She carefully spooned the sauce over the pasta before carefully balancing an artful sprig of basil on top then studied the result, her perfectionist streak and pride gratified yet still wondering whether she was going to ridiculous lengths to please. She carried the dish over to the table and placed it meticulously centre on the placemat, she stepped back, waiting, anxious.
Her guest was seated on several cushions and had earlier been enveloped in a pristine white tea towel in preparation for the tomato sauce. The glass of chocolate milk had brought some praise but the absence of a straw had been critically noted.
He lifted his fork, heavy fine cutlery sitting awkwardly in his small hand, and speared the first pieces, hungry enthusiasm tempered by caution. Unconsciously, she held her breath.
“Mum always mixes the sauce in.”
A criticism, she felt it keenly. She would remember his preferences for next time. He’d been amazed to see her make the sauce from scratch; although she had told him that overworked mums didn’t have the time, she had been surprised by the low standards to which her sister had sunk.
Mouth barely empty, he looked up at her:
“Mmm, it’s good.”
She relaxed, letting her breath go softly. A vote of confidence. It was just what she needed right now after all these tough weeks and in that moment she realised how all the stresses of work with three projects in a row being turned down as well as a soured relationship had been slowly eating away from her, votes of no confidence. Now she turned lightly back to the pans to dish up her own meal, those stresses smoothed away by that one compliment, one voice finally who had confidence in her.
This is for Trifecta‘s prompt for the third definition given of confidence. I’ve used the stated word in my post as required and it comes in just under 300 words. I enjoy the challenge of these prompts as it hones my skills, especially when it comes to discipline. Please feel free to give friendly critique in your comments.