Bob and Roy (A short story)
In a flat world where beings only exist in form of 2-dimensional lines, young (irregular-shaped) Bob learns an important lesson about life
Let’s travel to a world quite different from ours and yet in some ways, quite similar. In this peculiar realm, there only exist beings in the form of lines. Yes, just plain 2-dimensional singular lines, nothing more and nothing less. The laws of their lives are such that as they grow old, they encounter several corners in their lives which make them bend, makes them learn, makes them experience the whole world while developing their age and wisdom through time. Over the course of their corner-filled lives, all eventually turn from a singular point at birth to a fully enclosed figure into adulthood.
But what figure they might turn into? Well, that is a completely different aspect of their lives which they always want to be in control of, rather never are. As a result, they could grow up to be of any shape possible. A mere triangle, a short square, a regular rectangle, a high hexagon, it could be anything at all!
While some are satisfied within their equilateral structure, not every being is blessed with an all pretty, equidistant, and equiangular shape. Many are irregularly sided and weirdly formed, not preferred in any way but still existent. Although the beings of this world exist in quite distinct structures from each other, they would all share one common goal, one ultimate purpose which was to become the most perfect of shapes of all that had ever existed.
Yes, a circle is beautiful, elegant, and considered a prime shape to be of. It is undoubtedly the most perfect thing to become. And in this peculiar world of shapes and lines, one was given birth to and named Bob by his loving mother.
Bob started his life just as any other being would, as a singular point. When he began growing and experiencing the world, encountering many corners in his life, he started forming a shape unique to his own. Unfortunately, this form was far from his own liking, never being satisfied with it. As in his mind, he only needed to be one thing.
“Mom, I want to be a circle when I grow up!” he used to say looking at his own self in the mirror.
“Sure, son. You will become it one day,” his mother would assure then.
As Bob grew further, his obsession with becoming a circle clouded over him obsessively. More so that it led him to join a special institute suited for just the purpose which somehow guaranteed that one day by the end of their teachings, he would ultimately become the perfect and elegant circle he had always dreamt of. And not surprisingly, much like him, many were in the same race that he was. Whatever their shapes may be, whatever their individual lives maybe, all would arrive in incredible numbers in the hopes of becoming a perfect circle one day.
Time progressed, bringing close the first day of attending this institute for Bob. And this in turn, also became the day when he first met Roy who surprisingly possessed a figure much like Bob himself, irregular and un-preferred in all the matching ways. It was at that moment that Bob felt truly happy. He knew he had found a perfect new friend.
Days went by as Bob and Roy were found talking daily to each other without fail, leading their bond to become as strong as it would ever be. They grew almost inseparable. Almost was the case because, for some peculiar reason that Bob couldn’t figure, Roy would leave him earlier than he was supposed to.
“I have to go now, Bob…” Roy would say.
“It isn’t time to go home yet. Where are you going?” Bob would ask.
“It is somewhere that I have to go. I cannot really tell you where…” Roy would hesitantly reply.
“Okay! Whatever suits you, Roy. See you tomorrow!”
“See you tomorrow!” saying this, Roy would leave him be, and just like that, another usual day would come to an end for Bob.
I wonder where he goes off to every day…
Bob would ask himself, but always without an answer.
As their lives inched further, both Bob and Roy, being in this institute, began changing their shapes evidently. Bob altered ever so slightly, but his friend showed immense changes over time, continuing to become a perfect circle.
How is he changing like that?
Bob would ask himself, yet again without an answer.
Ultimately, the utter last day of this institute had arrived. This was the moment when every being who entered as an imperfect shape was supposed to become the perfect figure they had always dreamt of, an elegant circle. But as every being was supposed to, not everyone did. Many were left stranded, being in the middle of what they were before and what they eventually wanted to be. And one of those unfortunate lot was Bob himself. He was arguably in a better shape from his past but, still felt to be somewhat of an irregular shape in many ways. He walked up to his friend Roy who was seen as a perfect and elegant circle now.
“Congratulations Roy. You are a circle…” he said in a low tone.
“Thank you, Bob!” replied Roy witnessing his friend in a sad state. “But you don’t look so happy yourself.”
“Why would I be?”
Roy grew surprised by the implied tone. “Why are you being like this? What happened?”
“I feel betrayed by the world, Roy! I remember us both starting in the same way. We have always been equals. We both attended all the same teachings and yet you are a circle now and I am not!” he grew frustrated. “I don’t want to talk to you anymore! I am leaving now!” Saying this, he immediately left.
Roy watched his good friend disappear from sight as this moment became the first time Bob had ever left Roy like such.
