How the World Works

Submitted by Tuesday Michael to Contest #15 in response to: Write about a character who is a reluctant expert on a topic they wish they didn’t know so much about.... view prompt

Olivia was always a smart girl. She understood more about life than most of her teachers. Most would assume that her parents just told her these things, but as people got to know her they realized her wisdom came from experience, not lessons.

Olivia's closest friend, Gabriel, learned first-hand just how much she knew.

Gabriel was older than her by a few years. He had a job and was living on his own, but Olivia just graduated high school that year. Gabriel thought that he would test her, see how much she really knows about the way the world works. He picked her up from her house and asked to take a walk in the park.

It started off with simple questions, "Do you believe in love at first sight?" "Do people always tell the truth?" Gabriel expected frivolous and flowery answers from the younger girl, but that's not what Olivia knew.

"I believe that most people want love at first sight, but what they really have is lust. You can't possibly love someone based on looks alone. Just like in nature, sometimes the prettiest one is the most poisonous," Olivia sighs before continuing. "As for telling the truth? Someone who only tells the truth doesn't really live. Everyone has something they want to hide, either out of shame or because the truth is more unbelievable than the lie. The danger in lying comes from who you lie to and what you lie about. Trust doesn't come from people not lying, it comes from lying properly."

Gabriel, more than a little surprised, paused a moment. "Why is that your answer? You're so young, how could you possibly be so.. sad?"

Olivia turned to him and looked deep into his eyes. She saw concern in them, and he saw pain in hers. "I don't want to know this. I desperately want to believe that people are good and that true love exists. I don't think I'm an expert on human behavior, but I've seen enough of this world to know that people as a whole are shit. Everyone thinks they know more than the person younger than them. Everyone believes that we take care of our own. The reality is, our own is usually the ones chewing us up and spitting us out. Every person we let get close to us will help us in our journey, but not because they are kind. They help us because they pretend to care, then when we aren't useful anymore, they bite us. Love isn't real, love is just finding someone who will be useful the longest, and trying to be useful to them in return."

After a moment of silence, Olivia walks home. A girl who is an expert in pain, betrayal, and loneliness, only knows how to isolate herself.

Gabriel stared at her as she disappeared down the road. He thinks back on his own experiences and realizes that she's right. Now that he knows, what will he do?

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3 likes 3 comments

04:14 Nov 20, 2019

Tuesday, You are a very talented writer! I can't begin to tell you how powerful your words (Olivia's answers) were. While reading, I identified a few lines that I planned to mention, but its hard to do that now, since the entire 5th and 7th paragraphs (if I counted correctly) were incredible!! I'm looking forward to reading more of your work. Very well done!! Sue

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23:04 Nov 20, 2019

Thank you for your input Sue! I'm really glad you enjoyed my writing. :)

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01:25 Nov 21, 2019

You are welcome! And yes, I REALLY enjoyed and was VERY impressed with your writing. Sue

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