Today’s daily prompt: No Time to Waste
Fill in the blank: “Life is too short to _____.” Now, write a post telling us how you’ve come to that conclusion.
Life is too short to be bitter.
Growing up with my younger sister, I feel like I am the one who holds onto a grudge whereas my younger sister is one to forgive (or forget?) easily. For a long time I was someone who allowed resentment to cling to my ankles and seep under my skin.
I used to not really understand the statement, “Just be happy”. I didn’t think you could just decide to be happy but the truth is that you can. You can choose who to spend your time with and who to spend your thoughts on. Choosing to spend my time plotting revenge or even thinking about why someone is hateful doesn’t change much. It most likely will not change anything about the person or the situation, therefore it’s simply a waste of time and energy.
Instead of feeling bitter, feel inspired. Feel the need to improve yourself or to help others. Feel sympathy for those who are not able to lift themselves up without putting others down.
When I choose to stop feeling bitter and to instead embrace the things and people that make me happy and grow, I wonder why I ever chose to be bitter in the first place.
Living well is the best revenge.
My short story series, inspired by NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo and the daily prompt.
Connor felt like he had been transported back in time to Ms. Tompkin’s fourth grade classroom, back to the days when kids still walked to school and played tag at recess.
He hadn’t seen Samantha since fifth grade ended, but her name still floated around the school from time to time. Samantha, the girl who got first place in the district-wide poetry slam competition last year. Samantha, the editor for the school newspaper. And now, Samantha, Connor’s peer-tutor for English class.
Her style was the same as her nine-year-old self with a brown ponytail, white-knit sweater and jeans. She was taller, though, as if her body had been elegantly thinned out with the hands of time. Her green eyes were the same, exactly like the emerald forests Connor remembered them to be.
He wondered what Samantha had been up to for the past six years. High school was a big place, but for the most part, he had a good idea about where all the kids in Ms. Tompkin’s fourth grade ended up. Bradley was his right hand man, star of the soccer team and in every one of his classes since the fifth grade. Avery was still deemed one of the prettiest girls in school and oh, his longest-standing girlfriend so far of four months. But Smart Samantha? He had no idea. The last he heard was that she enrolled into the Honors program and her very existence had disappeared into the unknowns of academic success.
“Can I take a look at your latest essay?”
Again, Connor was back in his little wooden chair watching Smart Samantha proofread his letter to Father. This time, she returned the paper to him without any red markings on it.
“Did you think this was a good essay?”
“Well, it’s not my best.”
“Hmm… this couldn’t have been the only essay you did poorly on if you’re in the peer-tutoring program.”
Samantha was looking at him with her green eyes, detached and unimpressed. Connor remembered why he used to hate her. Her condescending tone and patronizing gaze seemed stronger than ever and they shattered Connor’s confidence.
“This essay has no substance. To be frank, it’s just a lot of empty words. You throw in fancy things and descriptions but they don’t add anything to your point.”
She was critiquing his essay, Connor knew that. But it felt like she was insulting him.
“You’re saying I have no substance.”
“No, I’m saying-”
“Don’t talk down to me like you’ve experienced the world. Do you have substance, then?”
She replied without an ounce of hesitation and with such composure that Connor didn’t know what to say next. Her gaze had switched from patronizing to resolute, as if she was defending the honor of her family. Connor could feel himself getting sucked into the sheer amount of certainty that exuded from her.
“Look, I’m sorry if I’m making you upset by being harsh, but that’s just the way I tutor. I don’t get paid for this so the one thing I expect from you is the willingness to learn from me. If you don’t think I’m good enough to be your tutor, you can request for another person.”
Connor knew that he wouldn’t be able to find a better English tutor than Samantha. She may not be the one to turn to for calculus, but in language arts, she was the top dog. He also knew that if he received another failing grade, even Mother wouldn’t be able to fend off Father’s wrath at his next report card.
Grudgingly, Connor nodded into submission as Samantha picked and pulled apart at all the pieces of his essay. At the end of the one-hour session, Connor was convinced that the essay before him was the shittiest piece of literature to have ever landed on the minds of mankind. When the bell rang to signal the start of first period, Samantha packed up her books and flew off like a bird after a quick, “We’ll continue tomorrow.”
Connor trudged into first period math class feeling worn out. How could he endure another morning of this? He would much rather have the fourth grade Samantha ignore him than have the sixteen-year-old Samantha lecture him about his shallow writing.
“Hey babe, how was the tutoring?”
Connor looked up in frustration into the hazel eyes of Avery. For a second, the image of Samantha’s deep green eyes flickered into his sight. But in comparison, Avery’s eyes were warm and greeted him with excitement. If Samantha’s eyes were supposedly lush forests, then Avery’s eyes were like chocolate puddles melting his insecurities to a far-off place.
“Aw, well it’s over now. Want to watch a movie tonight?”
Bradley slapped a hand on Connor’s shoulder. “No way, Connor is all mine tonight. We have a bro-date.”
Connor relaxed his shoulders and shook off the haunting reminder of Samantha’s nonchalant glare as he listened to Bradley and Avery pretend to bicker. He decided that life was too short to impress everybody, not that he would’ve ever been able to impress Samantha. Well, not that he would’ve ever wanted to, of course.
To be continued…