Opening the fridge door – quick not much time before the door alarm! – she searches. Just something small. An easy, simple, healthy snack. A small afternoon nosh, if even that. A little bite, a munch, a goûter. Eyes land on the inadequate, little basket of strawberries.
No. You can’t, she tells herself. One will turn to three and then… You’ll eat them all! That’s how it always goes.
Eyes are pulled away. Searching – it shouldn’t be that hard! Hurry, hurry, not long now!
The next shelf down – what’s that? A plastic bag. There’s more!
Hands snake – quick, careful, quick! – and emerge, triumphant.
Beep Bee –
The door is already closing. She was fast enough. Twice victorious.
Cradled tenderly against her – free hand already bringing the first up to soon-to-be-red lips – is a bushel of strawberries. She returns to her work.
Napkin, napkin where’s a – aha!
Hands grab the last of the paper squares, quickly staining the material with splotches of juicy red. Crumpled, into her pocket to join the growing collection.
Sock-clad feet pound against the auditorium floor as she rushes to join her friends. It was just a quick expedition. Just a little break, just a few more. She’s done now. Save the others for… the others.
Eyes bright, voices raised in laughter, they return. Gather around the table. The ever-hungry hands of teenagers, they grab, steal, horde. Chips, cookies, soda – yes, there.
Biting off the corner of a cookie she watches, jealous, as her best friend raises the red fruit to her dark lips.
She wants – no shouldn’t. Can’t. Won’t.
You’ve had enough.
A glance at the glass bowl. Larger than her head, there’s only a scant couple inches left.
A couple more is okay, before they’re all gone. Nothing wrong with one last taste, before it’s too late.
Shhh – the crackly screen slides open – just enough. The frame rubs her chest and back as she steps in sideways. Slam! Closed.
Little body darts through the crowd of friends and neighbors. A leg here, a pretty skirt there.
Doggy! – No – focus. Mission. Aha!
Yellow – gold – ceramic bowl. Front and center on the counter. She doesn’t need to be able to see the contents.
Tiptoes, two hands in –
scrambling, reaching, as many as possible, all of them! –
And out. Red already staining fingers.
Not on the pretty dress. Mommy will be upset.
Back through the crowd.
Slowly. Carefully. Can’t drop.
Shhh – open with a toe – Slam – closed with a heel.
Plop back into her chair outside. Legs swinging freely towards the ground, her treasure is released onto the already red tie-dyed plate. She brings the first of the precious berries to her lips.
She looks up, up. Blue eyes meet brown-swirled green.
“Just be careful. Too many more and you might have another allergic reaction, Amory.”
A little explanation. Each ‘day’ is based off an actual memory, in reverse order.
Day Three was when I was little. My parents were having a summer party and I kept eating all the strawberries. I’m allergic to (artificial) red dye, though only in large quantities. To stop me from eating all the strawberries my dad told me that, because they were red, I could break out in hives again if I had too many.
I believed him until around high school – Day Two, when I finally realized that it was only ared dye not naturally red food, that would cause a reaction. I think I ate at least half the (giant) bowl on my own.
Day One is from just this year, enjoying some of the first strawberries of the season.
Whenever I have strawberries, I always think back to Day Two and Day Three especially. It’s funny the memories we carry sometimes of ourselves and those close to us.
Anyways, I had no intention of writing this, I have several other unfinished posts in my drafts. But I saw Keep Your Feet‘s post about the strawberry season starting up at her family’s patch and it inspired me, along with our Blogging 101 assignment the other day. I already did the assignment, but the whole point is to get us used to certain blogging practices and habits so hey, extra credit! 😉
And thanks Amelia for the inspiration, hope the season goes well for you!