A thoroughly enjoyable read! Loved it from beginning to end! Congratulations on the well deserved "Highly Commended"!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/22/10
Congratulations on your highly commended! You keep on writing my friend. You have wonderful stories that the world wants and needs to hear.