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During the halcyon days, we had everything. The sunlight through the window, a comfortable spot on the shelf, and a magnificent view of the Home Sweet Home, or what the others called “Walmart”. More importantly, we had each other: Choc, the chocolate spread, Larry, the label, and of course, Sandy, my sweetheart glass jar, and to cap things off, me, Sandra. We were destined to become a dream couple, even our names matched! I greatly appreciated his presence, even if he didn’t think the same… *sigh* Ok. Anyway, us four made up the Nutella family. It seemed as we would spend the rest of eternity in this paradise.
One day, however, a human hand reached for us, and we were brought away and sent to our, as Sandy called it, “next stage”, or as humans called it, “consumption”. We were moved on a conveyor belt, flashed under a blinding light, and put into some soft, stretchy substance referred to as “plastic”. Consumption, here we come!
We received a warm welcome, greeted by a human family, including two little ones, and some 4-legged creature that didn’t seem to like us. They set us onto the table counter and left us to survey a whole new terrain. I had the best view, because as a plastic cap, I am always on top. I could see tables, chairs, strange machinery, and something unpleasant called a “knife”. For the first night, we got settled into our new home.
When the sun rose up, however, everything changed. In slow motion, the humans walked towards us, and detached me. For the first time ever, I became separated from the rest of the family. Panic spread all throughout me as I tried to scream and squirm my way out of the human’s grip, but I was completely paralyzed. As time froze, I saw that human use that unpleasant “knife” to scoop up a large portion of Choc. Those grotesque little monsters watched in delight as Choc was spread onto slice of bread, with life being squeezed out of him with every stroke. When the ordeal was done, the human arm, still gripping tightly on me, reattached me to the rest of the family.
“What happened? Why are they doing this?” I cried out frantically. No reply. Everyone was stunned stiff.
Life continued this way, and with each day, Choc seemed to shrink more and more, until he disappeared completely. Before each day ended, however, we kept asking Sandy, “Why do they do this?” He always refused to answer. Maybe he was thinking of how to confront me, and confess his true love.
As I predicted, the day after Choc’s disappearance, the humans picked us up, and tossed us into a trash can, as darkness engulfed upon us. Once again, Sandra and Larry were frightened out of their wits. It is a burden to have to deal with such naïve beings.
“Everyone, calm down! There is nothing to worry about,” I tried to reassure them.
“YOU KNEW THIS WAS GOING TO HAPPEN WEREN’T YOU!!!” Larry, who was normally quiet, bellowed. I paused.
“I’m sorry,” I said quietly.
There was a moment of silence. Then, Sandra asked timidly, “What do we do now?” Finally, I decided to speak the truth, the same way I have done in my previous lives. There was no point however. There was nothing I could do to help them.
“We are part of a whole system called the “Product life cycle”. Most of the time, whatever goes into the system will never come out. Sometimes, the humans will show mercy, and give you another chance, like I was. Sadly, you guys may not have the same fate. Some areas offer to recycle you, but it is most probable that you guys will end up in the landfills.”
“What is a landfill?” Larry asked.
“Will you be there with us?” Sandra asked.
Before I could answer, someone picked the bag up, and chucked us into a pile of other bags. We landed hard, and the impact left us dazed. Soon, all of us lost consciousness. However, before I lost consciousness, I muttered “Goodbye.” I crossed my fingers, I hoped the best for not only me, but Sandra and Larry. Maybe they would get lucky, and live to die another day.
I woke up in miniscule shreds, scattered throughout a pile of other glass jars. Suddenly, a truck scooped me up, and into a conveyor belt. Soon, I was going to be reshaped, recycled, and sent to my new family.
Ever since I was sent to the landfills, me and Larry traveled around, preaching about the utter corruption of this horrible society. Every time a truck came, we would go over and go over and protest. However, they always ignored us, as if we were not there. Who did they think we were?
Sometimes, I got extra nostalgic, and thought about the past, how we first met each other and our wonderful time in the “Home Sweet Home”. I missed those times when we did not have to worry about anything. I missed Choc, and his pleasant odor. However, who I missed the most was Sandy. I pictured that beloved jar of glass, with bright rays of sunlight reflecting on him. How I missed his smooth, immaculate surface, and his perfectly etched shapes. How I missed how we fit together perfectly. I pictured him, now shattered into millions of minuscule pieces, scattered all throughout a landfill far, far away. My heart felt the same way. All I wish for now is that his next life with be just as good as this one.
I knew, however, that he had long forgotten about me. He had new lives to live, better caps to meet. I was nothing to him.
Days passed by. Days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months. Soon a year passed, and still, we stayed here. Through the scorching sun and the freezing snow, we waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. Then we realized, there was nothing to wait for. I wished my misery could end right now, but plastics like me are designed specially to live these cruel, bitter lives.
50 years later…
For 50 years, we stayed here. We spent time with other souls like us, and made new friends. However, despite their company, I still kept a vivid image of Sandy in my head. How I longed for him.
Recently, no new trucks came. In fact, some of my friends left. The humans, the same monsters that ruined our lives, were going to do so one more time. There was no panic however. After 50 years in this hellhole, nothing could make us panic.
Soon, the landfill was almost completely empty. The humans seemed to be scavenging for one of our kind, and my fellow cap friends were going. Before long, it was my turn. I looked at Larry for one last time, and said, “Goodbye.” He just looked at me coldly. I knew the humans didn’t want him. “I’m so sorry,” I said to him, before I left.
I was crushed, burned, and stretched. The whole ordeal lasted a few days, and during this time, I undergone constant agony. Finally, however, it was done, and I was sent out of the chamber, washed in a series of water dispensers, and sent onto a conveyor belt. I felt like a new being. Somewhere along this conveyor belt, I passed by a huge sign that read “Nutella, in Partnership with the Recycling Facility of Beijing”. I was in disbelief. I thought to myself, Maybe the humans weren’t so cruel after all!
The conveyor belt ran for a long time. On both of my sides, I saw my same kind, white caps, with neat patterns etched us. Finally, we were dropped into a container. A sci-fi-esque machine picked us up one by one, and we were screwed onto, to my absolute delight, glass jars! I was screwed onto a glass jar; whose texture was oh-so familiar. My heart was racing, and I was about to cry tears of joy.
“S-S-S-Sandy?” He slowly looked up.
“Who are you again?” he replied.
The remaining parts of the landfill were left untouched. For three days, Larry laid there without any company. The unforgiving sun beamed on him, but this was a good thing. Exposure to UV rays would allow him to biodegrade, ending his misery faster. In the far horizons, he saw large truck. On the side of the trailer read, “Nutella, Spread the Happy.”