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Rated: E · Fiction · Family · #2256645
Prompt was to write a scene that features a ritual dish. What does it represent?
The divorce, followed by the move to Danbury, occurred right before Marley’s 10th birthday. As much as her parents fought about her dad’s work and their cramped living conditions, her parents united when it came to their children. Maybe that was why Marley saw no problem with their trailer park life. Not having the latest electronics and not wearing the most popular clothing styles just didn’t matter. Marley and Missy took pride in who they were because of their parents’ support.

Birthdays, although not often shared with a lot of friends or relatives, still were major events. They started with breakfast in bed accompanied by some goofy poetic tribute written by their dad, followed by lunch out (usually at McDonalds). Since both Marley and Missy had summer birthdays, the afternoons often involved a trip to the pool or a park. And the day ended with the celebrant’s favorite dinner. Although Marley’s mom didn’t cook much, it wasn't because she couldn’t. It was more in protest to the size of their kitchen, claiming it created too much stress for her to work in such a tiny space. But their mom made exceptions when it came to birthday dinners. Marley always chose chicken parmesan with a salad and garlic bread. Missy asked for homemade pizza with sausage and pepperoni.

On the morning of July 2nd, her 10th birthday, Marley knew there would be no breakfast in bed and no silly poem because there was no Dad. Their dad had called twice since they moved. He told both girls his silence had nothing to do with them. He adored both of them with all of his heart and he couldn’t put into words how much it pained him to be separated from them. He promised he would do whatever he could to move forward from this tragedy so he could go back to being the father he once was. Marley knew they could never go back to the way things were, but she prayed every night to be able to hug her dad again and secretly imagined him surprising her on her birthday.

Marley stayed in bed longer than usual. Missy, with whom she shared a room, sat with her for a while and offered to bring Marley a bowl of cereal - the extent of her cooking skills, but Marley said she wasn’t hungry. Marley’s mom had appointments all day, but she left a card with money in it for the girls to be able to walk to the McDonald's for lunch. As much as Marley didn’t want to, she knew Missy did, so they went to lunch and then took a detour on their way home to walk through the nearby park.

As much as Missy tried to cheer her up, all Marley wanted to do was get back into bed. She laid down, hoping to sleep the rest of the day away. The plan worked in part, that is until a familiar smell awakened her - the smell of sauce, the kind of sauce her mom poured over the chicken parmesan. Despite the alluring aroma, Marley fully intended to remain in bed. She resented her mom for so many reasons - at the top of the list was her taking them away from their dad, followed closely by her relationship with Jim. But when Marley smelled the frying of the chicken, her stomach, dissatisfied by her lack of breakfast and sparse lunch, won over her anger.


573 words
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