Peaches This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

May 31, 2011
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Being a kid always meant following the rules.

I lounged on the family room couch, ogling the pastel ceiling while basking in my innocent delusions. Battered beanie babies littered the floor, left in stationary positions reflecting my sudden disinterest. I wouldn’t have gotten up if it hadn’t been for the irritable rumbling erupting from within my stomach.

I shuffled into the kitchen, my socks sliding gently against the tile. I opened the fridge, cabinet, pantry, finally settling for a single, plump peach resting alluringly on the counter. I placed it under a stream of running water, wrapped it in a paper towel, peeled the sticker off of the fuzzy skin while sticking it to the counter and then took a large, excited bite.

The juice oozed into my mouth, tingling against my taste buds. I smiled to myself and munched on the afternoon snack until all that was left was the pit. A single crack in the rough core caught my interest almost immediately. I closed one eye and peered into the crevice. It was dark in there. Finally I split it open with two feeble hands.

The inside was smooth and foreign. It looked so clean and appealing in comparison to the sticky exterior. In the center of the pit lay a single almond-shaped nut. I batted my eyelashes, curiosity arising within me. Suddenly that almond in the center looked worthy of a taste.

I reached for the nut, my fingertips brushing it before hesitation overwhelmed my senses. I removed my hand, chewing on my bottom lip. What would be the harm in an almond? It’s nothing too abnormal. Yet what a peculiar hiding spot, crammed inside the pit of a peach.

Just a taste wouldn’t hurt.

I reached for the pit and brought it close to my mouth. As my fingers worked with the almond, an unsettling feeling arose within my gut. I stopped with this action and put the pit back down on the table.

Maybe I’ll just wait for Mum to get home. I’ll ask her for permission then.

I nodded to myself with this decision and left the pit cracked open on the coffee table for her to find when she got home. It would only be then, after my curious inquiry, that she would inform me of the danger in consuming it. Such an innocent, miniscule nut enriched with a dose of cyanide. Poison.

Temptation could have overcome me that day, could have severely injured me. My request for permission is what rescued me from an unfortunate fate.

We were all so much safer when we were kids.

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