My mom always packed apples in my school lunches. Not everyday, of course. Some days I got clementines or fruit leather. This was nice because I wouldn't have wanted apples on a daily basis.
In elementary school, I would always be disappointed to find apples in my lunchbox. They bored me. They weren't as sweet as the fruit leather (or "fruit treats", as my family called them) that my mom packed on other days. Sometimes I would only take a few bites of an apple and then throw it away.
I guess I never really appreciated what the apples meant. No, I'm not about to go all "there are starving children in Africa" on you. But when I think about it now, I am grateful that my mom gave me something. Apples or no apples, at least my mom put in the effort to give me something nice to eat.
My school had separate cafeterias for the kids who brought their own lunch and the kids who got a school lunch. Food from home was my ticket to the Cold Lunch Room, which I viewed to be much better than the Hot Lunch Room. My lunches conveyed much more warmth and love than the made-at-school lunches did. The Hot Lunch Room was for kids with parents who didn't care. My mom cared, though. She wasn't like Gihye's parents.
Gihye was one of my best friends in elementary school, and she always ate school lunches. She was a tall Korean girl—or at least she seemed tall back then. I always used to envy her art skills. Gihye could bring a pencil to a paper and create the most beautiful works of art. I remember when she drew a dolphin that was so good that Ms. McCabe hung it up on the classroom wall. I wished I could do that; I was jealous that Gihye had such talent. Now, I wonder if Gihye was jealous of my apples.
Author's Note: In case you want to know, the prompt for this piece was "Apples." Tell me what you think about it in a review. And thank you to everyone who has reviewed so far: Will Cate, Dakota, Morine, and Lady Eleanor Boleyn. I appreciate you all!