Literary Bears

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Your wish is my command… or is it?

 

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My name is Frank, and I’m a genie. I wasn’t born a genie, but when I was about 40 I started hearing wishes. At first, I had no idea what these voices were, but soon I started hearing “I wish..” even though no one was speaking. I know from popular culture that everyone seems to think they’re entitled to three wishes when they encounter me. This is why I never announce myself. No one knows I’m a genie… well, no one until now.

The first time I granted a wish was shortly after the voices started. I noticed an adorable little girl of about 3 or 4 running away from her father. They were playing and he was making monster noises and walking funny to make her laugh. The little girl was shrieking with laughter and running at the same time. It was quite a charming scene, when out of nowhere a car came zooming and swerving down the two lanes. The little girl was still running straight towards the car, but the dad started running full speed to stop her and at that exact moment I heard his desperate pleas “Please god. Don’t let the car hit her” I’m not god, but that sounded like a wish to me, so I imagined the car suddenly turning towards the opposite side, and noticed that what I had imagined actually happened. The little girl started crying because she picked up on her dad’s fear, but they were both okay, and I was safe to keep on walking unnoticed.

A couple of minutes after the first incident, I heard a small voice say “man, I wish I had some ice cream.” I looked around to see who said that. I noticed a little boy sitting on a bench with what appeared to be his big sister. The teenage girl was on the phone making plans with someone, and was completely ignoring the bored little boy. When I heard his sad little voice, I thought about it, and suddenly his sister looked down at him and smiled. She hung up the phone and said “Ready to go? How about some ice cream before we go home?” I smiled and kept walking. This was by no means a life-altering incident, but I saw the little boy’s face light up with happiness. I was two for two.

I felt good, so I kept walking around to see if I heard another voice. It wasn’t long before I heard “I wish I had come alone today. I’ll be back tomorrow for her number.” as I saw a middle aged father looking at the young waitress who was bringing the bill to his table. I love my family above anything else, so this really angered me. To see a man who seemingly had it all covet that young woman, in front of his family nonetheless, made me furious. That is when I realized I didn’t have to grant the wishes I heard. In retrospect, I know I could have made them stay behind as he followed the young woman to “pay the bill” but I didn’t want to, so I didn’t.

Every day since has been pretty much the same. I have heard countless wishes, and I have learned to listen carefully to the voices. When you actually listen to the person, you can hear the intention in the plea. I have learned to differentiate the greedy people from the truly needy. Pleas for a millions of dollars have gone ignored, while a plea for a dollar or spare change have always been granted. It’s the little things in life,  I have learned, that truly make a difference in someone’s quality of life.

I have never before revealed who I am, because I was afraid of being taken advantage of. As I lay on my deathbed, I feel I owe my family and loved ones an apology. I was witness to so many prayers and wishes that I’m sure would not have been made if they knew I could hear them. I’m sorry I invaded your privacy, but as I hope you’ve realized, it was completely out of my control. I suppose you want answers, but I’m not sure I can give that. All I have to offer is my best guess as to why I became a genie.

I have often thought of my early life while my wife is out, and the grandchildren are out playing in the yard. I never imagined my life would turn out the way it did, but I have never taken it for granted. All the hard work has paid off. At any given moment, I can still vividly remember the hunger pains, and the shame of having to beg. I remember the cruelty behind people who would spit at me, and throw garbage in my cup when I asked for change. I was given a second chance when I found a scratch off in the pocket of a coat that was donated to me. I have always been thankful, and have always found myself wishing there was a way I could repay the kindness that was done to me. I guess my wish was granted.

 

….and I’m back!! I hope you know who Frank is, but if you need a refresher, you can re-read Pockets It has been a while so it’s okay. It feels good to be back!