Written for Option Three at Cafe Writing:
Take seven minutes (you have to use all seven, you can’t go over), and write about class. Any format (fiction, essay, verse) is acceptable.
Perhaps it’s the perpetual student in me, but my first interpretation of the word had to do with a “class” in which you learn something. So, that’s what I wrote about.
If Carol hadn’t been so close behind her, Sarah would have turned around and gone right back out the door. The minute she opened it, she felt faint, overcome by the moist heat, the powerful aroma of garlic and olive oil, the festive clinking of glasses, the eager chatter of women’s voices.
A cooking class. Why had she ever thought this would be a good idea?
Sarah pulled her jacket protectively around her neck, tucking her head inward, turtle-like, even as she felt Carol insistently pulling her forward into the room. She hadn’t cooked anything substantial for months – why bother to cook without Scott there to eat? Scott was the one who appreciated cooking.
“Mother, this meal is a work of art!” he would exclaim, holding his plate up to the light, as if making an offering to the gods, while she smiled shyly, inwardly pleased that she could offer this one thing to the wondrous man who was her son.
How she had loved to watch him arrange the food on his plate just so, settle into his chair, gracefully placing the napkin (always linen) across his bony knees, as if he were laying an altar cloth. He would insert his fork gently for the first bite, and raise it slowly to his lips, savoring the ritual perhaps more than the taste.
Sarah’s eyes closed, inadvertently taking her back in time to her own elegant kitchen, where she had lovingly prepared hundreds of meals for her son. How could it be that he would never eat from her table again?
Grief rushed over her, its power by now familiar to her, literally rocking her body and threatening to send her tumbling to the floor in a dead faint. Why was she here in a room filled with people who were happy, whose lives were normal and secure, when her world had been shattered forever in that one momen when her son had chosen to fling his own life away?
“Come, Sarah,” Carol urged. “Let’s grab a good place to sit before class gets started.”