Anna sat down at her seat in the back corner of the cafeteria. As the squeals of lunchtime excitement rang against the concrete walls, she huffed to herself and opened her pink Puma lunch box, pushing her glasses up her nose. Inside her lunch box were the usual treats and sweets – a shiny red apple, a small packet of salt and vinegar chips, a carton of Goulburn Valley peach fruit and a French bread sandwich with cheese, tomato, lettuce and chicken. A gallon of Glad Wrap was wound around Anna’s sandwich – her mum liked to make sure things were secure. Anna shook her head and laughed to herself as she began to rummage through her box to decide what to eat first.
Suddenly, Anna felt the warm presence of someone behind her. She whipped round her head, her silky brown ponytail flying with her. There, standing against the wall, was a super thin boy, his cheekbones standing out of his cheeks. He didn’t have a box with him, as far as Anna could tell. He was looking gingerly at her box of food, his tongue licking his lips slightly, as if he was trying to contain the yearn for food.
Anna held up her packet of chips and opened it. She held it out to the boy. ‘Do you have any food?’ The boy shrugged at her, and itched the back of his head with a bony hand. His eyes drifted off to the side, and he looked bashful, like he was upset that he’d been caught looking at someone else’s food. Anna held the chips closer. ‘Do you want some of my food?’
Again the boy shrugged. But this time he took the chips, and began to carefully pull out each one. The boy blew on each side, then shoved it into his mouth. One bite, and he was hooked – he began shovelling out the contents of the bag and throwing it into his throat. Anna smiled – she knew how addictive salt and vinegar chips were.
Once the boy had finished the chips, he let the empty bag drop to the ground. Without asking, he took the carton of Goulburn Valley fruit and used the plastic spoon to scoop the peach and juice through his lips. Anna didnt complain as she bent down to pick up the bag of chips from the floor - she felt happy that she was helping someone who was evidently hungry.
But the boy didnt stop after the fruit. He took Anna’s sandwich and ripped through the plastic wrap with his teeth, letting that fall to the ground beside the box of Goulburn Valley that he’d dropped after devouring. He bit the sandwich and shoved the rest into his mouth, dabbing at the sides of his lips with his fingers. Anna bent down once more to pick up the empty packages from the floor.
The boy brushed his hands off on his thighs. He didnt even look at Anna as he turned away and ran down to the playground to play footy with the other boys. Anna looked at her box, the rubbish in her hands. He’d left the shiny red apple. Anna smiled to herself and picked up the apple. She wasn’t hungry anyways.
As Anna turned the apple around in her fingers, she came across a bump. She turned the apple to the ridged side. There, on the bottom of the apple, was a big, brown hole, bits of apple teetering at the edges. She sighed and dropped the apple into her box, and picked it up, emptying the collected rubbish into the bin.
She sat back down at her table, and looked out at the children squealing and running after the ball. Anna spotted the skinny boy, who was knocking knuckles with the other boys and laughing back at her.
'You're welcome,' she said.