‘You must remember always,’ a man says to a teenage boy, ‘that life has only two sides.’
‘What are they?’ the teenage boy asks.
‘Happiness is replaced with sorrow,’ the man explains, ‘An accomplishment is topped off with a downfall. A worry is taken away by some good news. And vice-versa.’
‘So how do I stay in the middle?’ the teenage boy inquires.
‘That’s the tough part. Because you only want the best for yourself and for your loved ones. So you strive to achieve that happiness, that accomplishment, that good news in honor of your name. Therefore, you’re being selfish to the rest of mankind. The cosmic law has to intervene. That’s why you must experience sorrow, a downfall, a worry. You are powerless in these things. That’s the parable of it all.’
‘So how do I live my life then?’
‘Living a life means following your subconscious needs and wants. Sometimes, something remarkable has to occur first before your very eyes in order for you to be aware of the core of what you’re doing. But most of the time, though, you’re oblivious. What only matters to you is your selfish intention.’
‘So what would be the smart thing to do?’
‘Are you telling me to sacrifice my own happiness and accomplishment? And that I should just trash any good news that comes my way?’
‘Only when you are aware of what’s at stake.’
‘I’ve already explained it to you,’ the man retorts.
‘This conversation is over,’ the teenage boy says, about to make his exit.
‘Stay where you are,’ the man commands.
‘I’m tired, Mr. Goodwin.’ The teenage boy stretches his arms. ‘I’ve just had a crazy wild baseball practice. And I’ve still got school tomorrow, so if you’ll excuse me, I have to go to bed now. I’m sure my parents would be happy to know that.’
‘Your parents have welcomed me in to your home because I’m supposed to keep you from your worries,’ the man attests.
‘How?’ the teenage boy chuckles. ‘By lecturing me on the bizarre slams of life? Next time you kick off with something, make sure you finish it. And you know what? That’s how I live my life. And I’m proud of it.’
‘Okay,’ the man agrees, ‘let’s finish this conversation then, as you wish, with a very personal story.’
The teenage boy sits back to listen. ‘It’s gotta blow me away, Mr. Goodwin. It’s gotta be good. Worth my time.’
‘Years ago, I was one of the highly renowned lawyers in the country. I had handled and won controversial cases. I was the fear of the victims. I would always emerge a winner regardless. Then one day, I had been hired to win a very heavy case. Of course, as usual, I was on the defense. My client was a wealthy man, who had been accused of plotting his business partner’s murder. Everybody could already smell victory the first time I entered the court room. First hearing, yes, I made them all tremble just like I normally would. I was a great thunder, and I could even see the murdered man’s family silently praying for a miracle. Bearing such a majestic reputation, I was trained to be ruthless. To make every wrong right. To manipulate the law. To weaken one’s power and beliefs. But after seeing the victim’s little boy clasping his hands together, gazing at the ceiling as if he could see the divine providence up above, it was a wake-up call. The moment I walked out of the court room, I told the accused to get himself a new lawyer instead.’
‘You quit all because of that little boy praying?’
‘It wasn’t just because of the little boy,’ the man replies. ‘Around that time, my mother was fighting for her life in the hospital. Her chance to live on was very slim. So I’d sacrificed my name and success just to be by her side instead. Perhaps, my presence had some kind of a magical force upon her to get better. When I saw her smiling at me again, I felt renewed. When she held my hand, I had been comforted.’
‘You saved her life in some way,’ the teenage boy concludes.
‘She saved my life,’ the man tearfully responds.
‘How could you say that?’ The teenage boy looks aghast.
‘Because I was so consumed by my glorified status that I’d already forgotten the most important part of my life.’
‘So where is this gonna lead us to now?’
‘A boy had been horribly beaten up in your school a few days ago,’ the man gets on with the matter. ‘He fell into a coma and, luckily, this morning, he just woke up to point the suspect.’
‘And…?’ the teenage boy heartlessly growls.
‘His parents have hired me to help them through the case,’ the man says.
‘I am here to tell you the good news. The boy has saved your life.’