Short story of a man living with regret is given a life altering decision.
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There was a man who had a wife. She was beautiful from head to toe. He was a poor candle maker and found it very hard to live comfortably. One day his wife becomes pregnant and they rejoice.
"We are going to have a baby!" said the wife.
"Yes! I can barely believe it. Hopefully a beautiful boy! We make room for the baby. He will need clothes, food...a crib......constant attention." The more the man thought about a baby, the more he realized how expensive one will be. He already had no money and with a new mouth to feed, it was a matter of time before he was in debt.
The next day, the man set out to sell his beautiful candles in the market to hopefully make some money. The market was full of men and women selling goods to people who could afford it. He tried to sell his candles but had awful business sense. He made gorgeous candles but ended up going home with less money than he started out with in his pocket.
"How did it go honey?", asked the wife.
"Awful. I have nothing to show for a day wasted at that blasted market! If only I knew what I was doing wrong!"
"It'll get better sweetheart. I know it will." The man's wife laid her head on his shoulder and gave him a hug. He shrugged her off.
"NO! It won't just get better! We have a baby coming and I can barely support us! You should have just married a duke or a prince."
"But then I wouldn't be in love." said, the calm wife.
"Well I'm not in love! I'm living each day with worries and regret. I can no longer do this.
The man looked at his wife with piercing eyes and unrelenting anger as she looked back with tears.
"I'm going for a walk." The man stormed out of the house as quickly and as angry as he had entered.
He walked and walked...and walked until his surroundings became unfamiliar.
"I must have walked outside the town. How great would it be if I could just leave everything behind a simply keep walking to my heart's content. No responsibilities and no worries in the world. That would be the greatest thing in the world. I wish I could have that." With those words, the wind howled as it picked up and dust attacked the man and created a figure of a man next to him.
"Ahh...So you want to be free?" Said the sly dust man.
"What!? Who are you?" screamed the frightened man.
"Of course, my apologizes. I am Terger. I can help you with your problem. I am a powerful sorcerer and I can help you leave your responsibilities behind."
"I couldn't leave my wife. She would be devastated."
"She won't know. I'll make it so you never existed and you can go on about your life living it the way you want." Terger waved his hand around creating sparkles in the sky trying to impress the conflicted candle maker.
"Really? What do you want in return?"
"I want you to simply live your life and be happy."
"Hmm...that sounds kind of fishy. Really. What's the catch?" asked the suspicious man.
"No catch. You will live as if you never existed and I shall live as your opposite." The sly Terger grinned as he said this and had his hands up...waiting to execute his magic.
"I need to know that my wife will be okay."
"Don't worry. Your wife will be well taken care of. [Ha ha...]"
"Well then. Let's do it!" the man smiled with joy as his dream of a life with no responsibility was about to begin.
"Wonderful. Here is your wish."
Sparkles and twinkles lit up the sky and the man began to feel strange. He felt a loss in his world and grasping on to reality was difficult.
As the twinkles faded he began to touch his arms and legs to make sure he was in one piece.
"That felt weird." said, the man. "But I look okay and I feel good too."
"Wonderful. I'm glad I could help. Goodbye." Said Terger with a sly look on his face.
"Wait! Will I ever see you again?"
"I suppose once you discover your "true" self you will seek me out. Until then." Terger whipped around in a circle and disappeared where he stood.
The man excited about his new life began to walk farther than he ever had.
He reached his first new city and walked in. He saw the market filled with gold, silver, food from distant lands.
"My town was poor and I never would have realized what the world had to offer until just now. Thank you Terger!"
Days went by and the man saw many new things but felt strange. He did not feel as complete and satisfied as he thought he would have. He felt alone. He realized he had not talked to a single soul or slept since he met Terger. What's more, he realized that his life was empty without the girl he loved. He left for home to ease his aching heart. When he came to the door he tried to open it, but he couldn't.
"What is going on?" said the man.
He walked around his house and peered in through the window. There he saw a sight that made him weary. Terger was in his home with his wife. He yelled at Terger through the window.
"TERGER! COME OUT HERE YOU LIAR!"
The wife moved not an inch but Terger looked at the window and gave a cunning grin and walked outside.
"Ah so you finally realized your "true" self? Did you figure out where your heart lies?"
"Yes! Please. Reverse this. I don't want this anymore."
"But I do. I am exactly what you believed your life to be. I was non-existant in your life until you willed me here. I am Regret...in the flesh. Now live with your wish while I live in mine."
The man dumbfounded by his decision walked away to see the world...alone.