Categories > Original > Drama1 Reviews
The story of four very different people and the lives they lead. The ultimate question all of them face in the end is: This is your life, are you who you want to be?
This Is Your Life
Have you ever asked yourself; am I happy with my life? Have you ever really thought about it? Have you ever thought back to your childhood or, if you are still an adolescent, your even younger years? Do you ever think about all the hopes and dreams you had? That job you used to say you’d have as an adult, the places you said you’d go to, the dream house and family you’d have.
I know everyone does it at one point in their life. Even I do it. No one can really know the answer. It varies from day to day. A lot of people answer no. I’m going to tell you four different stories about four very different people. Four people who had asked themselves if they were happy with their life. You can take them as a work of fiction or the truth. It doesn’t matter to me.
Bismarck, North Dakota: 6:35 AM
Dan woke up at six thirty-five am. He sighed. At least it was earlier than yesterday. Yesterday he woke up at seven and nearly got fired from his job for being late….again….Dan was a single thirty one year old living alone in a small 425 square-foot apartment. His only neighbors were an elderly woman and a couple who LOVED arguing, especially in the dead of night. No wonder Dan never got any sleep! His parents were disappointed in him. They wanted him to grow up and make something of himself. Get a nice wife and settle down in a big house. Maybe move to California or somewhere big. He was doing the exact opposite.
He worked as a cashier at a local store a half an hour away, barely making minimum wage. His shift was 8 AM to 3PM. He got a half hour lunch break at twelve thirty. If you asked Dan if he was happy with his job he’d tell you flat out, no.
When Dan was younger he had a dream. He’d always wanted to get a degree in business. He wanted to own a store of his own. He didn’t know what it would specialize in. He thought he’d just wait and see what he found. That’s the attitude that got him where he was today. He just sat back and waited.
Dan went to a public high school in Nebraska. It was one of the best in the state. He thought that getting into a business school from his high school would be a breeze. He was only looking at a couple colleges. Not big one’s really, just ones that were good enough. That was his problem. All his life he settled for just well enough. He had a laid back attitude too. If he failed a test he’d just tell himself to work harder on the next one. He never did.
His parents told him he had no drive to be successful. He always told them they were wrong. Now, thirteen or more years later, he finally believed them. He would’ve called them to apologize, but he really needed to get ready for work.
Dan ran and got a shower. When he got out he grabbed a towel, wrapped it around his waist then walked into his kitchen to get some breakfast. There he was greeted with the sight of unpaid bills and spam mail on his kitchen table. He sighed, running a hand through his wet hair. He pushed them aside and walked to his refrigerator. Dan opened it and peered in. It was practically empty. There were a couple small bottles of Snapple, some fruit, eggs, and a loaf of bread. He decided he’d go to the store after work, and then picked up an apple. When he was finished eating he got dressed and walked out of his apartment building. He walked over to his bike that was chained to a pole, unlocked it, and then got on. Dan shook his head; he couldn’t even afford a car. He looked at his watch: 7:40. He cursed mentally. Then he hopped on his bike and peddled faster than he ever had before.
When Dan got to work it was eight o’clock on the dot. He breathed a sigh of relief. He unlocked the door of the store and walked in. He was met with silence. Of course, his co-worker Tina was always at least ten minutes late every day. Did she get fired for it though? No. Dan swore his boss was a feminist or something. She was so harsh on male employees. He couldn’t judge her. He didn’t know her that well. Dan went into the back to put his jacket away, and then returned to the front to turn on all the machines. Afterwards he went to take inventory.
“Hey, Dan! How was your morning?” a voice called from behind him. It was Tina.
“Uneventful. Same old, same old. I actually woke up on time for once,” he responded.
“That’s good,” Tina said as she walked through the door that said, Employees Only, to put her stuff away. Today it was only him and Tina in the store. Bob was supposed to come in today too, but he called in sick last minute. He was always sick it seemed.
Dan looked at her with envy. Tina was 23 and a senior in college. She was going to a great college and about to get her bachelor’s degree in science. The only reason she worked at this dump was to get money until she could find a real job. Her life just kept looking better and better. ‘That could’ve been my life’, Dan thought, ‘If only I worked harder in school.’
