Marc was a man, a regular old man. If you looked up Regular Old Man in the dictionary, a picture of Marc would appear. Despite his “regularness”, Marc had dreams. He hoped to travel the world, fall in love, and quit his job as a high school janitor; however, the opportunity never revealed itself to him. That all changed when Marc was sweeping the halls of the local high-school: Middlebury High. As the broom brushed the white tile floors, Marc heard a loud clash against the shiny tile. “What is that?”, thought Marc. As he got closer, he saw that it was a golden lamp that shined like the brightest stars in the sky. Confused by the lamp, Marc scratched his brow but quickly set it inside his pocket for future investigation and got back to cleaning. Late in the night when Marc finished cleaning the classrooms, he sat down and began to carefully examine the lamp. “This looks like a genie lamp…if only”, he sighed. As the words left his mouth, a fog began to emerge from the spout. Completely shocked, Marc threw the lamp across the hallway. The fog continued to pour out and out came a genie. Now this was not the bright blue exaggerated genie most know and love; it resembled a ghost like figure. Marc was left speechless by the sight and blacked out.
A few hours later, when Marc woke up from what he thought had to have been a dream, the genie stood waiting for him. “Hi, the name’s Charlie”, the genie said with a grin, “I’m here to make your dreams come true.” Feelings of speculation and excitement filled Marc’s head, “why would a genie grant ME wishes, let alone exist?” The genie interjected Marc’s thoughts, “So, what’s first on your list?” Marc replied shakily, “Um, I guess, to have my dream job as a baker in Paris.” The genie slyly nodded his head and quickly said, “coming right up, sir!”
In the blink of an eye, Marc stood face to face with a quaint French bakery in the heart of Paris. The joy in his heart was something truly indescribable. As he ran into and began to explore his new life, the genie appeared next to him. “I’ll have a dozen macaroons”, joked the genie. Marc smiled, “coming right up, sir!” The newfound happiness was something Marc had never felt before. Before he could get comfortable in his new shop, the genie asked, “what’s up next on your “wish-list”? Marc replied, “oh! How could I ever what anything more? I am completely content.” The genie wouldn’t accept this answer, after all, Marc had two wishes left and the genie was on a tight schedule. Marc thought long and hard and decided to ask for an end to world hunger because, why not? The genie shook his head, “Really?! Now who do you think I am, let’s be realistic.” Marc replied, “ok fine, I wish for the nicest car money can buy.” The genie laughed, “Now we’re talking.” With his reply, a 2017 Rolls Royce suddenly appeared. Marc leaped with excitement! He was completely content. Despite Marc’s satisfaction, the genie asked him for another wish. Marc hesitated, believing he was being greedy but that feeling was quickly dismissed at the thought of living in a luxurious Parisian penthouse. With this idea Marc summoned the genie, “For my final wish, I would like to live in the nicest Penthouse in the city of Paris.” Once again, the genie nodded and Marc’s final wish was granted.
Days passed, weeks passed, months passed, when one-day Marc found himself lonely. He would go to his successful bakery, drive his nice car, sleep in his silky king bed but it never seemed to be enough. He found himself eating alone, driving alone, and sleeping alone. He felt divided by the language barrier and found it incredibly hard to make friends, especially when he couldn’t explain as to why he had a multi thousand-dollar car but worked at a quaint bakery. The constant loneliness began to eat away at Marc’s soul until he couldn’t even recognize himself. Marc decided to summon the genie once again and pulled out the now rusty lamp and began to rub. Within a few moments, the genie appeared. The genie was quite shocked to see Marc so unhappy, “Now what’s wrong? You have everything you could possibly want!” Marc looked down at his feet, “I think that’s the problem, I have no struggle in my life, no opportunity to grow or meet others.” The genie sighed for this seemed to happed more than the average person would think. The genie placed his hand on Marc’s shoulder and said, “I see what you’re saying, I can send you back if you would like?” Marc jumped, “Well of course!” The genie stopped Marc and said, “However, you would lose everything the wishes have granted you with and you would have to return to your old life, sweeping floors.” This ultimatum didn’t phase Marc as he said, “Take me back! I would rather sweep floors my whole life than be lonely in Paris.” With a few short words and some unnecessary theatrics, Marc fell into a deep sleep. As the light crept into Marc’s eyes, he opened them to the same hallway he had fallen asleep in before. He jumped for joy and resumed sweeping when he noticed a note. The small piece of paper read “Marc, you made the right decision. Sometimes in life, making sure that you are living is more important than having everything. –genie” Marc held the note close to his heart and moved on to the next room. That day, Marc had learned an important lesson that he would remember for the rest of his life.