This is just a short short story I wrote in my writing class. One-shot.


The Perfect Meal

It all started when Charlie was merely five years of age. His mother always asked him to help with dinner. All he had to do was mix the salad together. The night ended with the pasta becoming over-cooked and the house almost being set on fire. Needless to say, cooking was not something that he was good at. His mother prayed that he would be able to go through life without this skill.

Although he was terrible at it, Charlie grew quite fond of cooking. It grew into a type of passion for him. Every night he would make his own lunch for the next day. The only problem was that it never really came out as he planned. Sometimes it was too salty; sometimes it was too sweet. Every day at lunch, he would offer his friends some of his home-cooked meals. They all declined because they knew better.

Even though there were copious mistakes with Charlie's cooking, he still continued on.

As Charlie got older, his passion for cooking grew, but his skill did not improve. His mother saw his ardor and wanted to do something about his lack of skill. She tried showing him a few tips and even gave him a few old, secret family recipes. Absolutely nothing worked. So when Charlie turned 16, she signed him up for a cooking class. He was exuberant about the news and thought it was the best birthday present he could have asked for.

He was so happy about the cooking class that he even brought his own spatula.

Charlie walked into the classroom as if he was taking the most important steps toward his future. He wasn't the first person to enter the room, but he surely was not the last. A little over 15 students were seated in the classroom by the time the teacher walked in and shut the door. A few people seemed to be around his age. Some were younger and some were older. Either way, Charlie was happy to be there.

For six weeks, every Wednesday night, Charlie went to that cooking class. It didn't matter if he had too much homework, or a big exam the next day; he still went. After the second week, a specific girl had caught his fancy.

She was a small girl who seemed to be either 16 or 17. Every so often they would exchange glances, but besides that, they didn't know each other.

Weeks went by until the final class. A week after the final class, and there was a presentation that all the students had to take a part in. Everyone had to prepare the favorite meal they made from the semester.

Charlie's dish wasn't the worst of them all. This didn't stop his teacher from shaking his head and giving him a disappointing look. The rest of the students tried to keep the pity off their faces.

After his teacher tasted his dish, Charlie sat down on the steps outside, spatula in hand.

"It's okay not to be a great chef, you know."

Charlie felt his heart jump just a little. He knew exactly whom the voice belonged to. The girl sat down next to him and put her hand on his shoulder. He sat up straighter and smiled.

"I know, it's just a little upsetting."

The girl fidgeted with her hands in her lap and shrugged her shoulders. "I used to be a horrible cook. I still can't do anything without a well-planned recipe. But it's okay."

The girl then did something that surprised Charlie. She leaned in and kissed his cheek gently. A slight blush covered his cheeks before the girl leaned back.

Cooking was not his destiny, but it led him to her.

Comments? Suggestions?

Thanks for reading!

- Morine