So, what do I have. Badge: Check. Link to hosts: Check. Book... uh, let's see. Oh! Snapshots has a scene that talks about food, and I found a recipe to go with it! Check and check!
A little background on why I picked Italian Pasta Salad for this particular scene. For one, I needed a food that you would find at a gathering like this, but it didn't need to be fancy. Cyc does live in a bad neighborhood filled with gang members. They don't do caviar. But the main reason was my mom used to get Suddenly Salad Pasta Salad. The one she bought wasn't called Italian, It was simply labeled Classic, but it was yummy!
The first weekend in July, the community living in Victory Street territory got together for a summer barbeque–a Blaine family reunion of sorts since almost everyone in the gang was related. Victory Street was closed off, picnic tables set up, and kiddie pools were filled with ice and beverages. Everyone brought a dish to pass. Boom boxes were synced up to play music. Kids ran and screamed, playing in the spray of the water from a fire hydrant. Parents, aunts, and uncles shared stories as they ate. Meemaw Cheryl and her elderly friends brought their chairs and fans, ordering the young-uns to fetch food or refill their iced sweet teas.
The newest residents of Victory Street were invited to the party as well. The owners of Cho & Smith Coffee Shoppe stood huddled with their daughter at the edge of the crowd, the mother clutching a bowl of pasta salad. Her eyes darted around like a scared deer, wary of the people gathered.
My pulse sped up when I noticed them, and my nerves and excitement bubbled like a fountain. The meeting with the girl had filled my waking thoughts. I played it over and over. Every time I left the house, I hoped to see her. Maybe talk to her again.
I set my drink down, barely sparing Darryl and Jaden a glance. “Be right back.” I loped over to the family, trying not to let my grin overwhelm my face. Be cool, be cool. “I’ll show you where you can put that, ma’am.”
The three exchanged glances, but followed me to the tables, the father the first to join me. I pushed a few dishes aside to make room. Once the bowl was in its spot, they froze again.
I turned my excited grin into a polite smile, hoping to ease the family’s apprehension. “You can help yourself. We have everything. Meemaw Cheryl made apple pie and it’s delicious. You might want to grab a piece before it’s gone.”
“Too late, suckas!” someone cackled as they strolled past with the near empty pan.
I gave them an apologetic look. “I guess next time. We get together again for Christmas and you’re welcome to come then.”
They didn’t reply.
I shifted my weight, trying to think of something else to say that would make the family feel welcomed and safe–not an easy task with all the gun toting gang members. My mind was annoyingly blank and my gaze constantly shifted to the girl.
I should ask her name.
“Yo, Cyc! Come on.” Jaden pulled me back to Darryl. “Let’s find Terrance and Joey, see if we can get a group to play some ball.”
“I can’t because of my eyes,” I pointed out.
“It’s too hot to play anyways,” Darryl added. He stepped closer and his fingers brushed against my arm.
But I barely noticed his touch. The usual shiver and longing for him was absent. My mind was too occupied by the girl. I scanned the gathering, quickly spotting her with my uncovered eye. She and her parents had filled plates and found some empty seats near Meemaw Cheryl. A grin tugged at my lips. If anyone could make the family feel welcomed, it was Meemaw Cheryl.
“Fine,” Jaden grumbled. “You two can sit here and be bored. I’m gonna go find fun people.” He wandered off.
I shot to my feet a split second later. “I’m gonna grab something to eat.” I didn’t give Darryl a chance to reply before I headed to the tables. My strange strength and speed always left me hungry, so I piled my favorites high. Italian pasta salad, pineapple rings, baked beans, and topped with a generous helping of sour cream and onion potato chips. I grabbed a bottle of pop and tucked it under my arm. Mindful of my haphazard tower of food, I wove through the crowd to where the girl and her parents sat. I took the open seat next to her. She glanced my way, and then scooted closer to her father.
“Cyclop, I have no idea how you stay so skinny,” Meemaw Cheryl declared.
PSST! You can grab Snapshots here, here and here if this whet your appetite. ^_~