Recipe for Disaster

December 13, 2011
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The smell of chlorine filled the car as we drove away from practice at the pool. Any other day I would’ve been rubbing my eyes, thinking about breakfast, and planning to make up for all the sleep I had already lost that day. But not today. I fidgeted in my seat, thinking of what fun I would have in a few minutes. It had been forever since I had last seen my friend Rebecca, and I couldn’t wait to see her again. We had the entire day planned out, and it was going to be awesome.
I nudged my sister, Lauren, and smiled, at which she playfully punched me on the shoulder. The car then suddenly stopped. Lauren and I both leaped out of the car and raced to the front door, where we saw Rebecca waiting for us. “BECKY!” we both screamed in unison.
After a bit of chatting and hugging, we finally went upstairs to her room. As we walked, I noticed that the normally busy house seemed very deserted. “Where is everyone?” I questioned Rebecca as we walked up the long winding stairs.
“My dad’s at work and my mom is with my little sister at her summer camp,” she answered. “We should be fine. I mean, what could happen?”
At the time I thought she was correct. I mean, there wasn’t really anything dangerous to do there, right? I brushed the thought away and began to relax.
That morning was awesome. We yelled over Super Mario Bros Wii, used her massage chair, pet her very fat cats, and even had a shoe throwing contest. I was having a blast. But as it neared 1:00, all of our stomachs started to feel empty.
“Hey Becky, are you hungry yet?” my sister asked, staring in the direction of the kitchen.
“Yeah, I guess so,” Rebecca agreed. “Come on. I know what to make for lunch.” Getting up from the couch, she raced down the stairs. Lauren turned to me and gave me a questioning look. I shrugged at her, wondering what Rebecca seemed so excited about.
As I hopped down the steps, I spotted Becky pulling some pots and pans out. Joining her in the kitchen with Lauren, I questioned, “So what is this mystery meal you seem so excited about?”
Becky grinned and placed a box on the counter. “Mac and cheese.”
Um, why is she so excited about Mac and cheese? I thought, pondering what could make Mac and cheese so awesome. “Uh, not to be rude or anything, but why are you so excited to be making Mac and cheese?”
Rebecca’s grin grew larger, and she slammed another box on the counter. “We’re making brownies as well.”
I began jumping up and down and running around the kitchen. Now, I know that my reaction may seem a little extreme over some brownies, but trust me, I absolutely LOVE them.
“Let’s get started then!” I yelped, grabbing the pot for the Mac and cheese and filling it with water. As I placed it on the stove, I didn’t bother to check the area around it. I was so focused on making food that it just slipped my mind.
But I would learn to regret it.
As we all giggled and pranced around the kitchen, I turned on the stove. Laughing, I playfully commented, “See how responsible I am?”
A loud whoosh sounded behind me, and suddenly the kitchen was filled with the smell of something burning. I whipped around, and was horrified at what I saw. No one screamed. We were all so shocked that we just stood and stared for a few seconds.
But then we realized that we’d have to do something. Rebecca searched the stove, finding a flaming newspaper. Grabbing it, she began to run outside. “Sarah, bring a pot outside with you!”
I turned off the stove and desperately ripped open the drawers, finally finding a pot. Racing outside, I found Lauren and Rebecca staring helplessly at the newspaper lying on the driveway. Becky grabbed the pot from my hands and slammed it down on the flames. Lauren and I stood to the side, watching as Rebecca beat out the blaze.
And at last, it was over. Panting, Rebecca dropped the pot and stared at the charred paper. Then, she started laughing. Lauren and I watched, dumbfounded. But then we began laughing, and soon we were all laughing so hard we were crying.
Chuckling a few more times, Rebecca said, “We need to get rid of the paper.”
“Agreed.” Lauren and I answered in unison.
Over the next fifteen minutes, we hid the newspaper, checked the stove area before we started making the Mac and cheese, began the brownies, and washed and put away the pot we used to beat out the flames, and we opened a window to get rid of the smell.
Once we finished all of our tasks, Rebecca turned to Lauren and I. “This won’t get out to anyone, right? Not your parents, not my parents, not anyone on swim team or at school, no one. Right?”
I returned her gaze and answered, “Of course not. I don’t want people to know I nearly burned down a house.”
And then we all giggled. The rest of the day we barely mentioned the Mac and cheese incident, and when Rebecca’s parents arrived home, they learned nothing with our close encounter. No one except Lauren, Rebecca, and I knew about the newspaper.
Until now.

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