Don’t Lose Your Marbles – Flash Fiction (700 words)

Uno-Universe (1U) is what it boiled down to. There is and always will be only one universe that we all exist in. After I invented 1U, I could face and understand the scary, crazy realm my friend, Elliom and his obese ego lived in. But, don’t call me a genius yet. I basically coined 1U from the ‘ol: face your fear and you’ll discover there was nothing to fear at all, which is what I did in the bathroom mirror. And, you can’t conquer fear until you name it, which is why I named it, IU. So, I can’t take full credit but I will take most of the credit because it was me, after all, who saved Elliom from his fake self.

Elliom had been driving me nuts for about five years. Every second of every day he thought the world revolved around him, and to a certain extent, in his mind, it did. But, I couldn’t deny or take it take it any more.

No, the world and everyone in it isn’t functioning around your ego cravings: where you go, who you’re with, what you think, what you do, what you say, what you eat, what you wear, what you buy, what you sell, what you know, who you know. No! Just NO, I tried telling him: you’re not all that and a bag of chips. But, he wouldn’t, [couldn’t], listen to me.

Once, I asked Elliom if he thought he was Jesus? Of course he said no, but get this, he paused. The son of a gun paused; he had the audacity to ponder whether or not he thought he was as important as Jesus is.

I couldn’t make sense of Elliom’s self-assurance. It didn’t add up. Because, when no one was looking or listening, Elliom admonished himself up one side and down the other: you’re a loser, a wannabe, and an insecure baby.

It wasn’t only Elliom’s day-to-day associates that stayed in check; newbies caught wind of his lofty, enigmatic energy and swiftly followed suit.

Pledge Team Elliom or clash, I say!

But, slowly, gradually his buried sorrow burned hot and melted his confidence armor away. Elliom’s self-assurance was as real as a plastic pistol. Like a 3-year-old with a toy gun, on an unsupervised playground, with nine other 3-year-olds around, Elliom had everyone in his universe thinking he was all that and a big, bag of salty chips.

So long as all nine kids think the “big kid’s” toy gun is real, he reigns supreme. Likewise as long as Elliom’s crew stayed swayed by his lofty guise he remained on his throne.

Here’s what stopped Elliom’s marbles from rolling every which way.

A single soul cracked the code. This one guy (#1) pushed back on Elliom. #1 uncovered that Elliom wasn’t the self-assured, walking-talking success machine that he purported to be. #1 put Elliom’s fake haughtiness front and center by confronting him first thing in the morning every couple of months over five years time:

Good morning buddy, here we are again and I’m pleased to tell you it’s going to be a good day; a very good day. I’m here to tell you you’re not as great as you think you are, Elliom. I’m here to tell you it’s going to get better. You’re no different than the rest of us. You’re no better than a bag of chipped marbles. Face it; you’re chipped like the rest of us!

Get going Elliom! Work on keeping the polished marbles you have left snug in your bag. Otherwise, your marbles are going to roll out all over the place, maybe crack. You’ll lose your marbles if you don’t face your fear, my friend. And who knows who else may crack and get hurt by you?

It was that simple. I couldn’t take it any more. The show mustn’t go on. I couldn’t act even one more day.

There I was facing my biggest fear in the world, [Elliom], in a bathroom mirror that needed cleaning, at 5:49 a.m.

Fear lost. Elliom won; I won. There is one and only one universe. It is safe to be who we Truly are. Thank God.

Sincerely yours, Elliom, 1U

Thank you for reading.

Love, Shelley

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