On the Seventh Day

I wrote a short story today. I hope you all enjoy it!

***

The bright blue sky is illuminated by the sun hanging high. I run through the field of paper flowers, folded perfectly into shape, each a different shade of the rainbow. A cool breeze brushes against my skin and I lift my face to the sky, inhaling the aroma of leaves from the trees around me.

“Perfect,” I whisper to myself. Everything was just perfect. Everything I ever wanted, everything I ever desired, was at my fingertips. I was free.

The clouds in the sky looked like large chunks of cotton candy, floating endlessly.

After a few moments of enjoying my peace, a boy came over to me. He couldn’t have been any older than twelve, with his babyface glowing in the sun.

“Hello,” I said to him.

“Hello,” the boy replied kindly, but I sensed a bit of sorrow lingering in the back of his throat. “I’ve been sent to show you something. Something you really need to see.”

“And what is that?” I asked.

“What you see if not perfection,” the boy explained. “Ill be back tomorrow. For today, focus on your surroundings. What do you see?”

Before I could answer, he vanished. For the rest of the day, I focused on the Earth around me. I didn’t understand what he meant–everything here was perfect.

On the second day, the boy came again. “Look at the sky,” he told me. Then he vanished.

I did as he asked, yet it still made no sense. The sky was bluer than it ever had been, and the cotton candy clouds continued to float about.

On the third day, the boy returned. “Run through the land. Take in the sight, sounds, and smells.”

I did as he asked. I ran through the flowers, trees, and grass, feeling the happiest I ever had.

The fourth day arrived, and the boy said, “When night falls, stare at the stars and the moon. Notice the difference between night and day, the sun and the moon.”

Without question, I spent the evening staring at the sky, the stars shining so bright, it felt as if someone was watching over me.

The fifth day came, and the boy smiled sadly at me. “Only one more day till you understand. Spend the fifth day at the lake, swimming and enjoying the peace.”

I did so without asking why, feeling the freshness of the water against my cheeks.

When the sixth day came, I said to the boy, “What do you mean this is not perfect? Everything so far has been. Is there something I’m missing?”

The boy needed.

“Today, enjoy the company of people around around you. Your family, your friend, and even those who don’t know you. Talk to them, spend time with them. Meet the love of your life. Have children. Grow old with them.”

He disappeared before I could protest. In my entire six days since I’d been here, I hadn’t seen a single soul. I was all alone.

On the seventh day, the boy came back. “How did your final task go?”

“I couldn’t do it,” I said. “Why not?”

“Because you never gave yourself a chance,” the boy replied. “One week ago, you killed yourself, wiping away all possibility of life getting better. You can’t go to college. You can’t get a spouse or have children. A family is no longer in your reach. You’ll never see your family.” He wiped away a tear and said, “I’m so sorry for your loss.”

Before I could beg for my life back, the boy vanished, leaving me all alone. For the first time in seven days, I realized what I’d lost. Everything. Suicide didn’t make it better. Nothing could ever get better.

On the seventh day, I wept.

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