A dear friend of mine wrote this story and shared it on Facebook recently. I thought it was such a sweet story that I asked, and was granted, her permission to share it with all of you. Enjoy!
The Best PB and J
by Kali Hayslett
All Millie every wanted was a crust-less peanut butter and jelly sandwich on white bread. Her parents were well intentioned in their parenting, and always made Millie a sandwich on whole grain, 12-grain, or multi grain wheat bread. With organic peanut butter that Millie found very difficult to spread when she forgot to pull the jar out of the fridge more than 2 minutes before she needed to be on the bus to school.
In general, Millie was an easy going, happy-go-lucky, playful attitude towards life kinda girl with good manners to boot. Sound like anyone you know? You wouldn’t know it watching the envy in Millie’s eyes at lunch time.
Sitting down to lunch on a very unsuspecting Monday, Millie was carefully eyeing the array of food as it spilled out of her classmate’s lunch boxes. Her friend Tina sitting next to her began to unwrap a piece of foil. She produced a yellow mound of what looked like play dough.
“What’s that?” asked Millie. “A pupusa,” replied Tina. “My grandmother was visiting this weekend. She taught me how to mix the corn masa into a dough and make patties from it. We filled each patty with lots of cheese and then grilled them on the stove. It’s like an El Salvadorian grilled cheese.”
As Tina bit into the corn patty Millie could see the cheese begin to ooze out. Across the table from her, Nora sat unwrapping some corn bread.
“Did you make that yourself,” asked Millie. “No, my mom made it from an old family recipe,” said Nora. “It’s the best thing there is to have with a bowl of home style Texas chili."
The intoxicating smell of chillies and cumin wafted into the air as Nora opened the thermos from her lunch box.The table conversation began to pick up with everyone telling stories of their weekend and endless plans for what they were going to do for Thanksgiving.From the far corner a girl began to walk into the lunchroom. The girl looked lost, maybe somewhat sad. She was hardly noticed by anyone, except Millie who happened to be looking up and noticed it was someone she had never seen before. Millie excused herself from the table but no one noticed. They were all too busy enjoying their own lunches and conversations, trading to get the best snack cake possible.
As Millie walked up, the girl stopped and turned her eyes to the floor (look down).“Hi, I’m Millie.” (stay bubbly)(eyes back down) “Ummmm, hi, I’m June.” Her eyes didn’t leave the floor and her voice seemed to quiver as she spoke.“Are you going to have lunch?” asked Millie.“I don’t have one,” replied June.“That’s ok,” said Millie “we can share mine.”June looked up and smiled.
They found an empty table at the edge of the lunch room. Millie pulled out her sandwich, already cut in two, and gave one half to June. They ate quietly, not sure at first what to say to one another, then June said:“This is better than the pb and j I usually have.”“It is?” said Millie. And to her astonishment, Millie realized it was the best pb and j she’d ever had.