Mushrooms

Wilson hated mushrooms, but had to cook them.

His problem was that he was good at cooking mushrooms. This had been discovered when he was younger, and his parents put him to work. They were both working, so asked him, when he was old enough, to make dinner when he got him from school. When they returned from work, dinner would be ready.

At first, dinners were simple – macaroni and cheese, or basic stove-top processed things that were easy to make. Eventually, though, Wilson broadened his repertoire, taking cookbooks out from the library. He made new dishes, new delights, and his parents kept praising his skills, so he kept at it.

When he made the stuffed mushroom caps, they were amazed. “This is so good, Wilson!” his mother said.

“Fantastic,” said his father. “They best yet.”

Wilson smiled, but when he at them himself, he nearly gagged. He finished it, but didn’t want to make the mushrooms again. They asked, though, nearly once a week, for his famed stuffed mushrooms.

So once a week, Wilson made them stuffed mushrooms, and made something else for himself. Usually it was leftovers from the past few days, but occasionally it meant a frozen burger reheated, or something equally simple. They wondered at how he could be their child and dislike mushrooms so, but he did, and refused to eat them anymore.

When Wilson finally moved out for university, he was delighted he wouldn’t have to make mushrooms ever again. When he started dating an intelligent young woman from one of his classes, though, she told him early on, “Mushrooms are probably my favourite food.” The relationship nearly ended there, when he told her of his dislike, but still, he invited her over the next week and prepared his specialty.

She was amazed at his skills as a cook, and surprised when ate the mushrooms himself. “I thought you hated mushrooms,” she said.

“I do,” Wilson replied. “But it’d be weird to have two different meals. Besides, they’re not so bad now as I used to think.”

Touched by his suffering through the meal, and by his maturing tastes, the relationship continued to grow. And when he went home for a holiday, he happily made mushrooms for his parents, and ate them as well, working hard to learn to like them more.

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