Today I want to share a story my friend’s told many times, about a girl who doesn’t appreciate the present. Here we go…
Once upon a time there was a girl. Let’s call her… Pauline. Pauline was popular, had many friends, and enjoyed her life. However, she spent a lot of her time wishing for and being anxious for the things yet to come. When she was in her fourth period math class, she couldn’t wait for the end of the day. On Mondays, she couldn’t wait for Saturday. Even when a fun event was happening at the moment, she couldn’t stop thinking about the next event that was still yet to come.
One day after school, Pauline took her iPhone and began to play on it beneath a large oak tree in the woods behind her house. Soon, the battery died, but she didn’t want to come back inside until called in for dinner. She began to feel groggy in the hot sun in her comfortable position under the tree, and fell asleep.
When Pauline woke up, it was dusk. She sat up and realized there was a hunchbacked old woman standing and watching her. Pauline jumped to her feet.
“Wh… Who are you?”
The woman laughed but did not answer her question. Instead, she drew from beneath her cloak a large, golden ball with a long strand of thread poking out from a hole in its side.
“This is for you. This ball is your life. Pull the string and you will be teleported to later in your future.”
Pauline was suspicious, but she took the ball and tugged gently on the string. About a centimeter came out, and she was sitting at her lunch table surrounded by her friends. She looked up and saw the old woman staring at her from the end of the cafeteria. Then, she vanished. Pauline looked at the ball. She would have a lot of work to do.
Pretty soon, Pauline was skipping as much as possible. She first skipped days, than months, then to the year she met the love of her life, Paul. Then, she skipped to her marriage. Honeymoon. The next summer. She grew tired of her job, and skipped to retirement. As the string came out, the ball shrunk. She never even thought about the spaces in between she could have enjoyed. Pauline didn’t know that, once she pulled some string out of the ball, she never could get it back in.
One day, Pauline woke up and realized that she was about to die. She scrabbled for the orb with wizened hands, but is was just a pile of string coming out of a golden speck smaller than her pinky fingernail. Pauline tried to shove the string back in, but the hole was too small and the plys of the string just bunched up around it. As she watched, the ball shrunk before her eyes. She tried to remember the small moments of her life, but of course, she had none. The sphere became as small as a grain of sand, and Pauline felt her life slipping away.
Pauline opened her eyes. The sun was shining, and a familiar building stood in front of her. Her childhood house. She smiled, thinking that being dead wasn’t so bad after all. If she had known what it was like, she would have skipped to it right away. Pauline realized she was sitting underneath a familiar oak tree. Then, she realized her entire life since she had received the sphere… had been a dream. She grabbed her dead iPhone and walked back to her house, pondering her dream. It had been wonderful, but right before she had died, it was guilty and horrible.
Pauline was quiet at dinner that night. After that, she never wished to skip along her life again, because every time she wished she could skip ahead, the old woman and her ‘death’ came back to her. So she went along her life, peacefully and enjoying the little moments in between. And, when she really did die, she died happily, remembering the time she had spent doing what she loved.
Big events are exciting, but the tiny unimportant ones are the ones that really count. Never forget that.
Eleanor Hunger, credit to kitcatsam for the story basis. I changed it up a bit.