Amazing Kids! Magazine

Miss-Understood (75 years old)

By Kelsey Haley, age 16, North Carolina


“Hey, Miss Jess. How are you doin’ today?” a woman calls out loudly to me in a sweet voice as she enters the dining room hall.

“Say what?” I turn my head toward the sound and squint my eyes, trying to make out who the voice belongs to. Craning my neck, I can barely see the lady’s face but am able to distinguish that she is carrying something in her hands.

My bifocals are failing me more every day, I think and take them off to see if cleaning the lens would help my vision. Of course, they slip from my gnarled fingers onto the floor beside my wheelchair.

“Here, let me get those for you, Miss Jess.”

I hear a thud on the table in front of me and a clatter of silverware. After a moment, she puts the glasses on me, and suddenly her face comes into view.

“Who on earth are you?” I ask, leaning closer to take a better look at her. The lady’s dark, curled hair seems somewhat familiar. Have I seen her before?

“It’s me, Carol. I’m the one who fed you yesterday,” she replies and gives me a rub on the shoulder. “Are you ready to eat now, Miss Jess?”

“What?” I question, putting a wrinkled hand behind my ear.

“Are you ready to eat now, Miss Jess?” the woman (what’s her name again?) asks again

in a louder tone. “I’ve got you some dinner right here in front of you. You wanna try some?”

She points at a tray with bowls full of mushy substances on the table. I lean forward, take a whiff of the bowls, and jerk back quickly.

“It stinks,” I reply while wrinkling my nose from the stench. “I don’t want none of that.”

“Oh, Miss Jess. You had some of the applesauce last night and loved it. Now, come on, you need to eat something,” Cara tells me in a no-nonsense voice. Or is it…Carol? I don’t know any more these days…

She holds a spoonful of yellow mush at my mouth, and I turn my head the other way, refusing to look at her. Doesn’t she know I hate applesauce?

“Miss Jess…” Cara warns me and sticks the spoon closer to my mouth. “You’re gonna have to eat at least a little bit of…”

“I don’t want–” I face her and yell as loud as my old voice will let me, which isn’t much. During my fuss, however, she manages to stuff the mush into my open mouth.

“Good job, Miss Jess,” she congratulates me and readies another dollop of food. “Is it tasty?”

“Mmm…mashed potatoes,” I reply, reaching a hand toward the bowl of yellow mush to get more. “More.”

“But, Miss Jess, it’s app–”

“More!”

She feeds me until the bowl is empty and starts on a cup of green pulp beside of it.

“What is that?” I inquire and stretch a crooked finger toward the cup.

“It’s blended spinach. Good for getting your iron,” Carole dips a spoon into the cup and dishes out a bite, holding it up to me. I taste the spinach and wonder why it seems so familiar. Blended…spinach. Hmm. Isn’t that something like a drink I tried in my youth?

“I drank this in a…a smoothie when I was a kid,” I tell the lady matter-of-factly.

“Oh, yes, Miss Jess. I bet you did,” she responded, feeding me another bite. I could tell that she thought I was just talking that crazy old people talk again. Ha ha. Well, I’m a lot smarter than I let on.

“Hey, Cara, you got any more of them yeller mashed potatoes? ”

One comment

  1. Olivia Massey /

    Lovely!