A short story about a cook, a young woman and stealing lunches

Kevin McSpadden
lunches_singapore_stealing

It had been a good day, but inevitably this meal will resemble most bad dates; boring, awkward and maybe a little combative

Your date is feeling a bit glum. No matter that you have had a wonderful day, decided dressed up and even brought some extra cash in preparation for a small splurge on ice cream to accompany an evening stroll.

See the problem is this a nice restaurant — but it is small — and the cook has just informed the tables they must cross the street and steal the neighbor’s recipes.

Most of the diners are surprised, and some are muttering their disapproval. A few in the back are cheering because (duh) some of the neighbor’s old employees work in the kitchen. But they seem to be a small group, content to simply clap their hands and eat their food.

People are upset because, while the restaurant is small, the food is exceptional. In fact, on the average day, it is about ten-times as good as the neighbour’s food. Even across the city, some dishes certainly taste better, but on average only two restaurants have better food day-in and day-out (the restaurant at the neighborhood casino has better grub, but it cannot survive on its own).

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From the back, someone clears their throat, the way one does before any important speech.

A young woman stands up, and she is beautiful.

Some of the restaurant is shocked. They remember her! She used to be the runt of the family — small, poor and a bit dirty on some days.

She showed up around a decade ago, but nobody paid any mind. At best, they offered her a lollipop and told her to play with the other children. At worst, they wondered why she kept bothering the adults doing adulting things.

As she grew older, her beauty began to reveal itself and the adulting adults started to notice. The younger patrons were attracted to her aura and while she was still dirty on some days, she was no longer poor.

Soon, her beauty moved beyond aesthetics and towards the indescribable aura of power gathering around her. It is impossible to describe, but obvious to anyone with the pleasure of having dinner with the young woman.

The adulting adults smiled, because in her they saw a younger version of themselves, and it was time to let her in.

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Ahem. She cleared her throat one more time.

“Sir…I can not steal,” she said, a bit nervous, but not scared.

“Yes, you can”.

“Yes sir, I know I CAN, but, sir, it would be unwise. See, I have worked hard and recently I earned the respect of the people working in the big-house down the street. I even heard the giant fast food joint across the city is thinking of giving us some recipes,” she said.

The issue, she explained, is if we start stealing lunches, they won’t give us their recipes.

“And I need the recipes, because see, I can not compete with the big house or the fast food place. The man in the big house is still young, but he is VERY handsome and he has lots of money. And they guy who runs the fast-food joint? He was blessed with class good looks and is more rich than all of us. Plus, has years of experience on me”.

Maybe one day, she says, I will be their equals. But not today, and for now, I need their recipes.

“But if they think I am a thief, why would they give me anything?” she asked.

The restaurant was silent, seemingly in agreement. But who really knew?

The beautiful young woman sat down, everyone picked up their chopsticks and began slurping the always-fantastic noodles.

The adulting adults once again began adulting; but the words had been spoken, and everybody was witness.


Copyright: artisticco / 123RF Stock Photo

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