I got totally stuck today. Goodness. It was another one of those mornings when I felt like, what the heck am I writing? I hate that. I sat down anyways and tried to continue working on a scene that I’d started on Christmas, but only ended up more stuck. So, I opened up one of my writing books and right there it said, “just write down whatever comes to your head. It doesn’t matter what it is. Just write.” Such simple, yet awesome advice. Here is what came out.
My arm ached as I pulled the wooden spoon through the thick chocolate mixture of boxed brownie mix, eggs and oil. Spots of dry powder disappeared with each revolution and the powder transformed into sweet smelling batter. “At least you’ll have decent biceps, “ she said, blowing on her nails. I rolled my eyes at her luxury. Easy for you to say. You’re not on batch number three of brownie making.
“Hey, I didn’t volunteer for this,” she responded. She always responds, whether I actually speak to her or not. “I told you to say no.”
“You know I can’t do that.”
“I just can’t. I try and I can’t, okay. No one says no to Amber.”
“Amber, Amber, Amber. You sound ridiculous when you blame everything on her.”
“What? It’s true. No one says no to her. Its like impossible. I would have said no, and then she would have begged, threatened, or worse, just asked Daddy if I could do it. Its easier if I jus say yes.” I set down the batter and walked towards her in order to check the oven.
“Make sure it’s on 400…” she starts
“That way it will really bake at 350. Yes, I know. Thank you.” I fiddle with the nobs and notice her hair. Thick and black, like mine, she’s managed to turn her back to me just slightly so that I can’t help but notice the intricate braided pattern she’s created in the back of her hair. Her thick strands have submitted to being pulled upwards in a basket like woven pattern and secured into position. “How did you do that?”
“I don’t know. I just practiced.” I can tell she’s lying by the way she smiles at me over her shoulder. Don’t you wish you knew, her smile says.
“Yeah, sure” I went back to the bowl of smooth batter and slowly poured it from the metal bowl to the aluminum baking pans I got from the store. The sun light hits the side of the bowl in a way that allows her to be there as well.
“You know you should at least ask Amber to reimburse you for the cost of these pans.” Her smile is now a firm line of seriousness. Her face stretches over the surface of the bowl as I continue to pour. It moves as the bowl moves while I scrape the remaining brownie batter into the pan. I don’t respond and placed the metal bowl on the counter, scraping the last bit of batter on to the spatula.
Of course I know that I should ask Amber for the money it cost to purchase the pans. I also know that I probably won’t. There is no use in arguing over what you know will happen anyway.
“I know you hear me. When are you going to stop letting people like her walk all over you?” I look up at the metal bowl and her round face was even more flattened against its surface.
“Should I eat this?” I asked, holding out the now brown spatula. Gravity had started to pull the mixture down towards the handle as I held it out in front of me, but the cool air and its thickness have slowed its movement.
“Why not? “ she narrowed her dark brown eyes at me. How is that we looked so much alike, twins, yet she looked so much prettier then me?
“Amber wouldn’t eat it. She’d rinse it off in the sink and put it away.”
“Then you should definitely eat it. On GP.”
She was always encouraging me to do things on GP, general purpose, just because. Just because what? Just because I wanted to? What kind of reasoning was that? I dropped the spatula in the sink, and received a groan in response.
“Are you kidding me? What a waste.” Her face was back in the shine of oven window that was at eye level. I opened the door and received the warm blast of heat. My stomach growled loudly as I picked up the pan and placed it in the oven and closed the door. She was back. “Serves you right. I hope you starve.”
“Isn’t hat the point of a diet?” I asked. The front door closed tightly.
“You are hopeless,” she said, rolling her eyes. I could barely see her manicured pink fingernails as she crossed her arms over her chest in the small window.
“I know.” I removed my apron and listened for Daddy. The sound of sports broadcasters came from the TV, indicating a delay in his progress towards the kitchen. I had at least a few minutes before he rounded the corner and asked me why I was talking to myself. I took off my apron and draped it over the counter before heading to the living room to join him. It’s a lot harder to hear my conscience when the television is on.