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There was once a beautiful world. One with many colors, and many shapes. A world where everyone was perfect because everyone was the same. However, this story is not about this world as a whole, it centers on a little boy living in it.
Born Henry Thompson IV on March 15th, a quarter after the 9th hour, it was clear this child would one day make an impact on the world. Almost immediately after his birth the world appointed him to mere perfection. Thus, the happy parents were able to take him home and could forever live in the comfort of knowing their son was accepted. At least, until Henry’s 9th birthday.
On the Morning of his 9th Birthday, a beautifully sunny one, Henry woke up knowing exactly what was to come. He would brush his teeth, he would put on his flawless school uniform, and run downstairs to a stack of blueberry pancakes, made annually on his birthday by his warm-hearted mother; a true Betty Crocker type. One who followed the rules, and does not ask questions, while sporting one of many calf length, checkered dresses. Henry’s father had a cup of coffee, he took it black, just like he took his suits and shoes. Soon he would be off to work running the market and ensuring his family would be able to live a life up to global standards.
Once finished with his delicious pancakes, Henry began the next step in his daily routine. He grabbed his book bag, and headed out the door to begin his walk to school. Five minutes into the usual 10 minute stroll he was approached by an old man. Startled, the boy continued walking. He knew better then to stop and talk to strangers, especially ones that looked like that man. He had a long beard, little teeth, and worn down shoes and pants; his shirt didn’t even have all its buttons. Yet, what one might find peculiar, the man was smiling. In fact, he was smiling quite sincerely. “How could this be?” thought Henry. The man looks rather worse for wear, but he is smiling? Curious, Henry gave in, and stopped to turn to the man.
“What do you want old man?” pondered Henry.
The man began to walk forward, but kept his mouth shut.
“Hello? I said ‘what do you want?’” Still the man stayed silent and continued his short commute to Henry until they were inches apart and face to face.
The man grabbed into his pocket and pulled out a small, charming, dark blue box. He took Henry’s hands and place the box inside of them. When Henry was just about to interrogate the purpose of all this, the man said, “See.” And motioned for Henry to open the box. Inside, was a black ring. It was shiny and made of a most terrific and unique stone. As soon as the boy looked up to face the old man once again, he had vanished.
Strange, thought Henry. With that note, he took the ring and placed it on his left index finger. It is my Birthday. He reasoned.
The next morning, he was woken by the usual routine, except this time the pancakes were replaced with a bowl of brown sugar oatmeal. And he also put on his new ring along with the newly pressed uniform.
This time, as he was walking to school, he was stopped halfway once again. There was no old man this time. Henry stopped because he felt as if someone was following him. Afraid to look behind him, he walked a few more minutes. But he knew he just had to look, he gathered up all the courage he had and quickly turned around. What he saw left him speechless, breathless, and completely flabbergasted. Following, was a large pink bubble, floating silently behind him. He looked closer at the bubble, noticed nothing, there was no face, no resemblance of a living creature. How is an overgrown, fantastic version of a child’s plaything following him around? Being a very rational child, he shrugged it off as a joke or just an outcome of all the sugar he consumed yesterday.
To Henry’s surprise, the bubble followed behind him all the way to school. He hesitated before entering the doors to the main hall, but knew he had to. His newfound companion followed as well. Within seconds all eyes were on him, first confusion, then worry. Into his second class after frightening a few of the younger children and causing too much attention to be brought , he was asked to go home.
For the next week his bubble did not stray. This young boy’s life had become a complete misery. His old friends, some he had known since birth, turned on him. Spoken concerns of the adults were that he was becoming an imperfection, in what had to remain a perfect world. Even his parents could not look at him the same. He went to see five doctors in three days. And nothing had changed.
After another four days the boy began to feel out of place. Like he was in the wrong, and was ruining the world with something he had no clue to help. On another walk to school the boy pondered the world he was in. He pondered the existence of his kind, the purpose of it all. While having these profound thoughts the boy was fiddling with his ring. The one he had received from that mysterious old man on a day that seemed ages ago. “See.” He had said. What was that supposed to mean? How could one word hold what seemed like such a deep message? Deeply finished with putting much thought and heart into anything, he had lost hope. With that, he threw the ring behind him. Out of the corner of his eye he saw something. The bubble, like a freckle on what had been a clear face, had gone. In an instant, this un-pop able bubble had finally popped. What he saw in front of him after returning his attention to his commute was glorious. The perfect world he was always taught to see, he could no longer picture. What he saw as once beautiful and bright, was now boring and grey. Too much similarities and too much routine, it was all so ugly. When he looked down at himself, he realized he was still in color. He still had life, still could feel, still could learn and create, but this time for real. Never again, would he be the same as before, he was different from all the rest of the world, and couldn’t go back. For the first time he was truly happy, and for the first, he knew, he was finally seeing things with his eyes wide open.