the promise of lasagna

Based on a true story.

INT. KITCHEN – AFTERNOON

The kitchen is clean, but busy and lived-in. Afternoon light streams from large windows. There are vegetables frying in pans on the stove. The air trembles with their smoke.
LEIA, nineteen, blonde hair tied loosely out of her face, takes a pan off the stove. She begins to spoon a layer of the vegetable mixture into a large white dish sitting on the marble bench.

LEIA 
(speculatively)
You promise you won’t tell him? He won’t eat it if he knows its vegetarian.

Her mother, JAC, long-limbed, greying hair, takes a box of pasta sheets out of the cupboard. She places it on the bench, then turns to stir the white sauce gurgling in a pot. She tastes it before adding more cheese.

LEIA CONT’D 
Hello, Mum? Promise you won’t say anything. Think of it as an experiment.

JAC 
If you insist.

LEIA 
You promise?

JAC 
(sighing) 
Promise.

INT. KITCHEN – NIGHT

The table is set. Three china plates. Knives and forks. A jug of water next to the bowl of salad.
Leia is cutting the lasagna into portions as her brother plods in. LUKE, broad-shouldered at sixteen, wiry, blonde, drops his football bag and looks up eagerly.

LUKE 
What’s for dinner?

He is already at the table, staring at his plate as Leia slides a large slab of lasagna onto it.

LEIA 
Lasagna.

LUKE 
Great!

His face falls suddenly.

LUKE CONT’D 
Wait, normal lasagna? It better be normal lasagna or I’ll cry.

JAC 
Of course it is.

LEIA 
(mock sulky) 
Yeah, of course it has to be. I had to cook my own.

INT. KITCHEN – LATER

The sound of happy chewing.

LEIA 
Next time can we make vegetarian lasagna instead, Mum?

JAC 
We’ll see.

LUKE 
(immediately indignant) 
No way.

LEIA 
Why?

LUKE 
Because it tastes disgusting.

LEIA 
(genuinely irritated) 
I bet you can’t even taste the difference!

LUKE 
(voice low, almost aggressive) 
I promise I can.

LEIA 
(carefully) 
You promise?

Luke spears another forkful and stuffs it into his mouth, eyes narrow.

LUKE 
Promise.

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