literature

A Reason to Live

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                                               A Reason to Live

Michael Lewis is a twenty year old man who has everything and anything one can ask for; wealth, power, wisdom, looks. Yet ironically a man with everything is but a man with nothing. When everything comes upon one self’s whim, friends, love, acceptance can be bought, everything is but a lie, everyone is but a lie. Living is a lie. It is often said that life is only as good as what we make out of it. Ironically, the truth is that we never obtain what we truly desire, for we never know what we desire until it has slipped away. Hiding behind their superficial masks, those who call themselves friends exist only to graze upon the bittersweet pasture known as wealth. They, his friends are the sheep and he, Michael is the shepherd, as long as he provided, they followed. A man who has forsaken the very quintessence of being human, a man who has transcended love, jealousy, hate, a man who is no longer inhibited by emotions or feelings. Michael Lewis is but a man with nothing. Alas, fate plays tricks on us all, but especially on me, Michael Lewis.

Days come and pass, and today, it is the 19th of October. But nothing matters to me anymore. Me, Michael Lewis who suffered from insomnia, it just seemed like one long day, ever since it happened. I existed to endure a life of torture and remuneration, without feelings and emotions. I am nothing more than an animated corpse waiting for the definitive caress of death to claim my soul, releasing me from the prison that is my life. Without the docile cosset of sleep, I cannot run, I cannot hide, I cannot escape; I am forever trapped.

I was born into a world so full of confusion, a world so full of hate, a world so full of injustice. A completed world with no room for change, no area for improvement, forever frozen in the flow of time, that was the world I was born into. Whether it is wealth, power, wisdom or even love, none can ever fully be obtained. Not in my world, not since what I have learnt after it happened.
* *

It was an autumn afternoon, the once robust maple trees acquiescently swayed in the desiccated autumn breeze, as the leaves gradually snapped off of the tree’s parched appendages. A sea of crimson swayed through the air, as the leaves playfully chased each other on autumn’s perpetual breeze it reminded me of the childhood I never had.

That’s when I heard it, a murmur, so faint yet so definite; it beckoned me, invited me.  As it drew closer, the dulcet din progressively grew louder, enchanted, I was frozen… trapped… mesmerized. That’s when it appeared. Her tantalizing eyes shimmered in the setting sun, glowing over the twilight. I could not help but stare, as she gestured for me to come closer. Her arm, her beautifully delicate arm, pulled me into her embrace. Smiling slyly, she pushed me back again, toying with me, leaving her sweet scent lingering in the air. She had an irresistible aroma which drew me in once more. Placing a hand on her face, she slid a finger seductively down her flawless complexion. I was enthralled by her enamoring beauty, as her eyes danced before the twilight sky.

I drew closer, and closer, and closer. As the last ray of sunshine disappeared into the horizon, I closed my eyes. I placed a hand on her hip and leaned in. But no, I stopped just as I was about to make contact with her face. Something was not right. As the day faded into night, her aroma faded into stench. Puzzled, I opened my eyes.

Vile! Deceiver! Snake of Eden! Temptress! Witch! Words poured from my mouth as I cursed my fate. Alas! The Devil himself arranged this trickery. No more was the seducing smile. No more was the skin shimmering like diamonds. No more were the glistening eyes. Instead, an abomination had replaced the illusion that was set into my mind. The putrid smell of her vile stench filled my nostrils. Her hideously monstrous face pushed into my sight. I scrambled back quickly, desperate to be free of the Devil's mockery.

“Halt!” Her raspy voice rang in the cold autumn evening.

My body froze, as though some sort of spell had been cast upon me, rendering me unable to so much as twitch. The vile creature came closer; bringing along with her that repugnant stench. I trembled profusely, my eyes wide with horror as her crooked nose touched my own.

"I know all your deep and dark desires." Her breath forced its way into my lungs, making me choke.

Trying not to nauseate once more, I fought the tears out of my eyes. “How can you know,” I coughed, “when I myself do not?”

The woman cackled loudly, replying “I know everything about you, Michael Lewis. Your desires to finally be recognized instead of standing in somebody’s shadow. Your ambitions of prosperity and wealth. Your need for the respect of others. But most of all, you want power. You desire power. You want it, but not some of it. You want it all, don’t you.”

“I want nothing but to be free of this nightmare,” I stuttered, then silently thought to myself, “cursed witch.”

“Do not lie!” the creature spat, “lying is a sin, and you do not wish to be sinful do you?”

I winced, terrified.

“Do you desire power? Do you desire power now?” The witch returned to her cackling voice, “I can give you that power. I can give it all to you, and you alone.”

“No!” I said with resolution, and broke free of the spell binding my body. Falling back, I scrambled to my car. My car… the rusty old pick-up truck that I drive to work every day, the rusty old pick-up truck that I park between my colleague’s Porsche and Mercedes, the rusty old pick-up truck that  I sat in when my boss jeered at me with his guffawing cronys everyday after work. I turned around. The witch was still standing there laughing. I strode towards her.

“Do you desire power?”

“Yes, I desire power.”

“Do you desire wealth?”

“Yes, I desire wealth.”

“Do you desire love?”

“Yes, I desire love.”

The witch smiled a sly, smile.

“You may only have two of your three wishes,” she said, “choose carefully.”

I thought about the possibility of losing one of these things to the witch. Power could gain me respect. Wealth could gain me my material desires. Love could gain me happiness. Then I thought about sitting in my pick-up truck looking longingly at the Porsche parked beside me. Power and wealth could allow me to be on the other side, but love? Bah, with power and wealth I could buy love.

“I choose to forfeit love.” I declared.

The witched laughed at me, and then said, “Very well, I shall grant you your desires.”

And suddenly, I no longer harbored feelings of hate for the witch. I no longer harbored feelings of disgust towards the creature that had been toying with me just several moments ago. In fact, I no longer harbored feelings of anything. I had become a shell, devoid of emotion due to my hotheaded rashness. Only then, did I realize the consequences of my foolish decision to forsake love. Love, with which all my emotions departed with. Love, without which life ends and the experience of living begins.

Michael Lewis is a twenty year old man who has everything one can ask for; wealth, power, wisdom, looks. Yet ironically a man with everything is but a man with nothing. When everything comes upon one self’s whim, friends, love, acceptance can be bought, everything is but a lie, everyone is but a lie. Living is a lie. Hiding behind their superficial masks they exist only to graze upon the bittersweet pasture known as wealth. They, his friends are the sheep and he, Michael is the shepherd, as long as he provided, they followed. A man who has forsaken the very quintessence of being human, a man who has transcended love, jealousy, hate, a man who is no longer inhibited by emotions or feelings. Michael Lewis is but a man with nothing. Alas, fate plays tricks on us all, but especially on me, Michael Lewis.
Give me a reason to live.

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