In 7th grade, I developed an interest in Rubik’s Cubes. I think everyone at one point or another has been intrigued on how to solve a Rubik’s Cube, but most people don’t understand the steps to solving one. My obsession for Rubik’s Cubes started as a slow burn which quickly ignited into a giant flame. I started by asking my brother to teach me, because I knew he was good at solving them. I remember his excitement at me wanting to learn, a huge smile spreading across his face. “Here, use this 3x3 cube. Your first step is to solve a blue cross,” he replied as he traced over the pattern it should look like.
“But… I don’t know how?” I questioned his teachings.
“Just solve a blue cross,” he instructed.
So I strolled back to my living room. Plopping back down on my couch, I studied the little puzzle, already sighing with frustration. I spent around 20 minutes mixing the cube, trying my best to make a blue cross, I tried everything I could think of just to get that little blue cross on the top. I remember the excitement on my face as I managed to complete what I was told to do. I leaped up from the couch and raced into my brother’s bedroom.
“Here you go!” I grinned as I placed what felt like a million dollars on the desk next to my brother. He picked up the cube and proceeded to mix the perfect blue cross up, making my work disappear, almost as if it had never even happened.
“Do it again,” he smiled as he handed it back to me.
“What…? Do it again?! I just did what you asked!” I whined back at him, anger flooding my face.
“I know, now do it again,” he prompted.
“No, this is dumb, I’m not going to do it again,” I huffed as I stomped out of his room.
With that, it was like the beginning spark of the fire extinguished into nothing. I felt defeated, confused, and frustrated. Why did he mix up what took me 20 minutes to do? I went about my day like nothing had interfered with my joy.
A few weeks later my brother wasn’t around for a night, so I snuck into his room and grabbed the Rubik’s Cube I originally used, and headed back to my room. “I’m going to learn how to do this without him!” I promised myself. I proceeded to spend the rest of my night watching a guy on YouTube teach me how to solve the first couple steps. I mastered the first and second layers of the cube that night and fell asleep with a smile on my face.
The next morning I started my day by getting ready for school, making sure to grab the Rubik’s Cube on my way out the door. I spent the school day secretly pulling out the cube and solving what I could remember. When I made my way to my choir class, I found myself with some spare time, so I grabbed the cube, again, solving what I knew. Another kid in my class, also one of my late best friends, laughed at me for not knowing how to solve it. “Do you know how to?” I sneered in his direction.
“Actually yeah, let me see it, my fastest solving time is 15 seconds,” he noted as he began solving the cube. It took him roughly 25 seconds to finish it. My jaw dropped as I snatched my cube from his hands.
“Okay, okay, that was cool, I’ll admit,” I confessed as I started solving the cube again. I had no idea at that time that this boy would be my inspiration for learning to solve the cube. He taught me each step, each day, and when I forgot, he’d remind me how to do it. He was one of the best friends I’d ever had. Sadly he’s no longer with us. But the memories of solving Rubik’s Cubes together will be there forever. This boy is the reason I can still solve a Rubik’s Cube to this day, it takes me around a minute to solve it, but still, I am proud that I can do something not many people can. Thank you, Noah.