Saturday, 20 February 2010

Figs

Fig Jam

I was about five and my sister, Kate , was fourteen. I was a
constant nuisance to her and she always had to hide her personal
things such as books and candies from me. Sometimes I was good
enough to track them down and place them elsewhere , to Kate’s
outmost dismay of course!

Our mom used to take my side:

“She’s only a baby, don’t be mean!” she would say to furious
Kate.

But Kate was adamant.

“If she does that again I’ll beat her up!”

To tell you the truth, I was a bit afraid of her, as she was
tall, fat and strong, while I was so thin and frail. I dared not
confront her when mom was not around. She knew that and she
called me ‘coward’ . We were in a constant battle. However, I
was not always the winner. There were times when mom lost her
patience with me and just screamed:

“Be quiet, don’t touch her books, hear me?” Then I was nice and
polite.

But the next moment I had he chance to discover a new treasure,
I forgot all about good manners and I was back in messing Kate’s
belongings up.

Sometimes though, Kate was really nice to me. I did not
understand why, just took it for granted . Just like the day mom
made her best-loved fig jam.

I forgot to mention that Kate was an avid food lover, and she
had a sweet tooth as well. August is the month of ripe figs in
Greece. Every year mom used to buy a large amount of figs and
made the family’s favorite dessert: fig jam.

I was not interested in this jam, not in any other jam in the
world, but Kate was . She was actually a great fan of mom’s
cooking endeavors. She smelt the aroma of the freshly made jam
and tried to locate the cupboard mom stored the jars.

“Don’t you dare touch the jam!” Mom warned Kate. “It’s for the
winter. ” But she gave her just a little jar to comfort her.

“This will do for the time being!” mom said.

Kate sighed but she had to obey. The small jar was soon empty
and Kate tried to find a way to get some more.

One morning, while mom was in the garden, Kate found what she
was looking for: the key to the secret cupboard where all the
jam jars were kept. She had already unlocked the cupboard door
and was taking the lid off one jar when I walked in looking for
mom. I saw her and was ready to say something, but she whispered
:

“Go away, right now!”

I did not. “What are you doing” I asked her foolishly, as it was
obvious what she was doing!

“Trying this jam, silly. I’m testing it to see if it’s the same
as the one mom ’s given me.” She said shoving a big spoonful
into her mouth.

“Mom said you shouldn’t touch it,” I said.

“Just a little bit won’t do ant harm,” Kate replied, diving her
spoon into the jar once more.

“I’ll tell mom,” I said and was ready to leave.

“Wait!” she screamed. “Try this!” She forced a spoonful into my
mouth. “Let’s have a secret, shall we?” she said.

“I don’t like jam!” I mumbled with my mouth full.

Just then we heard footsteps. Kate wiped the jam from my mouth,
closed the cupboard hurriedly and shoved me behind the green
velvet curtains of the living room.

“Stay there and don’t talk!” she ordered.

I couldn’t talk anyway with my mouth full of fig jam. I had to
swallow it first.

“What are you doing over there?” mom’s voice sounded loudly in
my ears.

“I’m looking for Lia, ” Kate replied. “Maybe she’s in the
garden,” she added.

“She’s not,” mom replied concerned. “Lia!” she started shouting.

I had finally managed to swallow the sticky jam and replied:

“Here I am , mom!” and I emerged from the curtain.

“What are you doing there?” mom asked.

Kate gave me an angry look.

“I’m hiding,” I confessed. “We were playing hide and seek,” Kate
added.

Mom stared at both of us and then shook her head.

A few days later, the secret was revealed. It was not my fault.
Mom found out the half-eaten fig jam and Kate had to confess her
crime, or her good deed.

“Lia wanted some jam so I thought you wouldn’t mind,” she
defended herself.

Mom was surprised.

“I didn’t know you liked my fig jam!” she told me. “I’m glad you
do! It’s very healthy and nutritious!”

So, from that day on, I had to eat a slice of bread with fig jam
at breakfast. At the beginning, I felt sick of it, but a little
by little I got used to it , and, funnily enough, I started
liking it. I still do!

———————————-

This is a story from Liana’s e book : Flowers for Women, an
anthology written by women worldwide.
http://liamet.tripod.com/flowers *****************

About the Author

3 comments:

Simon Baddeley said...

Lovely evocative sketch by someone with a talent for telling a tale. Thanks. S

Liana said...

Thank you!
I am looking forward to meeting you and Linda any day you come into town.

Simon Baddeley said...

We came to two together only once and I one more time in January and February, but we will be in Corfu from 29 March until 11 May and surely will spend more time in the city then.