Back in his original world…
He was on the streets. No, he didn’t run away nor was he going through tough times. His parents had kicked him out for the day and wouldn’t accept him back until after dinner time. They wanted him to either re-enroll in school or find a job. They were tired of taking care of a useless 20 something year old.
So he meandered around and walked inside places to see if they were hiring. However, he hadn’t worn a suit, he hadn’t cleaned himself up. He was irritable and rude. It was no surprise that he wasn’t able to find a job.
He hated a lot at that time. His parents, the society, and his own inadequacy. So, he ended up just sitting around and watching people while he waited for the day to end. It was then he saw something that looked relatively easy.
“Hey, geezer, can I do that?”
He had approached the middle aged man who was twisting balloons.
“I don’t know, can you?”
The man had a bright smile, but his eyes had quickly lost their joy at being questioned in such a way.
“I don’t know unless I try.”
The man tilted his head in thought and then nodded. He handed a balloon to him and the small child next to him. However, the device used to blow up the balloon was handed to the kid.
“Hey, how do I blow it up without that thing?”
The man took a balloon himself and easily used his own mouth to blow up a similar balloon before twisting it into a dog. The kid tried to pump air into the balloon, but it slipped off the tip of the device and flew into the air. The kid laughed as he chased after it.
The man stared at him while smirking.
He tried to blow it up, but it didn’t even expand. After tiring himself out, he sat down on the bench and sulked. However, the pump was in front of his face.
Snatching the pump from the man, he pumped the balloon full of air. However, he went too far and it popped.
“Oops. Might want to try it again.”
With that, he was handed another balloon. By now, he was aggravated to no end. He wanted nothing more than to go home and play some games. Then he noticed the kid that was there earlier. In his hands was not only the dog the man had made but also an untwisted balloon that was being used as a knock off sword. It wasn’t even blown up all the way.
“Don’t look at me. I just tied it up for him.”
The man answered the questioning gaze of his and shrugged. However, he was tired. He ended up getting the balloon filled up and it wasn’t going to pop.
“Now to tie it off.”
The man blew up another balloon in practically no time at all. He held the nozzle in between his fingers and wrapped it like a shoe string, pulling it through the loop. The man let go of one hand and asked for the balloon the kid had. The man then made an elephant, one balloon meant for the head, trunk, and large ears.
As he tried to mimic the man’s actions, his fingers slipped and the balloon whistled through the air, causing the kid to laugh hysterically. However, that just ruined his mood. He stomped off and went home.
For some reason, however, he decided to look up how to twist balloons. He spent the entire night awake. He went and ordered a kit from online and studied how to make the best shapes.
For three nights, he did this. Every day, he would sit somewhere and practice his balloon twisting. At home, he would continue, much to the annoyance of his parents. However, they thought that this was his next job, so they persevered.
Finally, he found the balloon guy again. Conveniently enough, that kid was here as well. He brought out all of his balloons and created a very detailed shark that was almost life sized. A lot of people were coming around to watch and admire it. The kid tried to get close to see, but the adults were all in the way. He couldn’t help but chuckle at how awesome he was.
However, the kid soon ignored the crowd and went back to the man.
“Can you do that?!”
He looked up at the man and waited for those words. The words saluting his victory.
He jumped up and down, mocking the man before him.
“I usually make smaller ones. Like this one.”
In just three balloons, a dashing shark was made.
“Look, you can even wear it as a hat!”
He was surprised. Didn’t he win? Wasn’t he better? Why was this kid looking at the simple and boring looking creation? The guy had drawn the eyes, teeth, and gills! He hadn’t used balloons! How weak!
“Alright. Look, even if you don’t want to, you should go back.”
“But I don’t want to. It’s fun here.”
“Isn’t your family worried? You should go. If not, I won’t make balloons for you anymore.”
He was confused. What was going on between the man and the kid?
“But…the hospital stinks. And it’s scary.”
“Why are you scared? You have a shark on your head! Rawr! Haha!”
The man joked around with the kid, skirting away from the darkness. He finally understood. This wasn’t some chance to prove he was better. The guy never even cared about that. That guy just did it. There was nothing to it. Where he failed, the balloon guy made the kid happy.
“So I had the wrong objective.”
While whispering to himself, he sat back down on the bench. While he thought, he continued to fashion more amazing balloon creations such as a castle, two trees and a hammock, and even a large dragon. A lot of people were coming by and giving him tips. In these short few hours, he had amassed more than $200. It was to the point that he was wondering why he hadn’t thought of this before. However, money wasn’t the point.
He watched the people’s expressions. Their joy and wonder. The kids especially showed a fantastic emotion. The kid had left, but the balloon guy had stayed.
“So. Interested in twisting balloons?”
“You don’t do it for the money?”
“At first I did. Then, because I was surrounded by happy people, I too became happy.”
“Want to work together?”
“Nah. I will kick your ass!”
He started laughing, but his eyes were smiling, much different from before.
That night, he decided what to do with his life.
The next day, the balloon guy wasn’t there, but the kid was. When he saw the large balloons filling up the courtyard, he dashed over, not seeing the large truck coming down the road. He, for some reason, started to move.
So many things were going through his head. Was this worth it? No, worth means nothing. This would make them happy.
‘Eh? Hehe, what is this feeling?’
As he pushed the kid out of the way, he felt the jarring impact.
Zach woke up with a start and realized that one of his Songstones was playing. He switched it off and sat up in bed.
“Huh. Wow. I forgot. I mean, not really, but…I just kind of threw it out the window. Wasn’t this my life? Wasn’t it meant for me? I can’t think like that anymore. Wow…”
Zach stayed up the rest of the night, unable to get some sleep.