Tina came back into the store minutes later and they got to work. The rest of the day went by uneventfully. That is, until it became time for Dan to leave. As he hopped over the counter to go grab his jacket in the back a customer walked in. Normally Dan wouldn’t notice, but today something made him look up. This customer was a man probably in his mid to late forties. He was pretty stocky. He had dirty jeans on, scuffed up Nike sneakers, a t-shirt, and a bulky jacket on. He had a trucker hat pulled low over his eyes. The man looked over at Dan. His gaze made Dan feel unnerved. Dan shuddered then went to grab his jacket. When he returned the sight that met his eyes made him drop everything in his hands. The man had Tina in a head lock with a gun pointed at her head. She had tears brimming in her eyes.
“Open the register,” the man said in a gruff voice.
Dan just stood there dumbfounded. His brain was still processing what he was seeing. A shriek from Tina brought him back to reality.
“Hey buddy, you’re friend here,” he gestured to Tina, digging the gun into her head harder, “would agree it isn’t that much fun staring down a loaded gun. Now hurry up and, GET MY MONEY!!” he shouted the last part.
“Okay, okay, chill!” Dan said while scrambling behind the counter. Now the guy had the gun trained on him! The man released Tina, shoving her to the floor and threatening to shoot her if she ran, and then handed Dan a backpack.
“Give me all the money or I’ll shoot you.”
Dan couldn’t believe this was happening. It felt like a dream. Although the loaded barrel in his face begged to differ. As Dan filled the bag he started sweating. He was getting jittery. At one point he saw his life flash before his eyes. He didn’t like what he saw. He didn’t like it one bit. It made him feel even more like a failure.
“H-here,” said Dan in a shaky voice as he handed the backpack over.
The man took it then used his gun as a mock salute.
“Nice doing business with you,” he said. Then the man ran. Dan walked over to Tina, who looked a little nauseous, but other than that she was okay, and helped her off the floor.
Two Weeks Later:
After the incident they had to file a lot of reports and answer a lot of questions. They even did some interviews for local papers. A couple months later the man was caught trying to rob another store. For Dan the store robbing changed his life in a lot of ways. It was kind of like a wake-up call. He had a serious phone conversation with his parents. He told them he was okay then informed them that he was planning on going back to college. He wanted to do something with his life before it became too late.
Dan always thought that it was fate that controlled your life. If something happened it was for a reason. The store robbery really opened his eyes. He decided to take his life by the horns and steer it in the direction he wanted.
Years later Dan eventually got his masters degree in business and opened his own store. He even got married to a wonderful woman. They never had kids but they were happy. Dan’s parents were finally proud of him. When he asked himself if he was happy with his life at fifty years of age, he finally said yes. He loved his life and wouldn’t have it any other way. To think, all of this happened because of a simple robbery.
The Hamptons, New York: 5:23 PM
Michael rubbed his temples. He was in the middle of a meeting with a potential client. They were at one of his favorite restaurants. So far they’d only ordered some drinks. They weren’t planning on staying long so they didn’t bother with dinner. Michael just wanted to get home to his wife Alessa. She was becoming irritated lately because she only saw him early in the mornings or late at night. He felt bad neglecting her, but they basically lived off his business. He remembers when they first met. They were so young, only in their early twenties. He was still in the middle class. How he missed those days. No business meetings 24/7, no working all the time, and no threats from competing car companies. Their relationship was so strong back then. Now it was starting to slowly break apart. It was times like this that he wished he had kept working as a car salesman instead of a car dealership owner. He’d have more time with his family and less stress.
At thirty seven Michael was very successful. He owned a chain of car companies-Italian sports car companies to be exact. Michael always loved cars as a child. He grew up in an Italian household as the youngest for three children. He was born and raised in Italy. He moved to the U.S. when he was twenty five. He was fluent in both Italian and English. Even though Italian was his first language he favored English. He only spoke in Italian to his wife, who was also Italian, or if he wanted to keep a conversation private.
“Bene, grazie per l'incontro con me oggi. Devo proprio andare però. Mia moglie mi aspetta,” Michael said to his client, “I’ll see you again on Monday.”
“Grazie per incontro con me, signor Ricci,” the client responded, “Have a good night.”
“You too,” Michael said back.
He paid the bill, then they both went their separate ways.
