Trigger warning for those sensitive to suicide topics.
Just for the record, I love cupcakes. Moist, delectable cupcakes with frosting. Lots of frosting.
And I can’t eat them now without a physical reaction. My gut clenches and tears find their way to my eyes. Oh, I still eat them and enjoy them, but I can’t have one without remembering that day. The day my friend took his life.
I walked into the student center where I work after calling Mark to find out where he was. No answer. Not unusual, he often didn’t hear his phone or got tied up with work. He’d meet me in the pub later like he always did, I assumed.
Down the stairs into the main corridor, and met one of the dining employees. She had a tray of cupcakes in her hands.
“Those look scrumptious.” And knowing the college’s dining service, I knew they would be.
“Want one? They are leftover from a meeting. We were trying them out.”
Tell me, who passes up a free cupcake that looked like chocolate heaven? Not I. So I walked into the pub, cupcake in hand, and filtered lots of greedy looks and comments to abscond with the treasure in my hands. I ordered food, then found a table and texted Mark. Hey, Mark, just checking on you to make sure you are alive. The amount of horror I feel at that choice of words now is superseded only by the fucking cupcake.
I ate my lunch, chatting with coworkers that stopped by, inquiring why I was dining alone. We joked that I got stood up by my work spouse.
And then I ate that cupcake. It was delicious. Everything perfect a cupcake could be. I was close to licking the frosting off of the paper, it was that good.
All the while my dear friend’s body was getting colder. All the while a small amount of blood dripped down from where the bullet had entered his skull. All the while the gun had dropped to the floor after the shot rang out.
My friend was dead. And I was indulging. The two items are not related, I know this. Yet they will be forever linked in my mind.
The kind, sweet soul that he was would tell me that of course I should eat the cupcake. That I should always eat the cupcake.
I will, Mark. I promise. I just wish you were here to share it with me.