On a bright Saturday morning, somewhere in the suburbs of a Big City, the Apple was awaiting patiently its fate. There was not much to look forward to. It had seen its better days, when it used to hang out outside, under the sun and stars, sheltered by the leaves of the Mother tree, along with its brothers and sisters. Those were the happy days, when you could breath in the fresh air and absorb the sunlight, getting stronger and riper with each passing day. Then one day, as it was taking a mid-afternoon nap, it heard an ominous buzz quickly approaching its home. Before it had time to realize what was happening, it was ripped from its sturdy Branch, tossed into a pile of unfamiliar Others, and taken away before it had a chance to say good-bye to the Family.
The next few weeks were a blur, with random memories of being submerged in a foul-smelling bath, then rolled in a sticky substance that cling to its skin like a parasite and made it hard to breathe, followed by hours or maybe days spent in the dark, dusty place. Sometimes it felt like the time seized to exist, that it was always dark and that the warmth of the sun and whispers of the wind were only an ancient dream. But all things, even the eternal ones, come to an end, and one cold morning, the Apple found itself being out in the open air again, loaded in a bowl with some of its new “roommates”, Apples and Pears that came from other places, some really far away.
As the new countdown of days began, the Apple watched its friends being snatches away by fat fingers, never to be seen again. Nobody knew what happens to those that were Taken, but some whispered that they witnessed Others being stripped of their flesh down the core and tossed away carelessly to spent the end of their days rotting with other garbage. The Apple agreed with Others that this was too gruesome to be true but some part of it, deep in the core, sensed that whatever is waiting for it, the end is near. It was not scared to die; it watched many of his brothers back on the Farm fall down from limp branches and meet their end in the soft earth far below. It was a natural cycle of life and it knew it will face it someday as well. No, what made it sad is knowing that it will never see the blue sky and feel the warm glow of the sun again on its skin; that it will never experience the joy of rolling across the soft grass and discovering the earthy scent coming from the soil for the first time; the same soil that nourished its Mother tree and many others. Instead, it will perish from this world watching the glowing fluorescent light and hearing the buzz of an air conditioner.
If Apple had a mouth, this would have been a good time to sigh. Its philosophical thoughts were suddenly interrupted as it felt a pair of curious eyes studying it. Before it had a chance to process what is the meaning of this, it felt a firm but gentle grip close tightly around its body as it was lifted from its uncomfortable basket and tugged away in someone’s soft pocket. After weeks of lethargic existence, Apple struggled with trying to process all what was happening to it. In the end, it decided that all that mattered is that it was finally being noticed and that it can now stop worrying about the Unknown and embrace the End. The Apple silently said good-bye to its companions who have become the new brothers in the last several weeks of confinement. It was just thinking about whether it should include the boasty Banana it met this morning in its good-byes when it realized its surroundings have changed abruptly. The Apple felt a familiar touch of breeze upon its cheeks, a light chill of the fresh morning air, and the most wonderful feeling of all, a welcoming hug of the autumn sun that filled its cells with warmth and hope that were long forgotten. Just when it thought it has reached its end, the Apple unexpectedly found a beginning…