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Many of you know the story of Aladdin, the peasant who married Jasmine and lived happily ever after. Many of you also know me, the real deal and star of the show, a.k.a. “The Genie.” But, you don’t really know my full story. So, I will do you the honor and explain myself.
My full name is Joseph “Joe” Jackson. My parents are both genies just like me, Myra and Josh. Most species on earth don’t know genies exist. I have a few genie friends from Genie School, but am pretty lonely otherwise. My mother says humans are “users for our superpowers,” and that is why we are hidden from the world. When I was in my teens, my parents decided to have another child. They named her Jenneane. When she was born, they realized she wasn’t a sweet genie like the rest of the family. She was a...human!! We had only seen the so called “human” in movies, like Cinder-Ellen, Goldi-Lanie, and Red-Riding-Brooke. She was sent to a boarding school across the world in California since she could walk. My parents were so ashamed of her when she was born in front of all their genie friends that they tried to forget she existed and never talked about her. I hadn’t seen her in decades.
It was one chilly night in Agrabah, which is funny because it is a desert. I could hear the wind howling outside my room. I could not sleep in my soundproof lamp that night because I kept hearing banging on my bedroom window. I got out of my covers and saw a human tapping on the window.
I yelled “Hark! Who goes there?” The girl looked to be in her twenties. She had blonde long hair like silk. The girl had bright blue eyes, just like that of my mother’s.
“Joe! It’s me!” screamed the girl from outside the window. “I’m Jenny, remember? Well you must, considering we’re related!”
I was perplexed. I don’t have any cousins or aunts named Jenny and she definitely looked a thousand years too young to be Grandma J. But, that is besides the fact that she is a human! I knew of only few humans- my mailman, my pen pal Tali, and my old house keeper. But, no one ever knew we were genies because it was obviously a secret, even from them.
I yelled back “I’m sorry, I don’t think you have the right Joe. It is sure a popular name. Have a good night.” I shut the blinds, but heard her screaming again.
“You are my brother, Joseph Jackson! Please listen. I know you are a genie!” Then I had a flashback. I did have a sister, Jenneane, which must be Jenny’s full name. I totally forgot about her because my parents called her the “She Who Must Not Be Named.”
I yelled back “Sorry, I still don’t know you. Please leave my property immediately. Even if I did know you I wouldn’t care nor remember. Let me sleep in peace and never return here again.” This time I slammed the blinds and turned out the outside lights.
Jenneane started to cry. Not just cry, bawl from outside. My stomach filled with a pit of guilt, but also had to make a tough decision. My parents would never be okay with me introducing a human forgotten child back in their house and lives. And besides the fact, it's not like I truly knew her considering it had been about twenty years. I only knew her being a toddler. She eventually walked away from my house after a few hours.
I went on with my life acting like nothing happened, but every once in awhile I thought what my life would’ve been like with a human sister. My parents barely paid attention to me, and I would have had a sister to make up for part of that. They just bought me gifts to make up for it, but something was always missing and that was a loving family. I never realized that until then.
One Christmas eve around 3 years later, we got a letter. Not just any letter, one the size of a Harry Potter book. On each page was an alphabet letter. We cut out the letters and placed them on the ground and it spelled out “Don’t think you can hide, J. You know me and I know you know me. You made a big mistake and I am coming for you. See you soon.” My parents started crying. They didn’t know what was coming for them, or me rather. Who would've sent that letter? We never wronged anyone, at least I thought...
It was New Years eve, and my parents were more nervous than ever from the chunk of a letter they received.
“Lock the doors, now!” No one is leaving here!” my mother said frantically.
I went to bed because I was so bored of being cooped up in the house. I walked into my bedroom and the door shut and locked automatically. I turned around, slightly nervous, and there was Jenny, sitting on my couch. I tried to scream but it felt like my vocal cords snapped.
“I sent you that letter sweet brother, if you were wondering. You made a mistake by how rude you were because I wanted to meet you. Now you will pay for the damages you have done to me and my life.” The room went black. Her voice kept getting fainter and fainter, and I couldn’t tell why. Maybe this was just a bad dream.
Morning came and I woke up. I was thankfully in my lamp. But the spout where I come out from was locked. I tried to scream again but I forgot the lamp was soundproof. All of a sudden Jenny’s face appeared on the little TV inside my lamp! “Have fun spending the rest of your life in the rulers dungeon room 4!” She cackled. I became scared. I was going to stay in here for the rest of my life! No one comes down here and even so, they would not pay attention to a tiny lamp on the ground.
“But Jenny! Please don’t do this! You are overreacting. I need you to get me out! Unlock my lamp now! Let’s go for coffee. We can work this out.” Unfortunately she couldn’t hear me. There was no escaping now.
“Better luck next time cracking the unbreakable lock. But hey, if there is a next time for you at all, come visit me!” I heard her footsteps on the floor outside the room and saw Jenny turning off the light. She was still cackling while she shut the door and locked it.
I screamed for help all day and night for years, hoping someone could save me. Maybe I could break the soundproof feature! I watched every Netflix show there was on TV, the only thing I could possibly do. It broke after a few months however because I’m sure Jenny disconnected any signal to my dungeon room. I could barely even move it was so crammed in there. I truly thought I would die in there. I was growing far too big for my twin sized lamp and my beard went down to the bottom. But, I always had hope even in the worst of times.
One day when I was playing tic tac toe what felt about 8 or 9 years later, I saw light. I tried to knock and scream but had no energy anymore. The lamp had its own brain and was able to say “Rub for three wishes.” I was being rubbed, and before I knew it the seal popped and broke off the bottle. I couldn’t believe it! I flew out of the lamp and screamed. It was a human who saved my life!
“Woah!” exclaimed a young boy and girl. I wanted to kiss them I was so happy.
