A box of chocolates


“Want one?” This familiar question, asked by so many in the harried moments before class starts, immediately evokes an image of Forrest Gump offering bonbons to strangers—except replace Forrest Gump with a crowd of desperate teenagers and you’ll have a more accurate picture of JP Stevens. Indeed, our school’s infatuation with Gertrude Hawks chocolate was diagnosed by the administration as a classroom disruption when sellers and customers unabashedly conducted business transactions in the middle of class.

With the declaration that Gertrude Hawk treats were contraband in school, my plan was to build a coalition of loyal followers who would buy only from me. However, this plan soon proved futile; my “faithful” adherents bought, on more than one occasion, from one of my many competitors as soon as I turned my back. In an effort to improve my selling strategy, I thought about all of the plausible reasons that I failed to maintain faithful customers. After discounting all other possibilities, I blamed my struggles on the cardboard Gertrude Hawk boxes. Much to my disadvantage, I had been using a drawstring bag to surreptitiously transport the delicious goods. Since the design is so iconic and the brand name is blazoned so brightly across the box, my customers had been quickly identifying other sellers and impulsively succumbing to their cravings, despite their supposed allegiance to me.

Walking home after yet another day of poor sales, I had a sudden epiphany: I would, like my competitors, entice customers with the Gertrude Hawk box itself! I walked into my classes, confidently flashing the box. Hordes of people gathered around my desk, clamoring for Toffee Almonds, Milk Chocolates, and.

Crispies. I even caught the attention of my teacher, who asked me to stay back after class. Expecting to sell another chocolate bar, my heart sank when she threatened to report me to the office for “distracting” other students during class. With my box stuffed and hidden in my bag, I dragged my feet through the halls once again. How was I going to sell this box of sweets now?

Knowing that I had to sell all forty-eight of my chocolates for my club, I resolved to find another place to sell them. Half-heartedly, I decided to peddle my candy at the North Edison Public Library, a favorite hangout for students just up the hill from JP Stevens. To my surprise, upon pulling my box out of my bag, I managed to sell most of my wares instantly. With no other competitors around, I was able to sell most of my box without breaking a sweat.

But at the end of the day, I discovered that I had five bars left of the infamous “70% Dark Chocolate” and the much despised “Dark Chocolate Raspberry.” After all my trials and tribulations, I decided to give in. Knowing that no one would ever buy these flavors from me, I gorged myself on these sweets, sacrificing my taste buds (and my money). Heading off to bed feeling quite queasy, I reflected upon what Forrest Gump said: “Life is like a box of chocolates.” It does seem that way sometimes, doesn’t it—as if life is about selling one box of chocolates after another. I’d rather not think about it.

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