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Take or Lose

By Moya Zhao

Mutual amity wasn’t sought out for by most, but Tobias was particularly afraid of such an association. For an individual with as much trauma as he, Tobias had never gotten the support deserved. Loss was terrifying, and to him, it was enough to avert his attention from such a draining relationship. Tobias had never invested in someone, and he had since come to the conclusion that if he did, it would only be because of his naivete.

Tobias had been in deep poverty since birth which explained why he had been utterly confused when he was handed a peach by someone who had attempted to bond with him. It was fully ripe, the juicy fruit already causing his mouth to water despite not yet having a taste.

It was given to him by a boy one or two years younger than him, the name being Kalen.

“You ought to eat that peach today. It’ll be gone by tomorrow,” Kalen warned a few times. His family owned a tiny orchard in the corner of town where they grew peaches and he knew well how quickly they rotted. Perhaps it was simply the strangeness of fruits in town in general, but either way, it was something worth noting. It was as if the peach could rot overnight, and if the opportunity to enjoy such a flavor wasn’t grasped, it would be gone.

“I will.” Tobias simply responded, shrugging off the comment as he placed it onto his table, the peach being the single object bringing color to the home.

Kalen was clearly annoyed by this action, though he only stared at the fruit blankly, not a single word escaping the boy’s mouth as he averted his attention, a certain solemnness between the two despite the warmth also in the air.

“I’ll be leaving now.”

Tobias only nodded in response, watching his friend’s figure disappear.

Kalen was correct as well, and when Tobias woke up the next day, the original sweetness of the peach had become rotten.

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