Tuesday, May 9, 2017

A World Without Pain

by Dinah Clottey

“Please take a seat here.” Dr. Wollstonecraft says as he pulls out a chair for the young man who has entered his office.

Dr. Wollstonecraft is an old man. Well into his sixties, he’s devoted his whole life to the study of people. Wrinkles crease his neck and chin, the lines between his eyebrows indicating the tenseness of his study. His head glows in the center as the light from the wall reflects upon it, his shedding grey hair trying to keep its place around it.

The young man sits down and Dr. Wollstonecraft returns to his place behind his desk. As he sits, he utilizes the moment to take the young man in. The boy couldn’t be more than 19 years old. His skin is the color of dark chocolate, patches lay even darker, corrupting the look into an assortment of battered blemishes. He wears locks that are dyed a dark blonde at the ends and one earring. His clothes are big and baggy, hanging off of him as if though they could fall at at any minute. He was tall, but small, skinny. The young man sat with his hands crossed over his lap. As Dr. Wollstonecraft looks down at them he can see that they were bruised.

“What can I do for you, Mr. King?” Dr. Wollstonecraft smiles.

“I want you to prescribe me with some WWP pills,” he answers immediately. His voice is softer than Dr. Wollstonecraft thought it would be. It was young, the voice of a boy.

“I’m afraid I can not do that,” Dr. Wollstonecraft replies. “You’ll have to ask your personal doctor. I can’t prescribe to you if I’m not personally handed your symptoms.”

“Sir, I know that you're the only one who can prescribe the drug. I know that and I’m asking-no-I’m begging you to give it to me!” His brown eyes widen, Dr. Wollstonecraft sees him genuinely pleading.

He really wants this.

But Dr. Wollstonecraft had seen what these drugs have done to other young people like him. He’s seen how this world of no pain can create a world of chaos, only provoking more destruction.

“Have you ever been to the beach, Mr. King?” Dr. Wollstonecraft asks suddenly. King’s face fills with puzzlement but he nods cautiously anyway. “Okay then. Now I want you to close your eyes and picture yourself at the beach right now.”

“I don’t see how this has got to do with anything,” King remarks.

“It’s okay, close your eyes. If it makes you feel more comfortable, I’ll close mine too.” Dr. Wollstonecraft shuts his eyes and King follows hesitantly after. “It’s a nice, hot, sunny day. You jump in the cold water to cool off with your little sister. You’re having fun, splashing around, laughing. Inside of you you feel this abundant swarm of joy, and in that moment, that feeling will never go away. For the rest of you life, that is how you’ll feel with the WWP pill. But, while that feeling continues to swallow you up, you’re unconscious of your surroundings. You remain in your little bubble unaware of what could happen next. Suddenly, a shark rips through the water and engulfs your little sister. However, you sit there, still playing in the water while you sister bleeds out and dies behind you as that joy continues to take you over. Instead of saving her, you aid in her death because you made a choice in which you remain unaware.”

Dr. Wollstonecraft opens his eyes. When he looks at the young man, he sees his brows furrow and his teeth clench. He stares right at him as he says his next words.

“I guess the real question is, are you ready to sacrifice the happiness of others for your own? Are you willing to lose that trust and sense of honesty? Will you enjoy being kept in the dark for the rest of your life just so that you can be happy?”

Dr. Wollstonecraft watches the young man ponder. A deep sigh leaves his body, and when he opens his eyes, the once pleading look he had is gone and replaced with a new outlook, a stronger one. There, Dr. Wollstonecraft had found his answer.

“I will tell you again, I can not prescribe to you. Now if that is all, then you must be on your way,” Dr. Wollstonecraft says as he relieves himself from his seat.

King slowly rises from his chair and makes his way towards the door, but before he completely exits, he makes an immediate halt.

“Dr. Wollstonecraft?” King calls as he turns to face him. A smile traces the boy’s lips, his eyes glint against the light, “Thank you.”

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