Are You Cake?

You might want to check your limbs after reading this.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Cover Image
By Justine Kang

As the end of the school year dawns upon us, the weather gets nicer while our mental health does not. You’d love to simply run around a grassy hill with your friends for hours on end, but you’ve signed up for seven AP exams to study for. Your jealousy of elementary-school-age children grows, and you realize you’ve become a miniature Scrooge. Your window (or lack thereof) is your only window to freedom while you stay toiling in your room. But what if, despite all your worries, none of these things you’re stressing about were actually real? What if you were just cake? Lettuce catch up with two of our favorite friends: Ember and Nova. They so graciously let me third wheel on their conversation.

“Hey, Nova.” Ember sulkily greeted their friend, Nova.

“Ember, what’s up?” Nova asked, trying their best to proceed as normal.

“Too many tests. I know nothing. No thoughts, head empty.”

“Ember, Ember, Ember. You might want to calm down.”

“YOu mIgHt WaNt To CaLm DoWn. Do you honestly think I haven’t tried? No, Nova. I want you to look me in my stupid face and tell me that again.”
“Jeez, ok. Sorry I even tried.”

“Sorry, Nova. I’m just so frazzled. All I need is for you to listen to me.”

“I think you should try yoga.”

“Nova, I swear to the almighty beings up in the Universe, I might hurt you. Please stop talking.”

“Oopsies, sorry. I sometimes get a little carried away while trying to impose on others’ lives. Maybe it’s because I’m an ENFJ.”

As a fellow ENFJ, this is true. The two continued on with Nova constantly interrupting Ember for almost another hour and tried to convince Ember that they could cure their own anxiety. I am truly astounded by this ingenuity. Once the pair finally settled their quarrels, they started speaking like normal people who don’t burst into flames every 15 seconds.

“Sorry for yelling at you, Nova.”

“No worries! I was barely paying attention to what you were saying anyway!”

“I guess that helped, huh? Anyway, what’s really been bugging me is that, lately, I’ve been feeling a little crumby—”

“Oh, I totally get what you’re saying—”

“Sorry! Zip zoop, my lips are sealed.”

“Thank you. I haven’t just been feeling figuratively crumby, but I’ve literally been feeling like crumbs. The other day I pinched myself and—boom—frosting. I scraped past a little patch of frosting and—boom—red velvet. I was so confused. I thought my one brain cell had finally called it quits. But then I went up to a little kid for some painfully brutal honesty, and even they said it was legitimate cake. Nova, I think I’m cake.”

“Aw, I’m so proud of you! Thank you for telling me this. I’m so happy that you’re opening up about your intrusive thoughts.” Nova would’ve continued like this, but they were interrupted for the greater good of saving time.

“Nova, I mean this in the nicest way possible, but are you actually alive? Like, if I were to hook you up to an EEG, would all of your brain be active? Is it even doing brain things?”


“Never mind. The point is, I think I might have made fun of that really unspecific, outdated meme too much because I think my reality is being morphed into one where I am not me; rather, I am cake—you know, like those hyper-realistic cakes on YouTube.”

At that moment, Nova started licking their arm.

“Nova, what are you doing?”

“It’s chocolate! Ooo, it’s also birthday cake! Sprinkles! Oh my gosh, there’s strawberry shortcake in my shoulder? That’s so cool!”

“Nova, no! Stop consuming yourself! Once you’re gone, there’s no coming back from that!”

“But I just want cake!”

It was only a matter of seconds before Nova completely obliterated themself, vanishing into the stars. Ember screamed in horror, then simply got up, bandaged their chocolate-oozing arm, and acted like nothing happened.

Their disappearance happened extraordinarily ahead of schedule, but since Ember still wanted to at least prove something to themselves, they went on to take all of their AP exams. All seven of them. Throughout each one, Ember couldn't stop thinking about Nova and how much fun their last moments in this reality were. Nova quite literally was the cake they had and obviously ate it too. Good for them.

The moral of the story today, kids, is that this reality is one where your left arm could be a lemon bar and your right leg could be a blueberry muffin. This world is one of little meaning. Don’t eat your phalanges and eat your vegetables instead. Stay crumby, my friends.