Rock Gang: Sydney's story
I often think about one thing but usually no answer comes to my mind. What is Life's worth? In today's world, life's worth is measured by the mark one leaves on everyone when he dies. But that isn't life's worth, its death's. People say the value of life is the respect you earned during it. It depends on how many people cry when you die; it's how you make people feel when you're alive. But still I don't understand, is it all that matters? Is leaving a mark that important? Life is a puzzle and I keep asking myself, how do you get out of this labyrinth? These questions are the ones we never ask anyone, we don't even think about it unless it becomes important. So this is my story where I answer my own questions. What is Life's worth? Is leaving a mark that important? How do you get out of this labyrinth?
I had a friend in high school. He always stayed aloof from everyone, kept his head buried in books and his eyes protected by big rectangular glasses. He never talked to anyone and I swear I had never seen him smiling, not even once. He was topper of the class, very very intelligent. How can't he be? He never left his books aside, not even while eating. Oh! Another thing about him, I had never seen him eat anything except chips. I mean who can like chips so much. But that is today's life, you don't have time to eat anything else, here is a pack of potato chips. He had no friends. At first I thought maybe he was shy and didn't want to make the first step but he never even talked to the people who came to him. So one day I told my friends to leave without me as I went to talk to him.
"Hey Ricky," I said. He raised his eyes away from the book he was reading and looked at me. His lips curved a little. But then his face was set straight again, and I thought I had just imagined him smiling.
"You know my name?" he asked. It didn't seem like a good conversation starter but it was better than nothing. Usually when people came to talk to him, he pretended to be deaf and never replied.
"I'm sure everyone knows it. You are like Mr. Know-it-all and topper of the class." He just shook his head a little and went back to reading. I glanced at title of the book, History of the world. I was surprised, who could be that interested in history. History is boring.
I had tried being casual and it hadn't worked so I tried something else, "Does studying gives you happiness?" He looked surprised by my question.
"I do it for my parents." That was it, parents pressuring the child for good grades and stealing all the happiness.
"But you are already very intelligent. You don't need to study all day for that," I told him.
"Do you ever do anything for yourself?" I know the question sounded stupid but I had to ask him.
He lowered his gaze for a moment and then looked at me again. I don't know if I saw pain or confusion in his eyes but his lips trembled as he spoke.
"I exist because of them, so I try to live for them." And then the conversation was over. How could anyone think like that? I mean it's okay to care about your parents and try to please them but how can someone not ever think about himself. It's been 2 years since then and Ricky died of food poisoning. It was an accidental death but I still couldn't push his image out of my mind.
Now I know what he kept hidden behind those eyes and what were the words suppressed by his lips. I know what was so special about me that he only talked to me. He hoped that maybe I would pull him out of the cage he had built around himself. He knew how I lived my life to the fullest, never wasting a chance to create a beautiful memory. Never missing an adventure and making friends. At least that's what his letter said. The day he had died, this e-mail had come to my account. And since then I have wished that I had found it soon. Maybe I could have saved him. Maybe things would be different now. I called his parents the next day after the incident. They were sad and upset but seemed surprised at the fact that I had called. They told me that Ricky never had any friends and even the thought of having a friend was far from his mind. Talking to them made me realize that they had never pressured him about studying. They told me that they always kept trying to make him leave his books and try something different but he never understood. He wanted to be successful, wanted to stand on his feet. He wanted to make his parents proud. But pride can't be greater than life, can it?
"He told me that he lived only for you," I told them, hoping that it would make them feel better. And then I kept the phone aside. But is that what Life's worth? I have no memories of him; no fun moments spent together, no words to recall him by. And I think even his parents don't have anything. How could they or anyone else, when he never let anyone come close to him?
He must have had so many plans for the future, the future which doesn't exist now. No friends, no memories, no happiness, then did he even live? Whenever I think of him, one thought invades my mind and leaves me speechless. If no one cares about you, do you even exist? He wanted good grades but life graded him a big D. He failed in life's exam and no books, no teacher; no person can tell you how to pass that exam. You have to figure it out yourself. And Rick taught me that life isn't worth living for someone else. You have to live it for yourself.
Is leaving a mark that important? I read a book "The fault in our stars" and I'm sure most of the people have read it too. It was the book that answered this question for me. Yes leaving a mark is important. But you don't have to leave a mark on the whole world. Leaving memories for a single person is enough.
Then there is the third and final question, how do you get out of this labyrinth? Labyrinth is a puzzle, maize just like life. But how do you get out of it?
My uncle was a very good man. He was a lawyer and he always helped people. One day he told me something, something that I will never forget.
He called me to his room while I was playing. He looked a little pale and sad. When I asked him how he was, he didn't reply. I was about to go away when he said, "Sydney, people live and they die, but no one can explain what it's like. Today I will tell you. It's like a puzzle. You think you are going right until you get too lost and finally give up. But you see that is the trick, you give up you lose, so never give up. Whatever happens, never give up and you will get out straight and fast."
I didn't know what he meant back then but now I do. He was answering my unasked question. He died only a few days after that and I made a promise to him that I will never give up. My Grandma died of old age, my uncle died because of Jaundice. People die every second in accidents and due to diseases. And the answer of this question is also death. You get out of this labyrinth straight and fast. When one dies, he just dies. There is no explanation for it, no theories, no examples, no stories. Death is death and it is the solution to my question. It isn't worth it, isn't worth anything or anyone.