Fall of the Advanced

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A child who handles things differently.

As a boy, Jonathon knew he was destined for great things. He was a born leader, one who people followed unknowingly. His parents would always tell him stories about how great he was. He had an IQ upwards of 140. How could this child go wrong?

Life is a funny thing. Everyone starts in the same place and ends in the same place, but the journey there is always different. We all have friends from when we were all small, innocent children. You’d expect it to stay that way, but that is just not how life works. Some have families, some are in jail, and some might be beneath our feet.

I watched Jonathon grow up. I’m his neighbor, by the way. His whole life seemed to be an easy ride. I watched him get great grades in all of his classes. He was a popular fellow who always knew how to get on your good side. It always seemed like something was off, however. Let me tell you what I mean.

Jonathon was born on July 1, 1998. He was very sick as a child, and required multiple surgeries to stay alive. He had a neighbor who was his best friend. Those two practically had their wedding planned by age 4. In elementary school, they started to fade apart. That’s life right?

He had a pretty uneventful childhood up until he was thirteen years old. He got cancer. Not the good kind, if there ever was one, but pancreatic cancer. He was so motivated to beat the odds, that he rid his body of this disease in just eight months. His parents and I would always offer to help him out, but he hated being a charity. The doctors didn’t think that he’d make it, so they asked him what he’d like to do before he passed. He rejected their offer. He hated being a charity case.

I recall a funny story, actually. His school had set up a video call so all of his friends could see him. When I went to give him the computer, he was gone. He just couldn’t accept sympathy.

If you could say anything about him, you can’t say he wasn’t motivated. This motivation tore him apart sometimes. He could never settle for average. He never wanted to be a normal guy in a normal office with a normal family. He talked about being and actor or a lawyer or maybe a comedian, any of which he could have done. He was a man of many talents.

Once Jonathon had left the hospital, it seemed like everything was back to normal. He had returned to school and was happy. Or so I thought.

Jonathon had a very active mind. His teachers would always tell his parents the same thing every year.

“He’s incredibly smart but always seems to be distracted,” said one of them.

“He has so much potential,” said another.

He’d fight with his parents all the time. He was right of course, but they would never admit it. They always thought he was never putting in the effort he should on his schoolwork. He always thought that school was unnecessary, and taught nothing valuable. It’s impossible to tell who is right, but Jonathon was set in his ways.

He was a deep thinker, a philosopher, you could say. He’d always mention all of these thoughts he had on life and death. Apparently, he thought about it too much.

I remember what he told me, over and over again,

“Life is very satisfying, but once it stops interesting me, I guess I’ll show myself the door.”

Never in a million years did I think he was being serious. I wish he told me about all of this. I wish I knew that life had just lost its luster for him. If I knew this, I might not have came into the house the other day to see him hanging from the ceiling of his bedroom. I’ve never seen anything like it. At first I was horrified, who wouldn’t be? How could such an amazing child, so smart and funny, possibly do this? When I thought about it, I knew the reason. It wasn’t because he was depressed or crazy. He had just shown himself the door. As I think about it now, it makes me chuckle. It’s as though it were an inside joke, as terrible as that sounds.

Like I said, we all start and finish in the same place, but the journey between is the most enigmatic thing that the universe has ever seen. Some of us go on to do great things and some of us don’t. Jonathon’s journey was different. It almost seemed as though it were meant to be. He was a child too perfect and too advanced to live on a planet where things seemed otherwise. As I stand before you all today, I realize that you really can’t take things for granted.

Like I said, life’s a funny thing. 

Submitted: September 05, 2015

© Copyright 2022 Cataldo. All rights reserved.

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