Based on true events
5 years old
“I don’t want to eat it!”
“Just taste it, it’s chocolate, you like chocolate don’t you? It’ll be over in five minutes.”
I feel my throat closing up. This didn’t taste like chocolate and it felt weird in my mouth. I looked up at my mama and knew there was no getting out of it.
10 years old
I look at the bright cover, the promising words; I could almost taste the honey glaze, the crunchy nuttiness, standing right there in the breakfast isle.
“You can buy it if you want.”
I look up at my dad, my eyes bright with hope. “Really?”
“Sure, change is good, every once in a while.”
I feel my heart lifting as I pick the box off the shelf and put it in the shopping cart. This could be it, the thing I’ve been waiting for!
15 years old
“What’s that you’re eating?”
“Muesli,” I mumble.
“It looks like someone already ate it and threw it up again in your dish,” my brother says, making a face.
I feel my stomach turn. The thought I keep suppressing now voiced was impossible to deny. I don’t say anything, I force myself to finish my bowl and get up to get dressed.
The next day I announce I don’t want to eat cereal for breakfast anymore.
18 years old
“I’m telling you,” I say, “I haven’t had cereal in 3 years.”
“Eugh, I hate it, it gets all mushy and soft, it’s so gross,” I say, “I ate it every day for 10 years, never again.”
“But this one is so good, we used to eat it all the time as kids!”
I look at the curved shapes on the box, empty promises and false hope.
“Trust me,” she says, and pours the cereal into a bowl and covers it with milk, then pushes it towards me, then pours out a new one for herself.
It takes me an hour to finish the bowl. She times it.
I walk down the breakfast isle, words jumping out at me, ‘tasty’ and ‘light’ and ‘fruitful’. I ignore them all as I head towards the spreads.
Peanut butter and Nutella, that’s the stuff for me.