Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: AS EASY AS PIE (12/01/16)
- TITLE: Pie Lies
By Cindy Duncan
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Jim placed his fork on his empty dessert plate, and grinned at me. “Best apple pie in the world,” he said, shaking his head with satisfaction. “Sure, the fresh apples are great, but it’s the love you make it with that puts it over the top. It makes me feel so special that you would go to that much trouble for me. I can just see you peeling and slicing those apples, and rolling out the crust. You’re just too good to me.” Jim locked eyes with me. Sure, there was love in his eyes, but mixed with the love was a knowing look that left me with an eerie feeling.
As I pulled my eyes away from my husband, I noticed my best friend staring at me. “Tell him,” she mouthed silently and I knew that the time had come for me to fess up. I had been accepting praise for these “homemade” pies for over a year now, since that infamous homecoming dinner at our church.
“You’ve got to taste this pie,” Jim had said. “I can tell it’s homemade, and with fresh apples.” But when Jim told me who made the pie, I had my doubts. Sarah Smith was not known for making homemade anything, even for these dinners, which had become a sort of cooking competition among the ladies of the church. But I held my tongue.
Jim’s birthday was a couple of months after the dinner, and since he was not much of a cake eater, I decided to surprise him with a homemade apple pie. So I called Sarah to get the recipe. When I told her why I was calling, Sarah laughed. “Get you a pen and some paper, because it’s complicated,” she had said. Then she proceeded to tell me how she had bought a frozen pie, brought it home, placed it into one of her own pie plates, and baked it. “Now sometimes I’ll brush a little egg white on the top and sprinkle sugar on it. That makes it homemade, right?” she had asked.
My first attempt at Sarah’s pie was a huge success. Jim was genuinely touched that I would go the extra mile for him. I started to tell him the truth that night, but then he started the bragging.
“Most people can’t tell frozen fruit from fresh, but I can tell right away,” he had said. “I just can’t eat that frozen stuff. I can tell this is homemade crust, too. Not that store bought junk. Look how flaky it is.”
So I just smiled and said nothing. Well, I said nothing to Jim. I did, however, tell my best friend, and she found the whole thing hilarious. She even began making “homemade” pies for her husband. I agreed with her, though. It was time to tell the truth.
Later that night, when we were alone, I told Jim about the omission. “I never actually lied to you; I just didn’t correct you. You just kept going on and on with your ‘I know fresh fruit when I taste it’ jargon. It was easier to just let you believe it.”
Surprisingly, Jim was not shocked to hear this startling news. “Remember my birthday, when you made me the first pie? When I took the trash out before bed that night, I saw the box from the store. I’ve known your little secret all along.”
“Why in the world didn’t you say something? You even started praising the stupid pie more, which I hadn’t thought was possible. I’ve been feeling so bad.” Now I felt betrayed.
“I don’t know,” Jim said, as he pulled me toward him. “I wanted you to feel guilty for deceiving me. It was easier to lay the praise on thick than to confront you about it.”
I had to laugh at his confession, because it was so similar to mine. “You know what would have been easier in the long run for both of us?”
“Honesty? Well, for what it’s worth, I honestly love you, and I know you would have made a homemade pie for me. But why should you if the store bought one is so good?”
“And so easy, right?”
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