Getting to Know You
Nugent sniffed at the green beans, eyeing them suspiciously. With his fork poised in one hand, he bent over the food. Molly could see he wasn’t exactly diving into his plate. He spoke softly like he really didn’t want to be heard. “What’s this?” He sniffed at the beans.
“You don’t know green beans?” She was genuinely surprised but could tell he was wary of her response to his skepticism. “What kinds of foods did your foster mother cook? I mean, that you really liked.”
His eyes got bigger, rounder as he jumped back to his most recent home-style cooking. “Maryann made stuff like Krafts with applesauce on the side. And it was good too,” he added, just in case Molly didn’t realize that it was something he liked. Or maybe it was a hint for her to cook in a similar way.
“Krafts. Is that some new type of food or recipe?” She was confused and was searching her students’ acumen of food crazes; she couldn’t find anything that came close.
Nugent finally speared a tomato from the salad she made. Molly guessed he recognized it as something he’d eaten before. He munched on it from all sides of his fork then popped the remaining morsel into his mouth and chewed some more.
“You know, Krafts. Comes in a blue box and has the cheese right in there too, so it’s convenient.” He sounded like a commercial. He licked his lips where the vinaigrette dressing began to dribble. “You don’t cook Krafts?” His voice was quieter, afraid, she thought, that he might have given offense. “I like the hamburger though.”
She heard the concession he made for the hamburger, which she took to mean that salad wasn’t a part of his regular diet either. He took another bite of his burger. “I never had a burger like this. I always order Big Mac, and once I asked them for a fish sandwich and it was good but only with that special sauce it comes with.”
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