Michael was frustrated. It seemed that everytime he gained a client, he lost one to a competitor. He was tired of always having to think up new marketing schemes and designs to pitch to his manufacturer. Something to make sure customers kept coming back to him.
“MICHAEL ANTONIO RICCI, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!?!” his wife, Alessa, hollered as he stepped through the door. It echoed through out their house.
“Mi dispiace caro sono rimasto bloccato in una riunione,” he said to her. He knew she calmed down a little when they spoke in Italian because her English wasn’t as fluent.
“Che non funziona su di me stasera,” Alessa said angrily as she walked back into the kitchen,“I already ate, so you’ll just have to feed yourself!” she shouted.
Michael sighed and hung his jacket up in the closet. He looked around. Their home really was too big for only two people and some maids. He owned a giant 15,000 square foot mansion in a secluded part of the Hamptons. They had their own private swimming pool. Their house was built near the water so they could park their yacht nearby too.
He pulled out the necklace he bought his wife from his pocket. He wanted to get her something special so she would know how much she meant to him. The necklace was a gold heart locket. Inside was their wedding picture. On the front he had forever, then on the back it said per sempre. He hesitated, wondering if now was the right time to give this to her. He eventualy decided just to do it.
“Honey, are you in here?” he asked as he walked into the kitchen.
“Si,” his wife replied, still sounding angry.
Michael gathered his courage and hoped for the best. He walked in with the little box.
“I have something for you mio caro,” he said.
She looked at him expectantly, still angry. He took out the box with shaking hands. He handed it to her. She looked stared at it for a while, unreadable expression on her face, and then she picked it up and hurled it across the room. Michael was shocked.
“Non si può continuare a fare questo!” she yelled, “You can’t keep buying my love!!” she looked even angrier if that was possible and stormed up to their room.
“Non ero!” he shouted back, “This time i just wanted to let you know how much you mean to me! Alessa! Mio caro!” he cried after her.
Michael retrieved the necklace from the corner of the kitchen and walked up to their bedroom. He came face to face with the giant double doors of their bedroom. Of course, the doors were locked. He pounded on them a couple times. When she refused to open the doors Michael sunk down to the floor. The pressure was finally hitting him like a ton of bricks. He started crying. He hadn’t cried since the day Alessa said she’d marry him. He wanted the world to stop. He wanted out of the life he led. He just wanted his old life back. That was almost impossible now. He remembers the promises he made to Alessa. How they’d go on adventures one day. How they’d escape from everything. Through his sobs he let out a broken plea:
“Alessa, mio caro, si prega di aprire la porta......please.....” he wiped his tears away with the palm of his hand, and then rested his head on his knees. Behind him he heard one of the doors slowly open.
“Michael?” a soft voice said.
He sat up straight and looked at her. She looked very concerned. He smiled at her. She knelt down and hugged him. They stayed in each others embrace for a long time. They were interrupted by one of the maids.
“Er....I’m going to go home now sir.....goodnight. Goodnight to you too Mrs. Ricci,” the maid nodded her head to each and left.
Michael looked at his wife.
“I have an idea,” he said.
She stared at him long and hard.
“What if we could go back to the life we had before? What if we could go back to Italy? Buy a little house on a vineyard. We could restart our life. We have more than enough money now. We would never have to work again. We could just relax. It would be our escape,” he looked up at her.
She looked back. She was thinking, “Oh mio caro, mi piacerebbe, ma il tuo business! We cannot just pack and leave! What about the house? The maids! All your employees? E 'tutto così travolgente!” even though she was voicing her doubts there was a look of hope in her eyes. She wanted this as much as him.
“We’ll figure something out,” he said, “I promise,” he kissed her forehead. She saw the necklace in his hands.
“Per me?” she asked pointing at it.
“Si,” he said. She gently picked up the necklace and examined it. She read the front and back then opened it. She saw the picture and made a sound of approval.
“Oh, Michael! It’s beautiful!” she looked at the man in front of her. She saw her husband for the first time in months. Not just some sleep deprived, over worked man she lived with, but her husband. The man she fell in love with.
Detroit, Michigan: Midnight
The only sound was that of her feet hitting the pavement as she jumped down her fire escape. She did this every night. Her parents wouldn’t care. Her dad abandoned her and her mom when she was only ten. That was when Izzy started acting up. She always looked up to her dad as if he was some kind of a hero. When he left she was crushed.
