-by Manu, Batch of 2023
GOD: NEXT! (points to me)Alright bro, you’re next. What do you wanna be rebirthed as in your next life?
ME : Umm…What are my options?
GOD: Well, you could be a human being again, or an animal, or an insect. There’re tons of options, dude.
ME: What about that big wooden stick which has those green coloured things on it? What’s that?
GOD: Oh, that’s a tree.
ME: What does it do?
GOD: Basically it gives everything which is important for all the other living things to survive.
ME: Sounds like a noble profession.
GOD: For sure. (snickers a little bit)
ME: Alright, I’d like to lock that option.
GOD: Sure. Just gimme a second. (takes a dab and starts coughing)
GOD: (intense coughing continues)
GOD: Hold on, I’m almost done. (coughs again)
ME: Are you sure you’re qualified enough to do this?
GOD: Of course, bruh. I’ve been doing this for years now. (coughs) Aight, I’ll just lock in that option. NEXT!
ON EARTH (20 YEARS LATER)
I’d like to say the three magical words-
“I REGRET THIS.”
Why on earth did I choose this? That goddamn old stoner! He set me up. He knew how this was going to turn out.
It was amazing when I was born. ‘Baby Sap’, is what they called me. I spent countless days napping and growing under the shade and care of the other big trees. No competition for anything. The oldest – Uncle Fitz, as we all called him affectionately, was the leader of all the trees in the area. And I was his favourite. He once said, “These days of your precious childhood must be enjoyed thoroughly, for when you grow up, you work for a painfully long time. We trees don’t live for ourselves, but we live so that other species can have a normal life here on this planet.”
And then I did grow up. The elders around me made me aware of my responsibilities. Initially I had normal working hours, a healthy work environment and a decent compensation of CO2, water and minerals as wages. But very soon, the situation worsened. It would be an understatement to say that I was being overworked. What was supposed to be a noble profession, now felt like slavery. The air around us had excess levels of carbon dioxide, way more than we could take. I hadn’t seen Uncle Fitz in a very long time. I wasn’t even sure if he was still in charge or not. And the other elders went from caring to absolute jerks in no time. They threatened to cut us off from the group if we didn’t obey, and said that we would be left to starve and die.
“Come on, you little shits! We’re not paying you for sitting around all day. The air needs more oxygen, and you’re gonna make it. ” They said as we, the other young trees, did all the work and they sat on their lazy asses, hogging all of the water and nutrients from the nearby areas.
Baby Sap, they said?!
I worked every day, without a halt. Every single second of my existence was devoted to consuming the CO2 around me and producing oxygen. I never rebelled against the elders, because I knew how important the job was. It had to be done, by me or by someone else. Otherwise, the other species would perish, especially humans. What was once a cute little sapling, became a cold-hearted tree, hardened by the cruelty and hypocrisy of the world. My trunk turned the darkest shades of brown, and my leaves dried and fell out. I lost all hope, and had retired to the monotony of my daily routine. I kept going, as I still cared about what Fitz had said.
And then came the D-day, when I finally said something. It was a normal day, and I was doing my role, when I saw a group of humans heading in our direction. I was delighted. I hadn’t had any human interaction in years. ‘Maybe they’ve come to admire us’, is what I thought. However, all that happiness and glee turned into shock once they started swinging their axes and fancy cutters around the trunks of my friends. All of them cried for help. But no one could do anything. ‘Oh, you evil humans. We’ve worked tirelessly, every day and night. Why must you do this to us?” I cried internally.
“Call Fitz! He will know what to do.” I begged the elders.
“Shut up you little runt! Fitz has been dead for months. FOR MONTHS! He’s not helping anyone today. We’re all doomed. ”
That’s when I felt completely lost. I gave in. All my fear and anxiety evaporated instantly. Nothing seemed to be of any importance anymore. I stood absolutely quiet as I watched my friends getting murdered by the very people we swore to dedicate our lives to. ‘Why God, why?!’
GOD: (On his phone texting someone)
‘Hey Satan! Let’s meet up tonight.
Dinner’s on me.
(looks down and sees what’s happening on earth)
Noble, he said!