The Lesson

            As I play with my red Tonka truck on the coffee table in the living room, I hear Mom coming through the front door. “Hi Leon,” Mom says. “I’m home from the grocery store!” Mom puts her grocery bags on the kitchen table, reaches into one of the bags to grab something, and walks towards me. “Here,” Mom says. She gives me a small, thin pink brick. “This is gum. You put it in your mouth and chew it.” I excitedly take the pink brick from her hand. “What do you say, Leon?”

            “Thank you, Mom.” I say. Mom always wants me to say thank you when people give things to me. She smiles, and goes back to the kitchen to put away the groceries. I examine the label on the bright pink brick which says, “Hubba Bubba: Sassy Strawberry and Luscious Lemon”. I tear off the paper from one end of the pink brick, which reveals several small cubes of pink and yellow gum. I take one of the pink cubes, remove the wrapper surrounding it, and put the fluorescent pink cube into my mouth.

“Mmmm,” I say to myself. “This is so good!” As soon as I bite into the gum, bursts of sweet strawberry flavour are exploding in my mouth. The gum is more flavourful than any strawberry that I’ve ever eaten. I had never tasted candy like this before. At first, the gum is stiff and hard. But the longer I chew it, the softer it becomes. After a few moments, the gum finally becomes soft enough for me to swallow it.

I look at my pink brick, and count the remaining pieces of gum. “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven.” Since, there are so many pieces left; I decide to have another piece of the tantalizing gum. This time, I try the yellow cube instead. “If the other one was Sassy Strawberry, this must be Luscious Lemon!” I say to myself. I remove the yellow wrapper from the gum, and pop the vibrant yellow cube into my mouth. Unlike the Sassy Strawberry flavoured gum, which was exceptionally sweet, the Luscious Lemon flavoured gum has a pleasant sour flavour that is not overpowering. I chew the delectable gum for a few moments, and swallow it.

“Hmmm, I wonder what it would be like if I ate both flavours at the same time!” I say. I eagerly remove the wrapping from a radiant pink cube and a bright yellow cube and put both pieces of gum in my mouth. The flavours are even more powerful when they are put together. My mouth is bombarded by a surge of incredible flavours. It’s like there’s party in my mouth and everyone’s invited. As soon as the gum become soft enough, I swallow them.

Mom comes into the living room, with a glass of orange juice in her hand, and puts the glass in on the coffee table in front of me. “I squeezed you some orange juice,” Mom says. “Have a drink.” I take the glass and drink the orange juice. “What do you say?” Mom says.

“Thank you, Mom.” I say politely.

Mom looks at the gum wrappers on the table. “Wow, you’ve chewed so much gum already! That was quick!”

“Yes, they were so good. I love them so much that I can’t stop eating them. Can you buy me more?” I ask.

“Sure. I’m glad that you like them.” Suddenly, Mom looks at me in disbelief. “Wait,” Mom says. “You ate them?”

I nod.

“Leon, you’re not supposed to eat gum. I told you that you were supposed to chew them. No more gum for you, mister!” She takes the remaining pieces of gum, and walks towards her bedroom.

I am shocked when she takes my gum. “Mom, what are you doing?!”

“I’m taking the gum away from you so that you don’t eat any more.” Mom responds, as she walks away. After a couple minutes, she returns from her room.

“I want my gum!” I yell.

“You are not allowed to have any more gum, and that’s that, mister!” Mom replies. Mom goes to the kitchen to start cooking dinner.

I sit in the living room, frustrated, and play with my red Tonka truck. As I push the toy truck back and forth, I can’t help but think about the delicious gum. I imagine the wonderful taste of strawberries and lemons in my mouth. I imagine the wonderful sensation that I felt when the amazing gum was in my mouth. After a few moments, my mouth begins to water. I must have more gum.

As quietly as I can, I sneak into Mom’s bedroom. Immediately, as I walk through the door, I can see the pack of gum sitting on top of one of her drawers. The drawer is too high for me to reach, so I push a chair against the drawer and climb up the chair to reach the gum. “Yes,” I say to myself. “I’ve got it!” I take one piece of Sassy Strawberry gum, one piece of Luscious Lemon gum, remove the wrappers, and put the pieces of gum in my mouth. I’m in heaven again. As quickly as I can, I finish the rest of the gum, dispose of the wrappers in the garbage, and return to my red Tonka truck in the living room. Mom is still busy in the kitchen and does not have a clue what just happened.

After a few minutes of playing with my Tonka truck, my stomach begins to hurt. It gets more and more painful as time goes on. I’ve never had a stomach ache this bad before. My stomach feels like it is being assaulted by an army. I go to the kitchen to talk to Mom. “Mom, my stomach hurts really badly.”

“It probably hurts because you swallowed that gum, Leon.” Mom replies.

Then, I realize what I’ve just done. “Mom, I went into your room and ate the rest of the gum. I’m sorry.” I say.

“Oh my goodness!” Mom is shocked. “I told you not to eat the gum! Let me take you to your room. You should lie down and relax to make your stomach feel better.” Mom walks me to my bedroom and puts me in bed. “After you get better, you’re going to be in big trouble, mister!”

I lie in my bed, trying to endure the pain as well as I can. I hate gum.

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