40 minutes stories · Short Stories

Young & Beautiful – Lenka Dvorakova (40 minute story)

Note: This story was created in 40 minutes in one of our writing sessions. The story is based on the following writing prompts: Picture 1: An attractive young woman wearing glasses; Picture 2: A pot of tomato soup

Young & Beautiful by Lenka Dvorakova

“Ok, 7 PM at your place 🙂 CU then.”

She keeps staring at the display, the text burning into her brain. Her heart skipped a beat, and her palms suddenly get sweaty. She knew this would eventually happen, but now that it’s here, she doesn’t feel ready. She checks the time. She’s got 4 hours to go.

“Evelyn? I have to leave now. Would you reschedule the afternoon meetings?” As she passes through Evelyn’s office, she can feel her disdain.

“I need to find a new assistant,” she thinks, “this is never gonna work. It never did and it never will.” Evelyn, the best assistant ever, that was what Mr. Parks told her when he was retiring. Yeah, sure. To him, certainly. The always loyal, trustworthy, discreet Evelyn, who was probably in love with Mr. Parks for the whole 25 years that she worked for him. Could they have had an affair?

The elevator opens, and she presses the lobby button. Why are there always mirrors in elevators? She looks at herself. Oh, yes, she does look good. Perfect hair, perfect makeup. She doesn’t really need glasses, but she got them when she was promoted. She thought they would make her look more professional. Now that she looks at herself, she realizes she might have chosen a different type. She admires her reflection. Damn sexy, she thinks, and then she smiles. Nothing that Evelyn, the spinster, can ever appreciate.

As she leaves the elevator downstairs, she realizes that she doesn’t have a plan. Being young, beautiful and successful is not enough today. Today she needs more than that. Today she needs perfection, and not only in the beauty department. She needs to show that there’s more to her than her looks and her successful career.

When she had people over for dinner before she ordered pizza and everybody was happy, but that obviously wouldn’t do today. She has to cook. Something special. Something… home made. Something that shows who she really is.

She stops at the supermarket and walks aimlessly in the aisles for a while. She checks the lobsters (no way) and the artichokes (fancy, but … no) and then, as she sees an old lady picking tomatoes with her shaky hands, it strikes her. Her grandma’s tomato soup. That’s it! That’s the perfect dish for tonight, traditional yet surprising, spicy and refreshing at the same time.

The rest is easy as pie. There are not many meals she can make, but this is the one she could make blindfolded, although she hasn’t prepared it for … how long? A decade? Or two?

The clock chimes seven, the soup is bubbling, and as expected, the bell rings. She drops two basil leaves in the pot for decoration and opens the door.

“Hey, mom! So glad you finally get to see my new apartment!”

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