Sandwiches for Ella


The school bus screeched to a stop, quickly opening its foggy glass doors. I fumbled my way off the bus, my five-year-old legs barely able to make it down the steep bus steps. Another half day of kindergarten completed. I quickly rushed over to my mom, several stories about my day pouring out of my mouth all at once.

It was practically routine by now: wake up, go to school, ride the bus home, make a sandwich and wait for Ella to arrive. Ella was my neighbor and first friend since I moved back to America. She had bright blue eyes, which made you feel like everything you said intrigued her. Ella was more reserved, balancing out my outgoing, bubbly personality. Unfortunately, Ella had full days of kindergarten, leaving me with quite a few hours to kill until we could play again.

My mom asked me questions as I shuffled out of my jacket and running shoes. I responded enthusiastically, filling my mom in on all the simple details of my day. Once my shoes were stacked left and right by the doormat and my jacket was hung, I calmly made my way into the kitchen, ready to make my next masterpiece. I slung my red apron around my neck and asked my mother to tie it up in the back. I was fully convinced that my purpose in life was to be a chef, and in my five-year-old brain, there was no better way to achieve that than to master the art of sandwich making.

I began pulling out random toppings from our kitchen pantry, my mother sending me concerned glances while she checked her email at the kitchen table nearby. I stared at the ingredients on the kitchen counter, trying to form the best combination. I arranged and rearranged the toppings in different combinations, but none of them made my stomach grumble a hungry sound. It suddenly hit me like an unexpected slap on the face, my secret ingredient—Marshmallows.

I immediately got to work, laying out two pieces of bread and spreading smooth peanut butter on both sides. I then snatched the Hershey’s chocolate syrup from the fridge. After drizzling the syrup all over the peanut butter covered bread, I reached for the bag of jumbo marshmallows. Once the bag was open, I reached in and began to cover all the space available on the droopy slice of bread. When I was satisfied, I slapped the two pieces of bread together. My newest creation was finished.
I called my mother over and showed her my huge sandwich with a proud smile on my face. She gave me a concerned smile that I mistook for utter pride. She helped me move my sandwich to a plate and carried it over to my favorite spot by the front window. I pulled out my kitchen chair and moved it over to my window spot and sat down. My mom handed me my sandwich, quickly snapping a picture of me with my newest creation. After taking the photo, my mom returned to answering her emails and I looked down at my sandwich, imagining golden rays of heavenly sunlight shining behind it. If I ever became a chef, this would be my special dish. My mouth watered with anticipation and my stomach begged me to take my first bite. I picked up my sandwich and took one huge mouthful. I swear angels began to sing and the sun shined just a little brighter as I chewed.

I sat there staring out the window, waiting for the vibrant yellow school bus with Ella in it to pull up. It had been a few hours since I had made my masterpiece, which sat next to me on the dining room table, half-eaten. I had made the decision that when I do have my own restaurant, I will serve my masterpiece sandwiches in a smaller size. I heard the rumble of the bus tires on the pavement and looked up to see the school bus rounding the corner. I leaped up from my chair and quickly asked my mom to go see Ella. The second my mother nodded her head I raced away, putting on my pink running shoes and reaching for my hung-up fall jacket.

I practically ripped the door open and skipped down the steps to Ella. She stood at the end of my driveway as always. I wrapped my arms around her in a swift hug and the second we let go, I began telling her about my sandwich. My explanation sounded almost as if I was rapping lyrics to a made up song, but Ella was used to me practically spitting out words. By the time I was finished, I think I had Ella convinced to try my sandwich. My assumption was confirmed when she told me the next time I make the sandwich to leave some for her.