Rice: food or person?

Laura seemed normal when I first met her. She just said, “Hi” and continued to talk to her friends, greeting me nicely and peacefully. I never gave it a second thought; how could I know that under that shell of a nice person, there lived an evil human who would ruin my life for years to come? I was expecting a fun party the day I met Laura, but instead of leaving Altitude Trampoline Park with a positive experience, I left with emotional scars and a vile hatred for most Chinese food. 

When I entered Altitude with my friend Charlie for his sisters’ birthday party, everything started normally. We grabbed our wristbands, which would allow us onto the trampolines, and hurried over to the tables to trade our footwear for the rubberized socks which were dress code while on the trampoline. I continued to walk towards the black springy surface, my socks feeling sticky as I walked across the tile and onto the carpeted floor that surrounded the trampolines. My friend and I started jumping and having fun, enjoying our time at the trampoline park. 

Although most people’s conversations blended into the background noise, I heard one word that stood out to me: “rice.” Why would someone talk about rice at a trampoline park? Altitude didn’t serve any real meals; their food was the equivalent of a Dave and Busters or a Main Event. Then I heard it again, louder this time: “RICE.” I was so confused, no one incorporates rice into normal conversation, especially not twice. Why, why on earth would they be talking about rice at a trampoline park? I mean, even if I was talking about my dinner the previous night and really loved rice, I would never shout it. “Rice?” It sounded like this person was talking to me. “Y-yes?” I asked.

When I turned around, I expected to see a random kid, but was surprised to see none other than Laura.

 “Rice,” she repeated. Still confused – and a little scared – I turned to my friend who offered the clarification I needed. “Oh yeah, my sister and her friends just call you ‘rice’ for some reason,” he said. Before I had time to respond, more of her friends came over, also calling me “rice.” However, Laura was the most persistent, never hesitating to call me that bright white grain, ignoring the impact it had on my mental state. 

I couldn’t take it anymore, all I could hear was Laura saying “rice” at the beginning of every sentence. I felt like I would lose my mind if I stayed by them any longer, so I ran. I felt like I would never stop running, if not for the fact that there was a cinder block wall about ten feet away. My escape attempt failed, the grain enthusiasts followed me, continuing to call me. Why, why would they choose rice? Millions of animal species and millions of plants, and they choose rice? Why not the majestic bluegill or the fluttering peacock, why would they choose rice? My thoughts were interrupted by Laura and her friends; they had caught up to me. I thought I would have to fight my way out of the situation, but just as I balled my hands into fists, I heard my friend call out, “The pizza is here.” I couldn’t believe it! I was saved by the bell. I gratefully hurried over to our assigned table, surprised that I was able to get out of the situation so easily.

The rest of the story went pretty smoothly. After lunch I was driven back home safely, and the rest of the day wasn’t so bad. I went to bed thankful that night, still in shock that the pizza was ready at just the right time. Sleep came easily, and I continued to dream about the majestic blue gill, never giving a second thought about that stupid grain. However, when I woke up and walked up the stairs, passing by a mirror as I went, I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I turned around, stopped in front of the mirror and screamed. For when I looked in that mirror, I didn’t see a human at all. No, when I looked into that mirror I saw a bright white stack of rice.