Outside the trail of smoke from the grill winds its way through the open window. My nose draws me from my homework, and my stomach grumbles its impatience. Without thinking my brain switches from think to observe. Resting my feet on the opposite chair, I relax - enjoying the sights and smells of a Sunday afternoon cookout. A fan whirls nearby and my little sister's voices echo from outside. The pool water glistens from the back window.
On the counter three barely ripe tomatoes squat, brightening until the most perfect day when my mother scoops one up. Knife in hand, she positions the now bright red tomato on the cutting board. With quick precision her knife cleanly cuts the first slice, she pauses briefly and wipes her sweaty forehead with the back of her hand. I watch her as a small seed slowly slides through the juice left on the knife. Mom quickly slices the next piece as if slicing butter. Slice after slice, the pile grows across our plastic green patterned plates like small steps climbing to our mouths. I grimace as mom slides the plate across the table. Those tomatoes sure look perfect, but none will grace my delicious hamburger.