Picture Perfect

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I sat there staring at the syrup oozing over my stack of pancakes, or was it flapjacks? Who could ever really tell the difference? And why were they named flapjacks? Why not flapjohns or somebody elses name? "Kat, are you even listening to me?" I looked up to see my dad staring at me over the morning newspaper. He reminded me of Wilson off of Home Improvement, for every morning all I ever saw was his tiny eyes hidden behind his thick rimmed reading glasses. And usually never anything else.
"Sorry,Dad." I forced a polite smile, and shoved a fork full of pancakes into my mouth. I heard my dad start talking, but I could not get myself to pay attention to his speech about where I would spend this years summer. I chewed my mouthfull of pancakes slowly. Did Mom buy Aunt Jemima syrup or was it Walden Farms? I just could not tell this time.
"So what do you think?" My dad folded the newspaper neatly on the table, allowing me to see his clean shaven face that went along with those eyes that I had become to know so well. Mom turned around from the sink, soap suds polk-a-dotting her ivory skin. Her receptionist smile was plastered on her face as if to reassure me that their summer plans for me would turn out well.
"It's not like I have a choice," I replied with a shrug. Dad gave mom a quick look, then leaned onto the table, his lecture face ready.
"Your mom and I have agreed that staying with your grandfather will be a nice change for you. Being in the fresh air will do you some good."
"I look back on my childhood at the vineyard fondly," Mom piped in, always so happy to pitch in an optomistic comment.
"Sure. Why not." The dryness in my tone went undetected like always and I stood up from the table. Already my parents had gone back to their morning rituals. My dad sipping at his coffee while reviewing the newspaper and my mom washing our few breakfast dishes. Now if only they had their perfect daughter that slid into the picture with matching grace and poise. I snorted and blew my bangs out of my eyes as I turned and fled from the scene.That picture perfect photo had been torn up and disposed of long ago. I would never be their picture perfect daughter.





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