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I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I weren’t born. Would life just be normal for everyone? Would anyone want me to be born?
What if I were born before any human was? What if I were born just as all of the oceans, millions of years ago, were drying up? What if it was my duty to save them?
What if I were born two million years from now? What would life be like then? Would I be in space, eating dried-up ramen noodles and heading for Mars?
I like to imagine things. And one day, I was imagining this.
I was just an ordinary teenager. Maybe a well-to-do one. I had lots of the latest gadgets, and I had a good life. But one day, I got (somehow) swallowed up into a time capsule, and traveled back in time.
I scratched my head. How could I just all of the sudden be swallowed up? Oh, I’ve got an idea.
I was just an ordinary teenager. Maybe a well-to-do one. I had lots of the latest gadgets, and I had a good life. But one day, while I was still in bed, I didn’t seem to wake up. It seemed like I was sleeping forever. I thrashed and moaned; I felt like something was sucking me up. When I opened my eyes, I was lying in a barren desert, in the middle of nowhere. All of the sudden, I heard a sound. But it wasn’t just any sound; I heard the sound of an animal, dying. I rushed to it, and realizing it was a sea animal and had to be thrown back in the ocean, I did just that. After a while, I could see it swimming, a far way off.
I looked around, and saw even more animals being dried up. I repeated my process; it seemed like days. I then realised how starving I was. Then, I had to be reminded of the fact that I was, quite frankly, in some foreign place I had no idea even existed. At that moment, I instantly remembered my cell phone in my pajama pocket (I texted 24/7.) I flipped it open, and saw that that date was unavailable. So was the time. I freaked out.
“Aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!” I screamed. And screamed. And screamed even more, until my head started hurting and I was forced to lie on the ground to control myself. Before I knew it, I was asleep.
In my dream, I saw a mysterious old man in a white robe, with a crown.
“You have done well,” he said. “I must reward you for saving those animals. What would you like?”
“Um,” I stammered. “I would like…a million dollars?”
“Are you sure?” the man asked. “Now, you can wish for anything. Not only money or wealth, but you can have a magic carpet. A genie in a bottle. A quality of physical feature you wished you had but didn’t. Now, make your choice wisely.”
“I’d like a magic ring,” I said with more confidence. “And every time I rub it, an ifrit would come out and grant my wish.”
“Well, here you go,” the man said handing the ring to me. “And, might I add: good choice.”
And with that, he left me in the darkness, with one small golden ring, and I watched the world, my world, come back into view.
Mmm. I smiled in pleasure. What would I do if I had a ring like that? I thought of an ending, but stopped. Maybe it would be best if I just left it like that. Perhaps the girl wished for money or curly hair. Maybe permission to get a pet dog. But honestly, I did not want to decide for this girl. Me, I’m just glad she got back to her bed.
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"A boat is safe in the harbor. But this is not the purpose of a boat."~Paulo Coelho, author of The Alchemist