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Every Sunday since his youth, Orwell Huxley liked to sit in the park and play God.

That is, Orwell would watch people and romanticize an intricate life for them. He gave them names, occupations, families, memories—and, as the idealist he was, he always made sure to instill them with purpose. He was often wrong, but he still enjoyed living vicariously through these people.

One Sunday, Orwell rested upon his usual, unusually damp bench with his scalding coffee and newspaper cupped in his thick mittens. The trees were dewy and the air was brisk from the midnight storms. Orwell spotted a young man running and, like clockwork, his inventive imagination took off. 'He looks like a Jonathan; I believe I will call him that. Maybe I will call him “John,” for short—yes, John. The boy was tall and bore a cardinal jacket adorned with the Stanford University insignia. Maybe he hopes to attend Stanford.' Orwell reconsidered. 'No—he was too carefree; he must have just been accepted. In fact, he will be the first of his family to go to college. He would study science and become a doctor. After he had earned enough money to support his family, he would go invent a cure for some disease, or perform major surgeries for no charge. His parents will undoubtedly be proud of him.'

John pulled out a pad of paper and began to write. 'Or, he would be a writer: a successful writer. Either way, a beautiful and brave new world lay ahead of him.' Orwell smiled at his misconception.

Orwell turned his direction away from John. He focused on a nicely dressed, older woman sitting on a bench. Orwell would call her Susan. 'What could Susan possibly be doing? He thought. Maybe she is due to meet her lover.' He watched as she sat there, alone. 'Funny, he hasn’t arrived. Maybe she just lost her love—she is returning to the bench on which their initials are painted and where they shared their first kiss under the stars.' He sighed. 'It was magical, like fireworks or a perfectly planned scene of a movie. They promised to grow old together. And they did—for a little while, until fate intervened. She came back to that bench every year to commemorate him.'

The woman looked at the playground and smiled. 'Susan wanted kids. No, she had kids. A daughter and a son—blonde and hazel eyed, like her. She was a good mom. Her intelligent daughter had gone off to university to begin her new life, while her son left to serve his country to save others. Her kids loved her, but they were busy—she understood. But she missed them dearly.'

A man walked over and sat with Susan. They held hands. Orwell enjoyed this reality better than the one he had envisioned for Susan.

Just then, Orwell heard laughter. He looked to the source. He saw a little brunette haired girl, engrossed in a novel. 'She is quite dainty—I think the name “Ellie” suits her. It’s a bit early to tell who and where she will be, but she is certainly passionate.' The father of the girl walked over and hugged her. She giggled as he wrapped her in his arms. Orwell grinned. 'Daddy’s girl.' The pair left; Ellie skipped gleefully as her father ran close behind. 'I suppose they’ll indulge in a round of hot chocolate afterward; it is a chilly day. They’ll go home and enjoy each other’s company until it’s time, unfortunately, for Ellie’s father to head back to work. Ellie will be sad, at first—but she will be fine. In fact, she will be more than fine; she is a bright girl and certainly loved.'

It was getting late. Orwell decided to leave the park and return home. On his way, he passed a bakery. He considered purchasing something for himself, as the treats in the window looked heavenly. He became distracted, however, as he readjusted his focus and addressed the reflection in the window.

He saw a stocky, old man with thinning grey hair, wearing boring beige slacks, an emerald vest, and a perplexed expression. He had to be in his seventies, at least. Orwell knew that he was staring at a reflection of himself. And he was disappointed—he had spent so much time living the lives of other people that he neglected to experience things himself. He had no wife to return to, no children, no significant memories beyond the ones he had concocted. So he did what he always did: created a story. 'I think I will call him Orwell. Orwell looks like a wise man—maybe he was a teacher. Or a professor—yes, he attained his instructing degree after the war. He was married to his high school sweetheart; she did not particularly approve of the hours he dedicated to his profession, but she adored him and naturally allowed him to pursue his passion. They shared dinner every night… '





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Allycebeth This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 12, 2011 at 9:24 pm
I love the description~
 
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