“Germany Awaits” By Francesca Brown

It was early June in 2010, I was reading. I loved to read. I could read anything about mysteries or romances or even science fiction if it’s got what I liked. Anyways I had winded down from a day working at the diner. It was a quiet little place where people would stop by for a cup of coffee or a scone to go but it was my favorite place to be. I would always stop by on my way home from school and would split a blueberry muffin with my best friend Avery. I could see the little sign from my window, it read Mimi’s Dine In. I loved gazing at the flowers that Mimi would place around the entrance every morning “to create a more lively environment” as she would say.

To continue, all my life I had grown up in Manhattan, New York with my mom, my dad and my annoying sister Aubrie in our apartment on the 4th floor of our building. When we were younger my mom would tell me and my sister that our apartment building was a castle and we stayed in the princess palace where we would live like royalty. In reality i came to realize that living like royalty consisted of the door man Tony and our cleaner Ana.

Anyways, I lived a very privileged life and couldn’t see how great I had it in a way that revolved around others and their feelings. My mom and dad were successful lawyers who had always envisioned me following in their footsteps but I couldn’t see it. Becoming a lawyer was never added into the future agenda I had made for myself when I was 11.

Now, being 18 the future agenda was all I could think about. “What was I to do with my life?” continued to be my unanswered question. My real passion was cooking. When my mom was out I was always stuck with making dinner. Back then making dinner mainly consisted of heating up leftovers or ordering a pizza. Working late was a part of my parents’ job it became to seem which made it harder for me to focus on my studies for school.

I was “night-time mom” to my little sister Aubrie as she would say. Every night I had to make dinner, help Aubrie with her homework, wash the dishes and put her to bed along with finishing the work of my own. Luckily my job was right after school and I would be home by 5.

On quiet days my boss Mimi would teach me recipes to many easy meals I could cook for Aubrie and it soon became my passion and what I wanted to do every day. At school I switched into a cooking class which gave me the thrill of cooking. My best friend Avery was my cooking partner in class and we were an amazing team.

One day she asked me if pursuing a career in cooking would be something to add in the future agenda. I had never thought about becoming a chef and never knew that it could have been a possibility. That night after I finished putting Aubrie to sleep I did lots of research on the art of cooking and became inspired. I stumbled upon application on application to culinary schools across the US and beyond.

I then heard my parents walk into through the door and immediately shut my computer. My parents were never fond of this passion and had called it just another hobby so if they had seen what I was looking through they would not have been as thrilled as I was. Weeks past and the applications were all I could think about. I told Mimi about my plan and she was very pleased. She began showing me all of the tricks and skills she had learned when she was a young girl and they stuck like glue in the back of my mind. I began reading all of the cook books that Mimi stored in the diner and all of the books in the library around the corner of my apartment building and was unexplainably inspired. I had become a cooking wizard if I could say so myself.

The applications felt closer than ever. I was ready. I applied to every culinary school in New York and one more. I was completely drawn to the Institute of Culinary Arts in Germany it was a dream to pursue my passion of cooking in Germany. I had finished applying to all of the schools that I was drawn to and by the end I felt relief. Everything I had prepared for was sent out and completely out of my hands.

Weeks past and I hadn’t gotten one letter until one day. My mom had come home early for a change completely thrilled to hand me a large white envelope that she picked up from work. I didn’t know what to expect but I noticed on the label it said Columbia Law School. As I read the label I didn’t want to open it. I knew that whatever they sent me wasn’t going to be what I wanted for my future, but I opened it anyways. It was an acceptance letter to the Law School that my mom sent in for me without my approval first.

I guess I lead my parents to thinking that I wanted to be a lawyer but it really wasn’t what I wanted at all. My mom was thrilled as ever, jumping around our living room, shaking every glass that stood in the apartment and I stayed still without making a sound. I ran to my room and closed the door behind me in embarrassment. I had never been more humiliated in my life. Everything I had worked for was put to waste when my mom was begging me to go to Law School.

I slept hard on the idea of going to law school and physically couldn’t see myself becoming a lawyer like my parents. The next morning, I woke up to my dad’s booming voice telling me to wake up for school. I got dressed and grabbed an apple and raced out the door down to the lobby for school.

As I walked across the lobby, our door man Tony handed me a letter. It read the Institute of Culinary Arts and

I screamed. This was it. My future was lying flat in my hands and I couldn’t wait any longer. I ripped it open without a care for what people thought of me and pulled out the letter. It was an acceptance letter and I screamed louder and harder than I ever did before. Jumping for joy people came up to me one by one asking if I was okay and I ran out the door, across the street unaware that I could have been hit by a car and sprinted into the diner.

I showed Mimi my acceptance letter and we both were jumping around the diner. I went to school and told Avery what I just received and she couldn’t believe what she was seeing. She was so proud of me but faced me with the hardest question I ever had to answer. “What about you parents?” I hadn’t told my parents that I applied to culinary schools let alone told them I love cooking and felt sick to my stomach.

I walked to the diner after school to get started with work completely dazed. I didn’t know what to do with these opportunities I had just received and didn’t know if I should tell my family or keep it quiet. I came home from work, sprinted into my room and hid my acceptance letter inside a cookbook that was stacked on my bookshelf and sat down to catch my breath. I then began to continue with my daily routine of making dinner, helping Aubrie with her homework, doing the dishes and putting Aubrie to sleep. I later fell asleep on the couch watching the newest episode of Chopt.

The next morning my mom was sick and had to work from home. While I was at school she was cleaning my room and saw a little note that was inside a cookbook. That note was my acceptance letter I had gotten the day before. She began to read it and was shocked. She never thought that her own daughter would hide such an accomplishment from her to try and make sure that I didn’t hurt her feelings but it did more. I had lead my parents to thinking that I wanted to become a lawyer and that why they were so pushy about me going to law school.

But I never thought about telling them that I didn’t want to become a lawyer and instead wanted to be a chef because I thought that they wouldn’t approve but I was wrong. I never realized that my parents really did respect my decisions and choices in life but I never thought that they would do to the crazy amount of pressure they had put on me to become a lawyer like them. After that my parents talked and were okay with me going to Germany for a semester but didn’t want to leave me alone. Now I and my entire family live in Germany while I was pursuing my dream with my parents at my side. My mom and dad found new law firms to work for and my sister Aubrie goes to an American school and is already making new friends.

 

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