Dedicated to all who have tried to teach me to peel oranges in the past. I’m sorry you failed. I’m a bad learner.
(Caution: contains slightly graphic scenes.)
I felt them calling my name as I walked through the kitchen on my way to the bedroom. I did my best to resist, but the urge was too strong. It was my fault, after all. I brought them into the apartment, and now there they sat, on the counter, mocking me. The perfect spheres of deliciousness, filled with incredible flavor and sweet, sticky juice that I knew would run down my chin the second I bit into one. But, alas, this amazing experience was not to be had until I could conquer the thick, stubborn skin that enveloped the food inside. These cursed oranges had been taunting me all day, knowing that I bought them in a moment of weakness. What possessed me to do it? I don’t know. I’d had battles with their kind before, and always failed. But something about their beauty, their perfection, called to me as I walked the aisles of Walmart, tempting me like sirens as they all sat, gleaming in perfect rows down the produce aisle. And now, here they were. Twelve perfect oranges, perched on the counter in my apartment, wrapped delicately in a mesh bag, waiting to be conquered.
And so I caved. I marched towards the tower of fruit, almost immediately selecting the perfect one to experience my prowess. A particularly pert appearing piece of fruit who was perched quite perkily at the very peak of the pile. His voice was the one I had heard most clearly as I walked through the kitchen; a sweet, mocking little one who desperately needed me to knock him down a peg. I plucked him from the top of the pile and set him on the counter, glaring down at him in hopes of softening his tough exterior. Weakening the enemy by crippling him with fear is an old and perhaps juvenile tactic, but I didn’t care. I wanted what was inside of that thick orange skin, and I was willing to play dirty to get it.
“You’re going down, Orange,” I told him in my fiercest voice. He merely looked up at me derisively, as if presenting a dare. I grabbed the orange in my left hand and gouged the top of him with my right thumbnail, clutching him as tightly as I dared- just enough to show him I was boss, but not enough to cause juice to run down my hand. It slipped out of my grasp and rolled down the counter in daring escape attempt; sneaky, but not sneaky enough. I ran to the other end of the bar and intercepted him, catching him as he threw himself off the edge. I placed him back on the counter and held him there with one hand, once again ramming my thumbnail beneath his skin. He protested, trying to slip out of my fist once again, but I held him firmly in place and slowly began to peel bits of his exterior away, gradually revealing the succulent fruit inside. The more I peeled, the less he protested, until he finally sat there, a sad little lump, defeated and devastated. He still had bits of skin stuck to him, and juice was trickling down his side and along the counter, creating a small river. “It’s too late to cry for mercy,” I informed him as I tore him in half, placing a chunk in my mouth.
I glanced to the side where the remaining pile of oranges sat. They watched in dismay as I savored their friend, visibly paling when I swallowed the last of him. “Just wait,” I told them. “Your time will come!” I left then, giving them time to dread their fate, and retrieved the keys to my car. My thumb hurt; I needed to buy an orange peeler.