Wishing for the Past

Wishing for the Past

By Lydia Hessel-Robinson

Summer sighed when her mother told her that she’d make spaghetti for dinner. Summer knew that “making spaghetti” really meant pressing a button on the Meal-O-Matic, and that annoyed her. The 16-year-old girl had been born before the big changes had been made and missed all of her mother’s special cooking, which had been much better than spaghetti from a machine. Her mother, however, was thrilled with these new inventions and prefered the Meal-O-Matic to her homemade meals.

“Mom could you, like, actually make the spaghetti dough like you used to?” Summer begged, even though she already knew what the answer would be.

Her brother William mouthed their mother’s response even as she spoke, “No, Summer. This is much easier and quicker. Would you stop asking?” The Meal-O-Matic beeped. Summer’s mom procured three bowls from the kitchen cabinet and spooned out the noodles. Summer sighed again, sadly. It seemed as if she’d been sighing a lot recently.

“Mom, you say the same thing every time I ask you to make something. I bet Dad would really cook, but he’s not getting back today.,” Summer did everything she could to make her mom feel bad for using the Meal-O-Matic.

William pitched in, “Dad would probably even make Spanakopita for us!” Summer’s mouth watered at the thought of the delicious spinach pastry. Her father was away, cooking for the crew on the newest spaceship mission to Andromeda Galaxy. He would return in three weeks. “Yeah, mom. From scratch.”

This time it was their mother’s turn to sigh. “Children, drop it.”

Summer stayed up late reading her favorite book, Little House on the Prairie. She longed to be Laura and have no clue about what would happen to the world, to be away from her mother who begged Summer to discard her bookcases and get an e-library (a device that extruded books you wanted and sucked them in when you were done). Summer, however, liked the books in her bedroom. She took out her smartphone to check the time. It was 11:30 p.m., June 24, 2079. If only it could be the 1890’s! Summer tiredly rested her head on a silky beige pillow, wishing to be far into the past…like Laura.