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When Life Gives You Lemons
“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”, I mused to myself as I sat on the edge of the bed, twisting the ring around my finger. It was a great philosophy, really – unless it turns out the lemons were rotten and you’ve mistaken arsenic for sugar. Then you end up with a bad taste in your mouth and certain death in about 20 seconds – which was pretty much what I was facing here.
There was pounding on the door. I rolled my eyes and sighed; this was really getting old. I’d always been annoyed by those movies where the villain draws out the death sequence by being an idiot because the movie producers think it’s dramatic. And now, skip-a-dee, I was living one. Sometimes life seemed to go to extravagant lengths just to be annoying.
Finally, after about forever of trying to knock down the door, they managed to bust through. I casually leaned against the headboard of the bed I was laying on.
“Hello boys”, I greeted. “How are you on this fine day?”
The leader glared at me, breathing heavily through his clenched teeth.
“I’m tired of playing these games”, he growled. Hey, me too! “Give me the ring!”
I pretended to think about it.
“Hmm…nah. It goes really well with my outfit”. My outfit consisted of ripped, tattered, mud-splattered jeans and t-shirt. The sparkling cluster of gems on my middle finger was probably the most out of place thing on my general being. They looked strangely at me, clearly not registering the sarcasm in my statement. I sighed; if only outfits and accessories really were the most of my worries.
“Look”, I said. “Here’s the deal. I’m not giving you the ring. You wanna know why?
“Why?”, he challenged.
“Because –“, I started, then stopped. Did I really have a solid reason for not giving them the ring? Somehow, ‘Because I’ve been told not to’ didn’t seem like it would suffice. I knew these people were against me, of course, but did that necessarily mean they were bad? What if I was the bad one and they were trying to stop my evil mission? Suddenly, I wasn’t so sure of the entire operation. “Listen. How about this? Explain to me your side of the story. What do you want the ring for? If it sounds justified, then maybe – maybe – I won’t make you fight for it”.
“Ha! We want it for –“, he started, then frowned. “Well, we – we were told to retrieve it. I – I was never really explained to why”.
I looked at his face – once so confident, now so confused. I realized these men were not my enemies. We were all in the same boat. Our masters were fighting this war, not us. We’d somehow just got swept up along the way, and ended up tangled in a fight that was not ours. For heavens sakes, we were pawns! Disposable pawns, sent out for petty fighting without even being told why! We didn’t have to do this. I smiled. For the first time in years, I was not alone.
Life had given me lemons, but I had chosen not to make lemonade.