Izzy’s real name was Isabelle. She hated her name though. There was nothing wrong with the name Isabelle. She just didn’t think it fit her. Everybody called her Izzy, except her mom who called her Isabelle. That is, when her mom could remember her name. After her dad left her mom became an alcoholic. If you asked her mom she’d say she didn’t have a problem. She could stop when she wanted. Izzy asked her mom repeatedly to stop when she first started, to see a therapist or something. Her mom refused. Izzy gave up on her mom after the first couple years. Her mom was too wasted half the time to care what she did.
Once Izzy was on the ground she ran. When she left her mom was passed out on the couch….again. That only made Izzy want to leave more. She was meeting up with a couple of her friends. She couldn’t deny it, all her friends were losers. Half of them were either alcoholics or users. Izzy would never do that though. She saw what it did to you. She vowed to never touch a bottle of liquor. None of her friends really had educations. They all dropped out of high school or never bothered to go to college. Izzy still goes to her public school. She’s pretty much a C student. She never really applied herself that much. She didn’t know why she should bother. Why start caring when she could be yanked out of school one day and put in a foster home, or expelled the next.
Izzy walked into the building where she met her friends. It was an old rundown house. It was nothing special, one story, one bedroom, two baths. To Izzy it was more of a home then her actual home though. She climbed in through the window and was greeted by two of her friends, Pixie and Jimmy. Pixie was decent. Sure she dropped out of high school, but she didn’t do drugs. She drank occasionally and smoked a lot, but she was an alright girl. Jimmy was a rough kid. He was busted for everything under the sun. Arson, petty theft, vandalism, you name it. Since he was only sixteen he was in and out of Juvie. He was a fighter too. He had a fair share of piercings and tattoo’s. His parents kicked him out so this abandoned house was his home.
Izzy fet sorry for her friends. Their life was crappier than hers-and she didn’t think that was possible. When they first met she tried to help them get clean, but they wouldn’t listen.
“Soooo…..what did you guys have in mind for tonight?” Pixie asked, trying to break the awkward silence.
“I dunno. Wanna go to a club or something?” said Jimmy, who was sprawled out on his couch.
“Are you stupid? She couldn’t pass for twenty one!” Pixie said gesturing to Izzy, “She can barely pass for her own age.”
That was true. Izzy was sixteen but she looked about thirteen. Every day she cursed herself for the way she looked. It did help if she ever got in trouble with the law though.
“Why don’t we just stay in tonight?” Izzy offered.
“Too boring,” Jimmy replied, “I have to spend every single day cooped up in here!” he threw his beer bottle at the wall. The silence was shattered more than the bottle.
“I brought some spray paint,” Pixie said digging through the bag she had slung over her shoulder, “We could tag some houses or something….”
They all thought about it for a minute.
“Well, I’m in,” said Jimmy as he got off his couch, “I hope we don’t get caught this time…..”
They all nodded in agreement. The last time they spray painted something the cops caught them and they got busted. They had to spend a couple nights at the station and clean the side of the house, but that was it.
They walked down a couple random streets in some random neighborhoods. They found a house that looked like it belonged to a mildly rich person and decided to tag it. Thankfully it was still the early hours of the morning so no one was up.
It was about an hour or two later and they had successfully covered the whole side of the house. They drew three mini masterpieces on the side of the house. Pixie’s was the best. It was a giant pixie, after her name. Jimmy just wrote his name, and Izzy made a sun and moon intertwining. She sighed. It was a shame all this would eventually get washed off.
The three of them walked around the whole city spray painting as they went. Around seven they went back to the house and stayed there for a couple more hours. Then around midday they decided to part ways. They made plans for the next day then left.
When Izzy returned to her apartment building she was greeted by the sight of an ambulance and a police car. She wondered what happened. She remembered the sight of her mom passed out on the couch and sprinted up to the apartment. She was praying her mom was okay. When she got to her front door she saw it was open. She walked in and saw her landlord talking to a police officer. Her instincts made her want to hide her face and turn the other way, but she needed to know what happened.
“Ah! Here she is,” said the landlord as soon as he saw Izzy.
