Today we have, 5 short stories on longing, hard reality, happiness after pain and beauty..
1. LOVE HAS A WAY
Yesterday, I walked my daughter down the aisle. Ten years ago I pulled a 14 year old boy out of his mom’s fire-engulfed SUV after a serious accident. Doctors initially said he would never walk again. My daughter came with me several times to visit him at the hospital. Then she started going on her own. Today, seeing him defy the odds and smile widely, standing on his own two feet at the altar as he placed a ring on my daughter’s finger.
2. REALITY RINGS TWICE (by Bill Loguidice)*
Theirs was a true love, thought Tony, one to stand the test of time. Eva, his soul-mate, was somehow even more beautiful than the day they first met, he realized. And even though she always seemed to say something interesting, it ultimately didn’t matter, as he was happy just to hear her soft, melodic voice. Someday soon, he imagined, they would have children together, and their love would blossom as a family. These wonderful thoughts made him feel warm and tingly inside. Suddenly, without warning, Tony was yanked from his daydream by the doorbell. He let out a long sigh, realizing that that would be the courier with the divorce papers.
Sarah was excited by the prospect of jumping back into the holographic synthesizer. Living long-term aboard a space station was not her idea of paradise, but the pay was irresistible, if not the atmosphere. Now her turn was again up to get away from it all, if only for a few hours. As usual, she wanted to simulate a nighttime float in the creaky row boat on the small lake by her old Earth-bound Florida home. The last time she did it, she just laid back and, though the irony was palpable, simply looked up at the stars. While she loved the light breeze that gently rocked the boat, she did not appreciate the simulated insects, with their all too real bites and buzzing about; Sarah had been on that sterile space station a very long time now. Whoever determined that virtual reality would truly fool the senses only if there was genuine environmental interaction, Sarah thought, probably needed to actually get out more. In any case, this time Sarah bent the rules more than a little by getting one of her programmer friends to hack the system for her and override life simulation on her program. Now she could really relax, just her, the boat and those very distant stars. Sarah happily entered the room, ran the program and within a few seconds, ceased to exist.
4. MY SECOND CHANCE
Yesterday, I re-read the suicide letter I wrote on the afternoon of September 2nd 1996 about two minutes before my girlfriend showed up at my door and told me, “I’m pregnant.” Suddenly I felt I had a reason to live. Today she’s my wife. We’ve been happily married for 14 years. And my daughter, who is almost 15 now, has two younger brothers. I re-read my suicide letter from time to time as a reminder to be thankful – I am thankful I got a second chance at life and love.
He was bored. So bored. His great intellect, seemingly inexhaustible, was hungry for new challenges but he was the last of the great innovators – society’s problems had all been solved. All seemingly unconnected disciplines had long since been found to be related in horrifically elusive and contrived ways and he had mastered them all. He lay back in the dark and tried to relax. He longed for the challenges of the past when his racing mind prevented him from sleeping. It was tortuous at the time, but he now looked back on those times enviously. Then it hit him. Since he couldn’t be presented with a challenging problem any more, all he had to do was to create a problem of his own design; so complicated and with so many interrelated complex relationships that only he could untangle them and calculate the ultimate outcome. But where to start? Then it hit him. He opened his eyes in the dark and said…
Let there be light.”