March 10, 2009
By Ellen Burns SILVER, State University, Arkansas
Ellen Burns SILVER, State University, Arkansas
6 articles 0 photos 0 comments

The sun's heat passes through the thick glass, which acts as a barrier, keeping out the chilly, Christmas-afternoon air. The house's owner, my uncle, drops the wooden blinds, blocking the continuous curves of the distant hills from view. No music is being projected from either of the rectangular pieces of furniture. Instead, dialogue overpowers the silence.

'How do you like living here?'

'Grandma, I rode down here in the car with you. I don't live here. Uncle Ralph and Aunt Candace do.'


'I don't live here!'

'Oh, you don't. Well, where do you live?'

I sigh, trying to recount the countless times this exact conversation had occurred already today.

'Tell me, so I can come visit you.'

'I'm at college in Iowa, Grandma.'

'Will you do me a favor?'

'I'll try to write you a letter when I go back, if I have time.'

'How did you know I was going to ask you to do that?'

'I'm psychic.'

She smiles at me, keeping in her halitosis, but exposing her unkempt, yet authentic, teeth. 'You're as ornery as can be. Do you know that? But I love ya. You know that I love you so much.'

'Yeah, Grandma. I know.'

Restless, I get up from the dining room table and walk into the kitchen. My aunt's apple pie is sitting on the kitchen counter, and my stomach grumbles at the sight of it. Right now, I want nothing more than to cut a slice and plop a few scoops of vanilla ice cream on top. It's still warm. I lean toward it to get a good whiff and I can feel the heat, rising off of the pie and warming my face. I smell the brown sugar and cinnamon. The tan crust is baked to perfection; flakey at the edges and taught in the middle. Inside, the apple slices are distributed evenly, making for a smooth surface.

In a few hours, at Christmas dinner, everyone will delve into the pie, complementing my aunt's superb baking. Their craving will cease as their stomachs are filled with sweet, delicious goodness; the cherry, or I guess apple, on top, after my uncle's tender, turkey dinner. Some will eat the pie slowly, trying to savor every scrumptious bite, never wanting it to end, putting off the moment when they'll look down to discover an empty bowl. Others will scarf the piece, not allowing a second to pass when the taste of perfection isn't dominating their taste buds. Secretly, everyone will want a second piece. However, no one will be gutsy enough to ask for one. They will be sufficiently satisfied. For the time being.

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