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12+ Mature Content

Peanut Butter Cookies

by TheOffBroadwayAuthor


A cup of peanut butter, five tablespoons of maple syrup, a couple pinches of salt. Process until a dough forms, form into balls, press the criss-cross pattern on with a fork. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake at 350 for 14 minutes.

There was no way to get peanut butter cookies wrong, so Ruby made them when she needed something to go right. There were a lot of cookies in middle school, but not high school. Unlike public school, life at her homeschool co-op was easy, even fun. Bonnie, her little sister, wasn’t as lucky.

Bonnie was a clinical perfectionist, and she only accepted the best. She went to the STEM magnet school that took away her mental health and gave her six hours of homework in return. Of course, that six hours became eight or ten once Bonnie made the extra mile mandatory. It was tearing her apart, but she managed to suffer in silence. Ruby knew she was under stress, but thought she was handling it. She had no idea just what her sister was handling.

At some point in the past year, Bonnie became anorexic, and nobody had a clue. With her schedule, it was easy to skip meals. She’d go early and say she was eating the school’s breakfast, but skip it. She’d go to the library for lunch and study instead of eating. When she came home, she’d take dinner up to her room, throw it out, and pretend she’d eaten it. Every once in a while she’d eat, and always in front of the people who might suspect her. It was twisted, but it worked. Until the incident.

After starving for seven days straight, Bonnie collapsed on the floor of her third-period Chemistry class. She'd gone to the hospital, and that was all Ruby knew. Despite knowing so little, she couldn’t stop thinking about it. No matter how hard she tried, Ruby couldn't erase the image of her sister on the morning of the incident, drinking her second cup of black coffee and shaking from the cold of starvation. She would’ve given anything to know her secret that morning, and even more to know how to help.

When Ruby arrived at the hospital, she pushed aside all the mental images she’d made. It was better to expect nothing. She shifted her backpack and went inside.

“Ruby!” her father said.“Hi, guys!” Ruby put on a fake smile and set her bag on the ground. She gave her father a hug, then turned to see her sister.

At the very least, Bonnie was awake. The baggy hospital gown hid her bony frame. There was an IV on the back of her hand, which Ruby expected. The surprise was the thin tube coming out one nostril and looping over the back of her ear, but that wasn’t a scary sight.

“Hi, Bonnie,” Ruby said. “How are you?”

“Um… cold,” Bonnie said.

“You want some hot chocolate? That might help.”

“No thanks.”

“I’ll have some. I’ll ask the nurses where I can find some cups,” Dad said, then left.

“Is Mom going to come?” Bonnie asked.

“Yeah, she said she’d come around five.”

“How long are you going to stay?”

“A few hours. I brought my homework.” Ruby unzipped her bag and pulled out three bins. “And these.”

Bonnie glanced at them. “What’d you bake?”

“Thai tea mochi, custard tartlets, and peanut butter cookies. You want some?”

“You made sad cookies,” Bonnie replied.

“Of course I made sad cookies. You’re in the hospital.” Ruby set the bins down and sat on the edge of Bonnie’s bed.

“I… yeah, I get it.”

“I don’t,” Ruby said. “Why did you do this? If you wanted to lose a little weight you could’ve just taken up running or something. And you didn’t tell anyone! We could’ve helped.” Ruby felt a single tear roll down her cheek. Bonnie seemed surprised to see her crying. She looked away, but Ruby didn’t.

“I just… I wanted perfection. Like always. And I thought part of perfect was being skinny, and another part was being private.”

“Thought? So you don’t think that anymore?” Ruby wiped the tear off her face.

“I don’t know,” Bonnie confessed. She sighed. “I just don’t know how to change my mind. All the doctors tell me I need to gain 10 pounds, but I think I need to lose 20. I knew the right way to lose weight, but I still chose to starve myself. It’s like I’m not even in control.”

“I mean, there’s medication and therapy, right? Mom said she was looking into those. And I’m really good with workouts and diets, I can help you gain weight.”

“I don’t want to gain weight. I know I should want to, but I can’t get myself to want to.” Bonnie said.

“What do you want?” Ruby asked.

Bonnie paused. “I’m not sure.”

“Not dying is a good start.” Ruby tried to give her a smile, but it ended up being a grimace.

“Yeah. And… I like engineering a lot.”

“You hate homework. Everyone hates homework.”

“I like going out for coffee when I have an essay to write”

“Yeah, you always get a mocha!”

“I like familiar things. It’s nice to know what to expect.”

“I know a familiar thing you like.”

“What?”

Ruby lifted a bin onto the bed. “My peanut butter cookies.”

Bonnie went quiet. “They are really great.” Ruby took off the lid and held one out to her. “You want one?”

Bonnie hesitated, but took it. “Okay.” She took a bite.

Her face seemed to snap back to the Bonnie from last year, the Bonnie who took breaks when she studied and put sugar in her coffee. The Bonnie Ruby remembered as her sister.

“What do you think?” Ruby asked.

Bonnie took a second bite. “You’re a miracle worker, Ruby.”


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55 Reviews

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Tue Oct 05, 2021 12:17 am
Quillfeather wrote a review...



Hey TheOffBroadwayAuthor! Nicole here with a review!
Love this story! So much! I really love the ending

Bonnie took a second bite. “You’re a miracle worker, Ruby.”




It's such a prefect ending!

You were really good at describing the story! You could really feel the emotions right along with ruby. And that's key to a good story.

Keep writing!
-Nicole




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55 Reviews

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Tue Oct 05, 2021 12:10 am
Quillfeather says...






