Three Stages Of Life
Do I have what it takes?
“I have to be sweating in real life,” I said out loud as I wiped my dripping forehead with the long sleeve of my shirt. It was so hot outside. The sun could probably burn me alive if I stayed in it long enough. I got up off the sidewalk where I was sitting and started walking down the street of this familiar but unfamiliar place. This place was not very wealthy I thought to myself. There was not a single car in sight, just bikes and scooters. The buildings looked like old shacks that were between the colors of green and blue. Some of the windows were busted and some of the shacks did not have doors. Anyways, I kept walking because I was here on a mission. I went in my back pocket to grab a piece of folded paper. As I unfolded it, I read, “$20,000 to anyone that can successfully complete the three stages of life, 1. Physical 2. Mental 3. Spiritual. If you are interested follow in the direction of the sun and we will be waiting.”
I walked for what had seem like hours all alone in this hot weather. Starting to feel myself become dehydrated. The sun was going down and I did not know if I would have enough time to stop at one of these never-ending shacks for water. However, I thought to myself if I pass out, I still wouldn’t make it. As I started walking off trail looking for water, I ran into my first person. She was tall with very tanned skin, but she had a shiny but sticky glow to her. “Was it because it was so hot and maybe she was sweating?” I thought. I started giggling a little because she looked like a fresh glazed donut to me. “Hey there! I’m Lillian but you can call me Lilly!” She said while waving her hands 100 mph trying to get my attention. “Hi, I’m Kelly,” I said awkwardly. I thought to myself, “I don’t like people in the real world, of course I wouldn’t like them here,” I giggled to myself. As I left my thoughts, I hear Lilly just blabbing about lord knows what. I interrupt her saying, “Thanks for all the info, would you happen to have any water?” Before Lily answered me, she went into her backpack and pulled out two bottles of water for me. I thanked her immediately. She then asked me where I was headed. I pulled out the folded flyer out my pocket and she screamed, “OMG ME TOO.” I thought, “wow this could go really good or bad.” She interrupted my thoughts asking if I wanted to ride with her as she rolled her scooter from behind one of the green shacks. Of course I did, the sun was going down and I still really had no idea to where I was going.
As we arrive, there were thousands of us who were interested in participating in this competition. There was a long line of people waiting in front of a sign that said, “complete forms upon arrival.” We stood in the line for maybe thirty minutes and it was finally our turn. The forms were pretty generic, asking for our names and contact information for if we won the competition. Just as we got out of line, a loud echoing bell rings. Everyone is covering their ears because it was that loud. Then someone says something very loud over what sounds like an intercom, “We have reached the time deadline for accepting applicants. If you are still in line, please leave and we are very sorry for the inconvenience.” I looked behind me and there were about two thousand more people waiting in line, yet we happen to take the last slots. Everyone was looking at us like we had committed a gruesome crime or something. I quickly walked over to the line of people that had already signed up and Lily quickly followed.
Alright everyone, my name is Izra, let us get this started! I looked up to see a man with long blonde wavy hair that at least touched his waist. Eyes the color of honey wood that came with a sparkle as if the sun were shining directly on diamonds. Skin so rich in melanin and smooth that his face resembled a milk chocolate candy bar in texture. “He has to be about 6’2 in height,” I thought to myself. The bell ranged again, taking me out my thoughts. “Introduction is over, time for the rules and instructions of the three stages of life competition.” A group of women, men, and kids came from behind the stage that Izra was on and began passing out papers. Izra then explained what it was. On the front there were the actual rules and instructions and on the back was a map. The instructions read, “Each phase will have a challenge directly correlated with the title. For instance, during the physical phase, you have to do a challenge that involves something physically. You will find out the challenge once you arrive to the locations using your map on the back of this paper.” That seemed fair enough but that was too vague for my liking. I had no idea what was in store for me.
Lily and I decided to follow everyone else in the direction they were going to get to the first phase. We decided to stay in the middle of the crowd just so we would not be first if something bad was up ahead and so we wouldn’t be last if something good was ahead. We were giggling as we thought we were the smartest team out there. When we arrived only roughly 500 kayaks rested in the lake ahead of us. About half of how many people that were headed that way. Without hesitation everyone ran towards to lake.
Somehow out of the chaos, Lily and I managed to get our own kayaks. Inside each kayak was map with three different routes highlighted that we could take. I wanted to take route three and Lily wanted to take route one. That is when we decided it was time for us to separate and do this competition individually. I thanked her for all she did and then we went our separate ways.
It seemed like I was paddling forever. When in reality it maybe had been about thirty-five minutes which is still a lot of arm movement for a person who is not very physically active. I thought to myself wow this is really kicking my behind, how am I going to make it through the next two phases! I finally arrived at what looked like a dock. There were no other people around, just me. I instantly regretted taking this path but got out of my kayak and started following the path into the woods.
As I walked up a slanted hill, I was presented with a huge screen the size of one that would be in a movie theater, just portable. There were instructions attached to the screen that read, “Congratulations! You have made it to the second phase and are one step closer to winning $20,000! The route you chose was the best. Route one and two included a series of waterfalls and obstacles you would have had to paddle through that some people may not survive. Now, all you have to do with this phase is spot the difference between two pictures between ten different sets. The difficulty level will increase each round and you will have three minutes to spot the difference between all ten sets of pictures. Just touch the screen with your answer. Good Luck!” The first set of pictures were large crowds of people in a forest and I had to find the difference. That took me almost the entire three minutes just to see a donut hidden behind a person in the picture to the left. I was worried for the rest of the levels.
Wow would you believe it. I can’t even believe it myself. I actually passed! I jumped with joy and started dancing like no one was watching. “Okay that’s enough”, I said to myself. let me go to this third and final phase. I followed the path that lit up once I completed the second phase, which led me up a tall hill. At the top of the hill was a view of what looked like the world. So much beautiful nature. The forest down below to the right, the sea to the left, and straight ahead were mountains. In the mist of me admiring the view I hear a bell. I walk over about ten ft and see a yoga mat, candles, and huge hourglass with instructions attached to it. “You must mediate for one hour. Beside the yoga mat is a medical device you will attach to your forehead. This will record your brain activity to let us know you are actually meditating and not sleep. You must remain on the mat for the entire hour or you will be disqualified. Once you attach the medical device to your forehead the hourglass will start the countdown. Good luck!” Lucky for me I do yoga and meditation at home all the time, but the problem is it’s only for about ten minutes once a week. I decided to stretch a little and then I sat on the yoga mat. I attached the device my forehead and the time started. After a long hour of trying not fall asleep, boredom, and a thousand other things I did it. I finally finished. The medical device vibrated on my forehead once the time was up and I stood up and stretched my body as far as it could reach. I looked behind me and there were about ten people with balloons, cake, and gifts. Among those gifts was the $20,000 cash price. I started smiling ear to ear, I was so excited. Izra the man who explained all the rules in the very beginning gave me the money prize. There were cameras everywhere. We all stood together to take one big picture. “Say cheese!” the photographer said. As soon as the flash went off, I woke up.
“Wow what a dream,” I said to myself. I took my little black notebook and started writing the details of that very interesting dream I just had. “Might as well add to the list,” I thought as I was writing on page twelve.