He shouldn’t be this angry…
Thought Roy before slowly heading towards where he would always go after leaving his friend every single day.
“Mom, I learned something today,” uttered Bob to his mother, reaching home in an enraged state.
“And what is that, son?” she asked.
“Life is not fair, mom. It prefers some over others.”
“Oh, that doesn’t sound too right. Why would you say that?”
“I did everything as I was supposed to. I and Roy were the same. We both did all things right, as they should be. But in the end, he got to be a circle and I didn’t. I should be a circle! I deserve to be a circle! Probably more than he ever did…”
“Now… now, son. Always be careful with the word ‘deserve’ when you speak of it. Because we rarely ever know what it actually means when we do.”
Bob shot an angry and frustrated sigh.
She realized that she probably needs another way to reach her son in this jittery mood. “Look at this!” she took his attention and handed him an old framed photo. “Do you know who that is?”
Bob didn’t even need to have a look, he was certain of the answer regardless. “Yes, mom. It is me.”
“Yes, it is you. Look how small you were! Just a cute single point…” she grew closer to her son. “…and now look at you. How big you have gotten! Almost round from all the edges.”
“Yes… almost,” he sighed.
“Oh, how proud I am of you! You have made yourself to be so well,” she then hugged him as tightly as she could. “I am so happy today! And there is no reason you shouldn’t feel the same as well.” She gazed right at him. “You deserve it, son.”
Bob simmered his anger down. “I guess you are right, mom. I do feel somewhat happy…”
“You definitely should! And as for your dream of becoming a circle, I have absolutely no doubt you will reach it someday. Just have patience, son. Have faith in yourself. You have all the time in the world.”
A certain form of happiness entered his pointy mind then. “Thank you, mom. You always know how to cheer me up!”
“You don’t ever have to worry,” she hugged him again, looking straight into his eyes after. “I am always here, son. I love you!”
“I love you too, mom!”
“And listen to my next words very carefully,” she continued. “I have lived a long enough life to know about the true reality of things. And all it taught me was that life always finds a way to give you what you deserve… right at the moment you deserve it!”
Roy, a perfect circle now, entered this plain field just like he would do every single day. He walked slowly towards a small stone rising from the ground itself. He reached closer, his eyes began quivering, watering even. “Hi, mom!” he said with an aching voice, trying to smile, but resulting only in tears. “I have some good news today…” his voice still shaking. “I finally fulfilled your wish, mom. I am a circle now!” he started weeping. “If you were in front of me I would have hugged you, mother…” his sobbing interrupted his voice then. “I can feel how happy you would be to know this… I love you so much!” He took in a deep sigh, shaking his saddening face, finally being able to gain some control over his emotions. “And before I forget to say it…” He felt a wide smile coming on his structure. “A very happy birthday mom! I hope you are happy and at peace wherever you are.”
Roy’s smile grew wider as his eyes again began to water. He knew that he would soon burst into tears yet again like he always had, like he would always do…
They say that “Money is the root of all evil.” I say,
“Comparing oneself to another is the root of all evil”
There is a reason why I created such a peculiar world in the above story. A world full of beings obsessed about their shape, their figures, competing, striving to become a perfect circle, striving to be accepted by the masses, comparing the shape of own to another. And there are further hidden meanings scattered across the story which might make themselves clear upon multiple readings. It may not be at all peculiar that this world sounds a little too familiar to you and me, because it unfortunately is.
This world is reminiscent of our own, where we compare our lives with everyone else, where we decide who deserves more and who less, where we start comparing everything that we see. But we fail to realize that whatever we decide to compare with such effort, is in fact only what we see. We merely compare what is seen, nothing more nothing less. And that is exactly what Bob in the above story did. He never realized that there is more to life than just being in a perfect shape or a perfect circle. In the end, Bob only saw what was seen to him and never knew what he had and his friend Roy never did.
Whether you like it or not but, Bob is an example of us, or rather, the naivety of us.
Our acts of comparison are truly nothing but acts of vanity. And in my opinion, we could never have enough true knowledge about any other’s life to even begin comparing. We only have true knowledge about our own. And that is where this comparing poison of ours should start and end in its entirety.
Ultimately, we all have to remember that the only comparison we ever need is the one with our own selves.
Thank you so much for staying till the end!
I have always been fascinated by the power of stories. They can be the ultimate tools for an idea or a thought to progress. They could make us feel things, know things which upon normal reading would not have such an effect on us. Stories are incredible beings. And If you liked the above one, then please leave your claps in appreciation or show your love in the comments.
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