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Mon Oct 04, 2021 8:35 pm
pineapple321 wrote a review...



Hi, TheOffBroadwayAuthor, Pineapple here for a short review!

First off, I absolutely thought this was a beautifully written piece. From the title, it seems like a simple story but as you keep reading, it hits hard.

Anorexia and wanting to keep up with society's standards are huge in our culture today. I feel like this piece not only is good for the heart but a good sort of PSA (Public Service Announcement). This story will definitely educate a lot of people.

My absolute favorite line was " 'I just… I wanted perfection. Like always. And I thought part of perfect was being skinny, and another part was being private.' ” This illustrates how in today's world, everyone strives for perfection and feeling good. We think, to feel good we need to look good also. The second part of this line I wanted to go over was the being private part. Sometimes people think it is better to close out the world and look strong all the time, even though it isn't.

Overall, I think this was a great piece. I cannot wait to see more of your work! Keep it up!

Signed,
Pineapple




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Mon Oct 04, 2021 12:22 pm
Coffeeboyjay wrote a review...



hey TheOffBroadwayAuthor,

jay here to drop an review,

First this was an amazing story and the title part and the first paragraph was good when you did the recipe was my favorite part of the story but i also have a good line i want to show in the story A cup of peanut butter, five tablespoons of maple syrup, a couple pinches of salt. Process until a dough forms, form into balls, press the criss-cross pattern on with a fork. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake at 350 for 14 minutes.Ruby lifted a bin onto the bed. “My peanut butter cookies.” these were the good lines of this story peanut butter cookies was such a good story.

my compliment to your story is this was such a amazing story and this story reminds me about someone just cooking peanut butter cookies so yeah it do reminds me of that in the story well the story is talking about peanut butter cookies but in the first part they was cooking them


how you could of improve is you should of put like 3 more characters that would go with this and you should of the characters that is cooking the peanut butter cookies like put each character that is cooking them.


keep writing and the wonderful storys!!




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Sun Oct 03, 2021 3:47 pm
MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi TheOffBroadwayAuthor,

Mailice here with a short review! :D

That was an amazing story you presented here. From the title and the first paragraph, I thought this was a recipe, but it turned into something else entirely. It was definitely a good introduction, I found it reminiscent of a prologue of a film, where briefly without words and where still the actors and such are named, you see someone baking cookies.

The story had very real and insightful dialogue. I liked reading them. They were sometimes full of emotion, sometimes cold and determined and sometimes just cruelly real. I think you hit the nail on the head to describe it especially in a story like this.

The sad background you get here has not been exaggerated or otherwise described, but with a steady hand. I like that, especially when it comes to such disturbances, that you don't exaggerate anywhere or somehow pull something out of a hat.

I thought the transition from Ruby to Bonnie was a little too quick. I think you can definitely make a better transition there, or expand the sections a bit more.

Since the story itself seems very real, I like the narrative tone there too. The voice always keeps this neutral vein and also gives the reader a bit of a shiver. I am very relieved that the ending goes in an open direction, which already seems like a positive outcome.

One thing I noticed while reading:

Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake at 350 for 14 minutes.

I very much think that you forgot to put a sign here, like degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit.

Have fun writing!

Mailice




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Tue Mar 16, 2021 12:55 am
waywardxwanderer says...



This. Is really sweet. I love it??? You're so good at writing realistic mental illness and struggle, bless you mate




TheOffBroadwayAuthor says...


Thank you ^w^



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Mon Mar 15, 2021 9:24 pm
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VolcanoSpirit wrote a review...



When I read this story, I could really feel the emotions of the characters. I like how the dialogue and dialogue tags show how Ruby and Bonnie feel, and it doesn't just state it. I really like how you put the recipe in the beginning! It makes me want to try them. :)

I found this paragraph really interesting, "There was no way to get peanut butter cookies wrong, so Ruby made them when she needed something to go right. There were a lot of cookies in middle school, but not high school. Unlike public school, life at her homeschool co-op was easy, even fun. Bonnie, her little sister, wasn’t as lucky".
First of all, I feel that need for everything to work out correctly. The first sentence feels both sad and happy because nothing has been going right so Ruby decides to make peanut butter cookies. When I read this, it made me think about what I can do right. Also, the last sentence makes me really excited to see what happened to Bonnie. Overall, this paragraph connected to me a lot and gave Ruby a lot of personality.

I like how this story shows the struggles and mental attitudes of people in hard classes. Bonnie starves herself because she's self conscious, and has to go to the hospital because of it. This part shows the mental state she's in really well.

The only thing that I want to point out is a typo on the 5th to last line, where there's no space after the dialogue. Besides that, it's a very well written story and I really enjoyed reading it!




TheOffBroadwayAuthor says...


Thanks for the review! I'll fix that typo.



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Mon Mar 15, 2021 2:30 am
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5h4d0W wrote a review...



From my point of view, it seems this story is about the suffering one would do to achieve what they want to achieve but then ended up losing sight of their goal. Its something that most people would easily relate with being that all of us have dreams to achieve but somewhere in the middle, we aren't sure why are we doing it or what do we really want. This totally hits right at my heart because that is literally how I'm feeling right now.

Being a student taking difficult stream/classes basically means that you'll have tons of homework and classes that will challenge your mentality up to a point where you just start having doubts about whether you are doing the right thing or you have taken a path full of suffering with no light at the end of it.

Anyway, this is a good reading and maybe I should try make some cookies to ease my mind if I feel overburden with it. Thanks for the recipe too.




TheOffBroadwayAuthor says...


Yes, make the cookies! Thanks for the review ^w^




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