Maria traced a face in the window’s condensation, every now and then she smudged it out, huffed on the glass and started over. The car door opened and interrupted her.

“Sorry that took so long.” said Sandra. She plopped the white container on the seat, sat down and looked through her purse for the key.

Maria let her go on for a few minutes before clearing her throat,”You left it in the ignition.”

“Ha ! You’re right. I’m so slow today. Are you sure you trust me driving you all the way to Austin?”

“I could’ve taken the bus.” answered Maria watching Sandra open the white box to reveal a dozen fancy donuts.

“Don’t be silly. Okay what’s your poison? I got every pretty little thing they had. I tell you what, try this one it’s their best.” Sandra pulled out a glazed donut dripping with pink icing and covered in red and white sprinkles and held it out with the wax paper square still attached.

“Thanks.” said Maria

“I’m taking a quick bite of this coconut concoction and then we can get out of Dodge, yeah?”

Maria watched Sandra’s bright red lips take a big bite, coconut flakes falling onto her lap. Sandra wrapped her donut back in it’s wax paper and placed it back into the box away from the others. She licked her lips free of the frosting that had settled around them and then licked her fingertips making loud smacking sounds as she did.

Maria’s stomach turned a little as she looked down at her own donut. It was the opposite of what she would’ve picked herself. On the rare occasions she had a donut she always picked a cake donut of some kind, preferably blueberry. She poked her fingernail into the pink frosting and let herself taste it. It tasted how it looked, too sweet and artifical. It was strawberry flavor but twenty times removed from what a real strawberry tasted like.

The car started to life and then coasted out of the nearly empty donut shop, it was still really early.

“Sweetie, this is gonna be an awful long ride if you’re gonna mope the whole time. Go on eat your donut Lord, knows you don’t need to be on a diet!” Sandra chuckled a little.

Maria’s face swung up in defense but she realized that Sandra hadn’t meant anything by it. Maria was in fact in the middle of another diet and always oversensitive about it.

“Thank you for taking me back to my mom. I know I haven’t always been the best niece.”

“Oh honey don’t you worry. I’m just sorry that brother of mine has been such an awful father to you. You should have come to us sooner. You’re thirteen years old, a thirteen year old has no business staying at home alone while her father drinks half the town dry. It makes my blood boil, it really does.” Sandra’s right hand went to the box, located her donut and brought it to her lips once more before returning it again.

“I’ll be okay with my mom now. You don’t have to worry. I’m fine. I should have just stayed with her to begin with.”

Maria brought her own donut to her lips and took a bite. She forced her teeth to chew the thickly glazed donut enough so that she could swallow it. It still felt like it was stuck in her throat when she finally did.

She didn’t want to hurt her aunt’s feelings.


This was inspired by the TRDC writing prompt pictured above. 🙂


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