He was a muffin, a dark and handsome chocolate chip muffin. Although he hated his brand name, Little Debbie, he was glad that he wasn’t made at the Great Value factory. Nobody in general, the young, the old, and the middle-aged, could say no to him. He knew that even the ones who bloated with pride about their diet plans slowed down and stopped for a brief moment just to steal a quick romantic glance at him. He always enjoyed that attention. After all, he knew his life was a brief one, and a one that would end with a disgusting flush down the drain.
He had always wished to choose his home but he knew that was considered atrocious in the “muffin world”. So he waited each day, hoping someone would come by, pick him up, and lovingly put him in their shopping cart, and take him home.
It was a boring Wednesday and it was the first time he saw her. Of course he had heard about her, a lot. None of his fellow senior muffins had thought highly of her or her home. “It is the “muffin hell”, her home, it is infested with roaches,” he had heard them say. A muffin at her house knew neither love nor liberation, it always landed in a bin.
He saw her approach the aisle he was seated on. He was aware that she hated the banana muffin and always picked the blueberry ones so he wasn’t worried. He stared at her as she got close to his rack. It was the first time he got a whiff of her and she sure smelt good. He silently watched as she glanced up and down the rack and threw a pitiful look the blueberry muffin and silently muttered a thankful prayer to Little Debbie for making him with chocolate. Even as he was in the middle of his prayer, he felt himself being lifted from his steel rack and put into her shopping cart. He was shocked and in short of thoughts! He wouldn’t call it the worst moment in his muffin life, no, not yet, he knew the worst was just a mile away.
She was a loud chatterbox with big eyes. It took her new roommates three days to figure this out. Irresponsible and extrovert, an awful combination they had thought. She asked a lot of questions. Well, asking questions was considered okay, after all, she had just landed in the United States. It was during these question-answer sessions that they decided to break the news. They began with, “What do you think of cockroaches? And, Oh! They are called roaches here.” They saw her eyes widen with glee.
She was particularly not a fan of cockroaches or roaches or whatever! But they, the brown insects, had had a special place in her life. She had spent all of her adolescent life dreaming of studying to become a surgeon. She had watched all her seniors as they performed frog dissections. She couldn’t wait to be in high school and major in Biology. But thanks to Menaka Gandhi’s stunted brain development, frogs could no longer be euthanized for knowledge purposes. Her Biology teacher had let her practice dissection on cockroaches. A big brown cockroach was her very first.
“You can keep your apartment as neat as Monica Geller’s but you will still have roaches here. It’s probably cause of the hot and humid weather, so be prepared,” she was told. Little did she realize that it would be the last day she would be able to associate with the roach as a fond memory.
They were everywhere. In the kitchen, on the table, under the blanket, in the shoes, around food, everywhere. Any food packet opened had to be sealed with a paper clip. That was the rule in her apartment. She once forgot to seal a packet of corn cereal. The next day, her roommate saw them feasting and crawling all over the cereal, through the transparent bag. Her roommate was furious, not at the roaches though. At her!
She quickly began to despise them and it increased day by day, exponentially. She always wondered how a country as sophisticated as the United States could not control a feeble insect infestation.
She used the electric cooker to make rice everyday. The cooker lid had a steam vent, small hole through which even her little finger wouldn’t pass. They always went into the cooker through that vent and ruined her cooked rice. They were there on both washed and unwashed dishes. The baby ones would crawl out from her college bag, onto the desk, and towards her classmate, embarrassing her the entire time. One boring afternoon, she was at home, sitting at the dining table busily punching into her keyboard preparing for her weekly meeting as she saw her friend walk into the kitchen. “I’m in the mood for a muffin,” her friend said and pulled open a box that was lying unattended for about a month now. Hundreds of thousands of roaches quickly began swarming towards her friend. She stared, aghast, as her friend impulsively dropped the box, causing the bitches to seek refuge at the nearest available corner. She had never imagined that those many roaches could even exist on the face of the earth. It had reminded her of the crawling bugs from the movie, Mummy. God! They were disgustingly everywhere even though she was at her neatest.
She woke up with a jerk. One of them might have just gotten into her ear. “The roach might have lost it’s way,” she thought, as she tried to remove it from her ear. She tried hot water, a torch to show the lost insect the way out, and ear-buds with lotion. Nothing worked. It was 3 am in the morning and she counted every minute down to sunrise. As the doctor used a water gun to eject the dead bitch out of her ear, she had finally decided that it was time. Time to move out, not just out of the apartment but out of the hot-humid-roach filled town. She booked her flight tickets.
A new place and a new apartment meant shopping for new stuff. She was happy that day. She was smiling as she entered the store. She wanted to do everything a little away from usual today. She got an Iced Mocha instead of the regular Americano at Starbucks, picked pizza for dinner instead of the regular pasta, took strawberry ice-cream instead of the regular pecan, and finally, picked the chocolate muffin instead of the regular buleberry.
He looked around the house as she unlocked the door. He could not remember the last time he was this nervous. His tension could possibly melt the chocolate chips embedded in him.
She set everything down. She was tired from all the moving and decided to grab something to munch.
He heard her humming a soft song as she reached out to him.
She carefully set the chocolate muffin on a blue plate and flopped herself on the couch. Just as she was about to take a bite, she heard her phone ring. She was expecting a hiring manager to call her. She took the phone and ran outside.
He knew his fate was sealed. In about two minutes, he would be swarmed by hundreds of roaches and thus, he would die a shameful death. He waited!
She hung up. She thought that it had gone well. It was her first phone interview. Then she remembered, the muffin. She hadn’t left food open and outside for two years now. The roaches would not spare a thing. She ran inside. And stared, and stared, and stared. No roaches. The relief stuck her like a bolt of lightening. She quickly called two of her ex-roommates and narrated her freedom episode with hyper excitement. Her move brought with it, freedom. “Little pleasures in life,” she thought as she picked up the chocolate chip muffin and began to undress it.
He felt the muffin paper wrap gently part with him. He blushed as she took him close to her mouth and bit into him. The purpose of his muffin life had been successfully achieved. To be eaten by a pretty young girl had always been his ambition. An ambition that was as strong as his roach abhorrence.
She walked back into the kitchen and took a sip of the iced mocha.
An abhorrence that was equivalent to………..
He stopped thinking as the iced mocha washed him down to where his soul found bliss.
That night, she slept peacefully, without her ear-plugs.