“Maggie, I’m bored!” Angie sprawled over the edge of her older sister’s bed and stretched back until her fingers could touch the carpet. “There’s nothing to do-”
“Go bother Mom.”
“She said if I set one foot in the basement, she’s gonna plaster me to the wall and paint me like the rest of it.”
“Dad?” Maggie tried.
“He said the garage is no place for a lady because of the guys that came over for football.” Angie huffed. “Stephen’s out with his friends. Gabby can’t play ‘cause she just had her braces tightened and she’s addicted to popsicles, so her mom won’t let her out of the house.”
Maggie pinched the bridge of her nose, eyebrows wrinkled halfway up to her hairline. “This is an important essay.” She said, at last. “And I really don’t have time to entertain you, sister of mine. Couldn’t you read a book?”
“I’ve read everything already!”
“Clean your room?”
Angie bit her lip.
“What?” Maggie swiveled around in her chair to look at her. “Did you break something?”
“I already cleaned my room and I even tried to do my own laundry.”
Maggie shuddered. “Tell me you stopped halfway through the kitchen.”
“You are bored.” Maggie said, in something akin to awe. She folded her skinny arms over her flat chest and quirked her lips to the side in silent thought. After a moment, she unfolded her tall frame from the neon-colored office chair and pinned her youngest sibling with a look. “One thing only. Then I’m back to writing my paper and you’re sitting quietly and not interrupting, alright?”
Angie blinked at her. “Really? I mean, yeah, sure.” She tumbled off the bed and trotted out after her.
Maggie made her way to the kitchen and after checking the fridge and cupboards, took a seat on the far end of the table and drew her knees up to her chest. “Ready?”
Angie scurried to the corner of the kitchen where her apron hung on the oversized hook. She tied it on, all thumbs, until Maggie waved her over and did it for her. “Ready!”
“We’re gonna make black bean brownies.”
Angie’s shamrock-green eyes grew wide and round. “Can we really do that? Make brownies out of beans?” She’d never heard of such a thing in all of her ten years of life.
“You’d be surprised.” Maggie drawled. “Now remember, do as I say and not as I do.” Angie’s head bobbed in quick jerks. Maggie grinned and began to direct her to where the mixing bowls and ingredients were.
Careful little hands followed clear instructions with surprising precision. The few things she could not do herself, Angie brought to Maggie and watched while her older sister handled it. “This is the coolest thing I’ve ever made,” she breathed, digging her spatula into the dark, creamy batter. “It looks good.”
“Wait until you taste it,” Maggie grinned. “Smooth it out in the pan so I can put it in the oven.”
Angie watched with sharp eyes as the Pyrex baking dish slid into the hot oven. She stood on tip-toe to set the digital timer beneath Maggie’s own watchful gaze.
“Now what?” She danced on her toes.
“Now we prepare for the taste test while it bakes.” Maggie nodded at the messy counter. “And we clean.”
Angie grinned. She carried over the mixing bowls, measuring cups and spatula. At the sink, she helped wash and dry, before each item was returned to its respective place. By the time they’d arranged wire racks covered with wax paper and matching plates with glasses of milk, the oven’s timer went off.
Maggie showed her how to test it by stabbing the baked result with a toothpick. Angie proudly demonstrated the new skill. The treat was transferred to the wire racks for cooling and a plastic container of store-bought fudge frosting was dug out of the fridge.
Once cooled, the sisters selected their favorite chunks and positioned them for frosting. Afterward, in perfect synchronization, they scooped up a bite on a fork and washed it down with a swallow of milk.
Angie stepped back from the table, giving a strange hopping little dance of excitement.
“Chew.” Maggie said, mildly.
“I did!” Angie tried to speak around the mouthful. “It’s good!”
“Of course they are.” Maggie gave her a look. “What'd you think, they’re brownies.”
Angie beamed. “Yeah. Exotic brownies.” She hugged her sister. “Thanks, Mags. You’re the best.”
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