Empty Stomach

By Marina Campoy-LoVasco (’23)

It is at 2:35 each day when students erupt from the classroom. You barely remember the lunch you had many hours prior. Your brain has completely melted and your eyes are unblinking. You drag your arms about like an ape and your hands are covered in graphite with the occasional smear of a highlighter or marker running down the length of your fingers. Your mouth salivates and your stomach feels like an empty hole in your center. 

All of a sudden an aroma seeps in through the vents and makes its way down the hallways until it grabs the attention of your sensitive nose. Your stomach yowls in hunger and the primal being within you takes reign over your conscience. You crawl from classroom to classroom in search of the delightful snack that awaits you. Dangling from the hands of an innocent comrade is a slice of pizza. That simple and holy triangle. Your hands reach out to snatch the slice when something catches the corner of your eye.

Boxes upon boxes of pizza lie on the table. “Pizza for two dollars” reads a sign. Your hand goes earnestly into your pocket. You pull out your wallet, prepared to spend all of your life’s savings in order to satisfy that terrible hunger. You reach into the wallet and your hands dance about as they search to secure two crisp dollar bills, but then a terrible realization comes over you. A shiver runs down your spine. How could the world be so cruel? There is no money left in your wallet. Only a single ticket stub and lint rest at the leather bottom. Your stomach roars in agony. Your already low functioning mind freezes. Dangerous thoughts run through your head. There is a lack of supervision on the pizza box to the left. Maybe, just maybe, if you could just reach your arm out slowly, like this, and open the box, like that. But no, some force within slaps your outstretched hand away from its temptation. You turn away from the table and leave with your head hung low in remorse.

It is necessary that you escape. You walk towards the doors of the school and push them open. The crisp air bites at your cheeks. Your nose starts to run and your eyes start to water, but you are free. Now, where on Earth did you put those chips?

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