“Now, young lady, I assume you’re Isabelle Page, the daughter of Marie Page?” the police officer said as Izzy walked over to her.
“Yeah,” Izzy said.
“Well…….I’m sorry Izzy,” the officer said as he put his hand on her shoulder, “We tried to save her but it was useless.”
“Excuse me?” Izzy asked, even though she knew very well what was coming.
“Your mom…..she’s dead. It was alcohol poisoning. Your landlord came up to give her an eviction letter and he found her….”
The officer looked at Izzy with sympathy. She didn’t know how she felt. Happy? Sad? She decided she felt pretty neutral. Sure, she was close with her mom when her dad was still around, but her mother hasn’t been a mother for the past six years. Izzy felt like they were just roommates or something. Izzy was on her own 24/7. Occasionally her mom would be sober enough to make a quick microwavable dinner or something, but very rarely. One time they bonded over the TV. That was a couple years ago though.
Izzy felt like her mom was just a made up person. That is until a teacher needed something to be signed, or she wanted to get another tattoo. Then she’d just get her mom to sign the form. Sober or drunk, Izzy didn’t care, her mom didn’t care.
“Oh…well….what do I do now?” Izzy asked the officer.
“Do you have any relatives you can stay with? Or friends?”
Izzy thought. She could stay with Jimmy, but he was just like her mom was. Pixie was out of the question since her parents hated Izzy. The rest of her family lived out of state, or so she heard. Her and her mom broke almost all contact with family after her dad left.
“No,” she replied.
“I’ll get a worker from social services to pick you up,” he said as he wrote something down on his notepad.
“What, no! Where will I go?” Izzy said back to the officer, growing alarmed.
“Calm down. It’s just until we can get your family situation figured out.”
Izzy walked out of her apartment and sat on the stairs. She was sadder about being moved then her mom dying. ‘How pathetic,’ she thought. When did her their relationship get that bad? It would catch up to her eventually though. She had no clue what to do now. Would she be a foster child? Would any of her family come to claim her?
Izzy put her head in her hands. If only she would’ve gotten help for her mom instead of letting her get worse. Now that Izzy looked back on her life, she saw how messed up she really was. She used to think she wasn’t that bad compared to other people. She really was. She was basically flunking out of school, she got arrested monthly, her dad left, her mom just died from alcohol poisoning, and all her friends were in the same place as her. At this revelation Izzy broke down. Her life was going nowhere. She had wasted her childhood hating the world. She thought it was the world’s fault that she was such a mess. It was really hers. All this time she had control of her life. She steered it down the wrong path. She just hoped she could make up for it in the future.
Colorado Springs, Colorado: 2:30 PM
Mary ran around her back yard, squealing in delight. It was perfect outside. It was an unusually cool summer day. They had their sprinklers on and Mary was running in and out of them. She knew her mom wouldn’t like it but she was too young to really think of consequences. Mary was only six.
Mary thought her life was perfect. She had loving parents, a nice house, and a dog too! He was a chocolate lab named Axle. She went to a private school and had tons of friends. Mary thought she was the luckiest little girl in the world. She was carefree and happy. She didn’t have to worry about the rest of her life. At least not right now. Right now she could just live for the moment. Right now Mary’s life was everything she could dream of.
Childhood is too precious to waste. When you’re young you have everything to lose. You can afford to be careless, you can waste time. If you get in trouble there’s no serious consequences. Don’t you wish you were Mary?
As you get older the stakes are higher. Consequences are more serious. Right now Mary is frolicking in her backyard pretending to be in a magical land. She isn’t going to waste her childhood.
Now, you’ve read the stories, so ask yourself the very question I stated at the beginning of this story and answer truthfully. Is your life everything you ever dreamed it would be?
Every day you grow older. Time moves forward whether you like it or not. Life is too short to live with regrets. You shape your life. You are the one with all the answers. You are born into this world given a blank book and a pen. You write the story.
It’s up to you to decide if your life will mean something. Will it be memorable, or will it just be another story in the giant filing cabinet that is the world?
After all, this is your life.
“This is your life, are you who you want to be? This is your life, is it everything you dreamed that it would be? When the world was younger and you had everything to lose, you had everything to lose...” –This Is Your Life by Switchfoot