I was neatly packaged and sent to this hideous supermarket in a very non-public atmosphere.
I sat in the second row of the first column in the chocolate aisle. I was happy that I wasn’t placed in the back, along with the unfortunate few others, which was probably covered in cobwebs. Perhaps the deadly ants might even find a chance to creep through the neat packet we were covered in. The human girl who worked here was very clumsy. Everyone was talking about how she dropped Felix and Atticus. They must be broken. They will disappoint their master, for sure. Oh God, it must be devastating for them.
Those who sat on the first row had a lot to show off because they were picked first. They are also called as ‘The CoCoFronts’. I couldn’t deny that I show off, though. It was a privilege to be picked first. We had to go through a lot to come here and I am not going to feel any less proud. All were first checked if healthy and then melted, boiled and tortured to be who we are right now. After all, we represented the best-selling chocolate and we have to fulfill our master’s desire to savor us.
Amongst us, there were many rebels, diplomats and leaders. Few fought for their right to live freely without having a master. The rest fought for their families, who were killed in the ‘quality check’ by the mobile monsters. That’s how they call humans. As for the rest of them, they just didn’t want to be picked. I don’t belong to any of those irrational categories. I believe that we have a purpose - a goal to fulfill. Frankly, they all debate and protest because they are scared of giving up and living to reach humans’ expectations. They know that these can never change their fate, yet they do it to please their conscience by putting up a fight. I get that.
With a heavy sigh, I cleared my thoughts and focused on the sharp shrill which indicated the entry of a master. A lot of tittle-tattles floated around about our ‘masters’. Most of them say they are demons who ravish on us without a second thought. Only a few of them have avowed about the kind-hearted ones (or the less monster-ish kind), who don’t kill (devour) us right away.
I had mixed emotions about those masters. Isn’t that torture to not devour us right away? ... Or maybe a way of telling us that we are too good to be ravished at once?
The gentle chime of the bell pulled us away from our hypothetical thoughts. I could hear a pair of squeaky shoes walking towards our aisle along with another pair of steady boots.
“Mamma! That one!” the squeaky voice exclaimed.
Our hearts lurched at the voice. Someone is getting picked. The smaller human, whose hair was tied in different directions, pointed at us while her fingers reached forward. Murmurs spread around like wildfire as those fingers grabbed Jonah, who was too proud even for a CoCoFront. Even before we let jealousy blind us, another human snatched the chocolate away from the smaller one’s palm.
All we could focus on was Jonah, his body broken beneath the beauty packet. The other human threw a crushed Jonah to the back of our rack.
Neither of us dared to turn behind to check on him. Most of us pitied for what happened to him but I don’t. It is part of our journey. We knew the risks that would happen from the moment we left the comfort of our home.
But what if the same thing happens to me? I wouldn’t feel so bad, I guess.
Fortunately, another human entered our cheap-looking supermarket. She clumsily searched for a particular aisle and went for the fresh fruits section. Heavy sighs filled the air; whispers about our expiry date began early this time.
We heard another human approaching our rack. It was the same person from before. Without any notice, her fingers wrapped around me and paid the money to be my master. Quickly sending a silent prayer to our King, I closed my eyes ignoring the angry whispers from my… rack mates.
I peeled my eyes open to the sudden wave of warmth, which made me hot. Hot? Before my eyes found the gloomy ones, I heard the heavenly sound of unwrapping.
This is the moment I’ve been waiting for, I was born for this. My stress levels skyrocketed through the roof at the thought of leaving my master unsatisfied.
Looking around at her shabby room, I distracted myself. She sunk her teeth into me and bit a chunk off. Immediately I heard the infamous hum of approval we all were taught about. I couldn’t explain the burst of feelings that coursed through my veins in that proud moment.
“Niya! You are eating those chocolates again?! Do you look at yourself before eating them? Look at that butt! Your thighs. Hips. Is there a part of your body that is ‘non-fatty’?”
Another human burst into her room and shredded my happy bubble apart. Master Niya immediately dropped me on the table and stood with her eyes red. “Sorry, Ma. I just wanted one small piece,” she replied apologetically.
I couldn’t listen to their conversation anymore as I lay there broken into infinity pieces. Is this how Jonah felt? But my situation is worse, right? Or is this better than what they suffered?
“Ma, I can lose all this fat. Listen to me…” they disappeared out the door.
Suddenly, I craved to be near my family. Family? The ones that I abandoned in their worst times or the ones that chose not to care until I please my master.
My master. There is still hope. She might crave me later and I need to be the same way for her. I need to-
I heard a huge thump on the other side of the room. A huge body fell with their face down on a narrow looking box supported by four legs under it. Is that master Niya? She can’t be sleeping. Can she?
I could already feel my body changing in this warm room with no special conditioning for me to remain the same. If she wakes up late, I will be too disorientated for her to devour me. But it seemed like she loves chocolates, so she might still consume me wholeheartedly.
I lay there resisting every minuscule part of me from morphing into an ugly looking version. I held my breath and prayed for consciousness to sweep over my master.
Seconds turned to minutes. Minutes turned to hours.
4 hours 23 minutes 44 seconds later, she woke up. In a daze, she walked towards the table with her cheek swollen abnormally. Master Niya held her swollen cheek as her face contorted in pain. She threw a glance at me. I religiously hoped she would hum in approval when I touched her taste buds despite my soggy state.
“You! Stupid chocolate. Eww!” was all she had to say before she angrily snatched me off the table and threw me in a nasty looking bucket.
I remembered the moment when she picked me without any hesitation. I reminisced the moment when she first savored me like I was the one thing that held her together. I felt her adoration and love pour out the moment she hummed in approval.
All vanished away because I didn’t look like how she wanted me to be? She, out of all people, should’ve loved me no matter what.
I want to run back to my family and cry in their arms. I wanted to scream the reality in their faces. I don’t care if I’m a CoCoFront or a rebel, all I wanted was a life with no expectations. Not a life where I was tortured from the moment I born, molding me into something I am not, only to be rejected because I did not look good enough for another creature.
We all are never given the chance to choose when we are born but we get to decide how to live our life before we fade away.
I regret many things.
I lay there between the rotten wastes waiting for the light to wither away.
“Otis, my child, what have you done?”