The little pink box sits innocently on the break room table. One look inside can melt all willpower.
He sits alone in a flimsy folding chair, mug of coffee in hand. Sweat has already begun to permeate his polyester work shirt and isn’t even ten o’clock. Top button undone, tie loosened, he stares down the box of pure evil.
What is inside of the box is meant for him, but his recently acquired gym membership would argue otherwise. If he ate one, no one would know it was him. He looks down at his protruding stomach.
When was the last time he could see his belt buckle? He makes up his mind. He will not open that box. Not after the past week’s workouts. He won’t even look at.
He turns his chair away from the table, his hunched back to the poor, lonely box.
As he sips his coffee, he remembers a time when he ate dozens of those delicious treats without thinking. He remembers when he had the metabolism of a twenty year old and could eat muffin tops all day instead of having one permanently attached to his torso. He remembers biting in to soft dough perfectly fried to a golden brown, coated in cascade of sweet icing, injected with colorful jelly, and sometimes even adorned with a rainbow of vibrant sprinkles.
Maybe that box doesn’t contain evil.
Maybe it just contains misunderstood pastries.
Doughnuts can’t be that bad right?
Okay, he won’t eat them, but just one peek couldn’t do any harm. Slowly, he turns his chair back towards the sweet box.
He tentatively lifts the lid, and eyes closed, breathes in the sugary aroma of the succulent sweets. His eyes open, and before him lay twelve, round wheels of perfection. Sugar frosted, coconut covered, glazed, chocolate drizzled, jelly filled– all flavors sit at his grasp.
No, he says and slams the lid shut.
He will not devour the horrendous rings of evil.
He is better than that.
He will win this battle.
Doughnuts can’t overcome him.
He was the captain of his high school football team.
He is better than any puffy pastry.
Ha, he thinks, as he triumphantly sips his steaming coffee. The trap his coworkers set won’t ensnare him. He is going to lose his freshman twenty in no time.
But as he stands up to return to work, his stomach groans in frustration. His one hundred calorie Greek yogurt breakfast was not enough to satisfy his bloated stomach’s demands.
Maybe he will just eat half of one.
That can’t be that bad, right?
That’s what he will do; he will eat half of one of those poor, misread snacks. He rips open the box and stares longingly , considering which delicacy he will consume.
Cake with pink frosting and sprinkles?
No, he doesn’t like pink food.
Yes, that has fruit on it so it has to be healthier than the others.
Carefully, he pulls his treat of choice from the box and lays it on a napkin. He jumps up, dashes to grab a knife, and returns to his seat. With the delicate hand of a heart surgeon, he begins to dissect the perfect pastry. Down the middle his tool slices.
He examines both halves, and gingerly picks the one that appears slightly larger. The other half is shoved back into the box, crushing the doughnuts under it.
Joy is his as he devours that once innocent snack.
Fruity shreds of coconut submerge his taste buds in a tropical paradise.
The fluffy dough embraces his tongue in a hug of pure delight.
Over and over this cycle of elation occurs until his half of doughnut disappears.
He leans back, thinking his stomach’s desire has been satisfied, but no. Saliva fills his mouth as he thinks about how good that real food tasted compared to the spinach salad he’ll be having for lunch.
That won’t fill him up.
He had better eat the other half so he doesn’t get hungry later.
Yeah, he hates being hungry.
He snatches the other half from that self-control deathtrap, and rapidly consumes it.
He needs to hide all evidence, so he brushes all remaining crumbs to the floor, throws away his napkin, and puts his knife in the dishwasher.
Guiltily, he returns to his cubicle.
The blank computer screen reflects the face of a defeated warrior.
Someday, he will win the battle between self-control and sweets, but today, he will sit at his desk, regretting every embrace his tongue received from that malicious trickster of a treat.
Never again, he vows, will he eat a doughnut.