Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Taste (07/15/10)
TITLE: Lunchbox Longings
By Dana McReynolds
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His dad was trying. Jake was old enough to realize that. But it just wasn’t the same. Even something as simple as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich was missing something. His long time favorite club has lost its appeal. And the cookies, no longer homemade, left him missing more than dessert.
Through the years, an occasional note or surprise would brighten his day. It was never anything that would embarrass him in front of his friends, just a small reminder that his mother loved him. But the surprises stopped the day she didn’t come home.
Jake will never forget the day he was led to the principal’s office at school. When he got there he found his little sister, Susie, sitting wide-eyed in an oversized chair. Their babysitter was in the hallway with the principal and Susie’s teacher. He overheard pieces of the hushed conversation.
“Accident……head-on…….severe……won’t make it.”
In the passing days he heard the sympathetic comments from friends and family. Most were regarding Susie.
“Poor girl…..needs a mother…...braid her hair……teenage years.”
The truth was Jake needed a mother too. Sure his dad was there to coach his baseball team, teach him to throw a spiral pass, and perfect his jump shot. But who was going to have his drink ready for him after practice? Who knew the exact amount of time to leave it in the freezer providing the perfect mix of liquid slush?
His peanut butter and jelly sandwich was missing something. His life was missing something.
A mother’s touch.
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