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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Microstory 1084: Milton

Viola and I were not friends in the way you think friends should be. Before either of us was born, our respective parents were really close. In fact, they all hung out together in high school, and eventually segued into dating each other. I think the four of them had this idea that their children would be just as close—and maybe even start dating too—but the only thing we had in common was them. Our families were famous for our road trips, so I spent a lot of time with her, but we didn’t talk all the much. As far as I know, she didn’t have any hard feelings against me, and I certainly didn’t dislike her. I suppose a part of me resisted getting to know her too well only because it was kind of forced upon us. Despite what you may think, most people don’t get to truly choose their friends. Every two people are brought together by circumstance and geography. Social networking is changing the way that works, of course, but you’re still going to be paired up according to some external entity. In those cases, it’s an algorithm; for us, it was our parents, and our tiny town. A little bit about me, I’m an atheist, and a skeptic. I hear all these stories about her teleporting to far away lands, and rescuing kittens from burning buildings. I tell you, I never saw a hint of anything like that. I don’t know how she would have had time to do any of it, even if she was capable of bending space. She was beautiful, and kind, and generous, but she was still just a girl. I kind of have a problem with this idea that that is somehow not enough. It’s like these people can’t mourn their loss unless the person they lost had something no one else did. A life ended. It doesn’t matter because she was such a great person, or had reported magical powers. It matters because all life is precious. She didn’t deserve it, because no one does. I know it’s not a popular opinion, but I think, if she were around today, she would agree with me. What do you think?

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