by Rowan Marie
Jenny attempts to resist the temptation she's been avoiding all day.
Jenny walked to class smelling the cafeteria from a mile away. Everywhere she's gone, everything she sees, and more importantly, everything she smells, makes her tummy grumble. She has been satiating her hunger as best as possible, but the available offerings have been less than appetizing. Nothing satisfies.
Jenny's mom made her famous fried chicken last night. With buttery, fluffy white pillows of mashed potatoes on the side. The roasted veggie mix was to die for. It just wasn't satisfying the cravings.
The gorgeous golden-browned waffles Jenny ate for breakfast were what dreams are made of. A hint of cinnamon and nutmeg in the batter, pooling butter in each nook and cranny, topped with a river of molasses colored maple goodness running down the sides. It would have made anyone's mouth water.
These meals should have been enough to keep even the most ravenous monster at bay for a while. It just wasn't enough! There was only one thing Jenny could think of. Her one-track mind was laser focused on it, and nothing else would do.
The urge felt other-worldly, and out of control. Like there was nothing Jenny could do to stop herself. Every molecule in her body was pointing her one direction, and one direction only. It was already all she could do to stop herself.
"I can't be one of those freaks!" Jenny chastised herself, pounding a fist against her temple. She noticed a couple of girls sitting on a bench look up to stare, and quickly shuffled on. The restless and twitchy feeling was getting stronger, as if the cravings were escalating to a place she couldn't restrain anymore.
"This must be what a meth addict feels like." Jenny thought to herself. With every step she took it seemed less, and less like she was going to be able to control herself.
The other students walked by with their plates of food, all looking for somewhere to settle, and dive in. Each kid passing wafted that glorious scent in Jenny's direction. Her mouth salivating, she felt herself involuntarily taking steps towards them.
Jenny snapped herself back, and stopped dead in her tracks. "No. I'm not doing this. I'm not going to be just another zombie getting his strings pulled."
Resolutely, Jenny turned to walk the other direction. Lunch was almost over. One more mealtime down without succumbing to her baser instincts.
With each step she took, it felt like trudging through sand. "If I can just make it to my next class, I can make it through the day." Jenny said sternly to herself, just a few feet from the door of the B building.
Just as Jenny reached for the door, a boy walked by and the scent of him was too much. She couldn't resist anymore. It was just so fresh, and inviting. Exactly what she'd needed for so long.
Jenny's hand stopped short of grabbing the door handle, and she spun on her heels. There was still 15 minutes until the bell. She could make it!
Jenny started sprinting across the school yard. She knew that all eyes were on her, but there was no stopping now. It's not like she could just grab someone right here in the open. She'd have to make it to the cafeteria. It would be pretty empty by now. Fewer witnesses.
Jenny made it to the door of the cafeteria, swung the door open, and paused. Looking down for a moment, the shame of what she was about to do washed over her. Jenny looked up, shook it off, and walked briskly towards the short line of students in front of her.
"I said I'd never eat tacos on Tuesday."