“You saved my life! I’ve been in there for a million days! Curse my sister Jenny! Do you know her?” I asked.
The boy said “No. We got thrown in here by Jafar, the mean ruler here.” Jafar. Hmm. That name sounds so familiar. I really had to think. It still didn’t hit me. Since I had magic powers, I turned the carpet on the floor into a flying carpet. Hey, what are wishes for anyway?
I got to the top of the castle and saw it. My eyes were old but I couldn’t believe it. It was a boy version of Jenny in a mustache! I let out a quick laugh. It echoed through the big room with high ceilings and far walls. The man looking human turned around ever so slowly to see who it was and when they did -turned completely pale. The human’s voice creaked as they said
“Who daresss to disssrespect me.” I hid behind the young boy(his name was Aladdin). She looked behind him and saw me… but it was much to her surprise.
“Well, well, well. Is this a… genie? Haha you thought you could waltz in here like a PRINCE? I think not. Guards, seize him!”
I stepped out from behind Aladdin. “Jafar, if that is your name. A word please?”
“Sure blue smurf” she said with a smirk. “Everybody out now!” The people ran out like they were being chased by cheetahs.
“Bow down to me, now.” the human said firmly. I refused. “I said BOW DOWN TO ME NOW! DID IT SOUND LIKE A QUESTION?” I sat down faster than the people ran.
“Jafar, I mean Jenny in a mustache, don’t think I dont realize who you are. You are a wicked sister, like the Wicked Witch of the West. How did one like you become the ruler of Agrabah? Why do you hate me so much?”
“Easy sweet pea. My name is not Jenny, it’s Jafar for the last time. I’m a dude, bro. Jenny is a girly name. You must not have a brain to think I am related to a genie!” He cackled like Jenny did in the dungeon. He instantly realized something. “However, my mother is named Jenny and she owns this place so find her yourself. We are no longer on speaking terms, however. So please leave my home.”
Aha! Now I was able to look for her. I used a website called ABASEARCH.com to find her info. It said…she was currently living at my house? I didn’t know what was happening. I instantly ran home.
When I got there, my parents didn’t even notice I walked through the door for the first time in 8 years. My mother was getting a facial in our spa room and my dad was away in Australia. Nothing new.
“Honey, there you are!” my mom said mid-facial. “Thanks for all of your help today! You have been such a good boy lately, but I think it's time you move out.”
What? Is my mom losing her mind? What is she talking about? I decided to go upstairs and see my room. But, I didn’t see what I thought I would. I see myself sitting on my couch! Weird. I haven’t been here in decades…
“Oh, hi there Joe!” the look alike to myself said as she got up from my couch. “I am Joe, too! Actually, I will let you in on a little secret.” she pulled me close. “I am Jenny, your little sister! The one who you hurt? I used your three wishes in the dungeon, remember? One of them was to look just like you! Thanks for that.”
“But everyone must know you aren’t me, right?” I questioned.
“Well your mother certainly never questioned it!” I marched downstairs and she followed.
“Mom, I am the real Joe.” I said frustrated.
“No, I am!” said Jenny.
“What is going on here! Joe come here. Get away stranger!” My mom said as took off the cucumbers on her eyes. We both came towards her.
“OK this is too freaky. Will the real Joe Geronimo Jackson please stand up?”
“It is I” we both stood up.
“BOTH OF YOU STOP! The real Joe will only know this. What is your favorite food, Joe?” my mom exclaimed.
“Pizza” we both said.
“Ok, Joe. What was your kindergarten teachers name?” My mom was getting worried. What if she couldn’t tell the difference between her son and a random look alike!
Jenny was stumped. Thankfully I knew this. “Mrs Apples!” I said excitedly.
“Yes Joe! It is you! Get out, freak otherwise I'm calling the police!” Jenny ran out just like that. I guess she was still afraid of Mom. That's one thing I remembered about her very little self.
“Joe, I am so sorry. I didn't even realize you were gone and replaced by another. I am such a terrible mother! You have every right to hate me forever.”
“Mom,” I sighed. “That was your child, human child, Jenneane. She tried to steal my life and locked me in a lamp. It’s OK now, I am just glad to have my life back. Excuse my rudeness, but that girl is crazy.”
“Honey,” my mom looked anxious. “We didn’t send her away to California because she was human. I loved her since the moment she was born. She did a lot of crazy things and had mental problems at age 2. She pushed a classmate down the stairs at Pre-K repetitively. Actually, multiple. Jenneane got kicked out of every pre-school we could find in Agrabah. She tried to harm you once, and that's when we realized she couldn’t be with our family until she got better. We had to get her away from us and she needed help. Sending away my daughter was one of the hardest things I ever had to do.” She shed a tear. “That’s the true reason. I told the school when they think she is ready to come home, give us a call. I got no such thing. I guess she didn’t get better considering all the problems she just caused.”
“Oh mom. I had no idea!” I said.
She pulled me in for a hug and made a realization to be a better parent to me because she never really focused on me. Stuff like that wouldn’t happen if we had a close relationship.
Fast forward to 2018. Since that day, we have lived happily ever after. Aladdin got married to Jasmine, the girl he couldn’t get because of his social class. The magic flying carpet became patented and was put in a modern art museum in New York City. My mom and I have also done lots together. From shopping, to playing tennis together, and more. Our bond is very strong now. Jafar got dethroned by her mother (a.k.a Jenny), and Jasmine is the new ruler. All is good in Agrabah once and for all.
As for Jenny, she got arrested for life only a few weeks after she left being an imposter in my place. This was because she spray painted the Hollywood sign with some very bad legible words and it wasn’t able to come off without making new letters. That part made me laugh.
That is the end of my story, for now.