… One of the things that I’m forbidden from eating because of my braces is apples. As a child, I used to think that, since every single one of my friends hated apples, it would be terribly quirky of me to eat whole apples, and—get this—not even slice them into eighths (seriously, people who slice their apples—what are you doing?). After a while, I got into the habit, and I ate them all the time. Once I got my braces, however, unless I wanted to die from severe aches or wasting my money, I could never bite into a whole apple again. It’s all I miss. It’s all I want. I miss biting into an apple and having the juice dribble down my chin and the slurping sound I made when I obnoxiously wiped my mouth with the back of my hand. I miss wiping my sticky hands on my tights. I miss pretending to have to tie my shoelaces simply so I could run my hands through the dirt to clean my hands, in a strange sort of way. I just miss biting into apples. After I get my braces taken off, the first person to buy me an apple will be awarded with the Secret to Life whispered seductively into their ear by myself.
…Another thing that I wouldn’t mind being gifted is a pack of cigarettes. Along with a speech. Allow me to explain. Recently, I finished reading The Fault in Our Stars and (trust me, this isn’t a spoiler) and in it, the other main character, Augustus, puts cigarettes in his mouth, but never smokes them. He calls it a “metaphor”—he puts the killing thing between his teeth, but doesn’t give it the power to kill. When I first read this, I almost threw myself out a window, for I had been thinking for such a long time—cigarettes seem so mysterious to me, so alluring, so sophisticated, so hypnotically sensual, but they’re such horrible things that kill so many people (every time I see a picture of George Harrison smoking, I want to smack it out of his hand). I want to be given a pack of cigarettes by someone who loves me enough to teach me why they’re bad for me, and finally convince me that they’re not something I want to make a habit out of, and then trust me enough to let me figure it out for myself that I can acknowledge something bad for me and push it away.
…I would also like to be given the Gift of Confidence. I wonder what it’s like to be comfortable being by yourself. I was having a sarcastic conversation with my dad about the things he wants me to do in my immediate future while he created my five-year plan at the same, and in that conversation I discussed the fact that I’m unable to be on my own, left to my own thoughts. I am like those superficial girls that need people around them, reassuring them that they are loved, unfortunately. I have a difficulty walking by myself because, through my head, thoughts like “How should I fix my face?” and “I’m suddenly hyperaware of the way I am walking right now” and “Why am I walking so fast?” fight against each other in my brain, and I’m pretty sure it’s apparent on my face often. If someone could teach me how to be alone and happy at the same time, I’d appreciate for the rest of my life.
…A Rock-Skipping Lesson would come in handy, for sure. I know this for a fact. I need someone to give up an entire day of their life to teach me how to skip a rock. Those kids at the lake think that they are all that because they know how to throw a rock out into the lake and make it bounce, and I’m growing quite tired of their happy dances all of the time while my stones simply blend in with the rest of my failures at the bottom. And then, if you don’t have to leave our good time for some more important things, I’d love if you could help me get a head start and help me find the good, flat stones.
…A bar of Chocolate. A big bar of Chocolate that is cut into nice, handy squares so that I can break one off the bar every time you smile, and then I’ll keep it in my hand, even when it starts to get warm and I feel it melting in there, and I’ll wait until you laugh—that’s when I’ll allow myself to eat it. Every time you smile, I break one off. When you laugh, I eat it. If for whatever reason I catch us looking at each other in the eye, I’ll eat two squares. I, of course, don’t get to cheat or provoke you. But I will reciprocate these kind gestures with total honesty.
…The last thing I would honest love from anyone ever is their favorite book. Their favorite book, the one they have read seven times already, the one with the folded cover and the coffee spill on the thirtieth page and the tear stains on the last one. That book with their annotations and scribbles on the margins. The book with the highlighted paragraphs or underlined passages with hearts next to them. I’d like for someone to give me that book, for me to read, for me to understand and read it just like they did. They’d let me keep it, and I’d read it the same amount of times they did, and I’d treat it like it had never been opened before, and cry with that person where they cried, and write in the times I cried as well. I’d most likely cry on the spot if anyone ever gave me this.