There it lay, closer than ever, within arms reach. The capsule was rumored to be the solution to life itself. According to Dr. Walls, I have officially reached the appropriate age of 12 to begin to take this pill on a daily basis, until I reach the ripe age of 60. Dr. Walls informed me that it is my decision whether or not to take the pill, but I have yet to meet someone past the age of 12 who has refused the treatment. 

Growing up my parents always reassured me that, one day, I would be able to experience true bliss no matter what ought to come my way. Supposedly, I would be enabled to belt out in song, and dance freely without a care of where I was, or who was watching. With their medication, I would be able to better appreciate the beauty of a sunset, and the comfort of the company of a true friend. 

The thing is, I see no difference between this promised life of bliss, and the one I currently lead. I thoroughly enjoy my life, as I spend my days running through town laughing, winning over the candy man with a smile in order to be gifted a bright red gumdrop. 

The one difference I believe the pill does make is that, in all my days, I have never seen a tear fall from my mama or papa’s cheek. Now, this may merely come with age, but I on the other hand lament when I trip and skid my hands against gravel, or am called names by cruel boys just a grade level above me. These are the times my parents harmoniously laugh at me and assure me I must not fret over silly grievances. 

My classmate, Opal, recently was nowhere to be found for a whole two days and six hours. Her parents showed no sign of concern for her mysterious absence, rather they were seen cheerfully picnicking the second night she had been missing.  

Riding her bike back from school, a rabbit had darted out seconds in front of her, and Opal instinctively swerved in order to spare the innocent creature’s life. In doing so, her front tire rolled over the edge of the hillside, plugging her and her bike far down into the valley below. She hit her head on her bike and was left lying in the thicket until a hiker came across her on the third day. She was immediately rushed to the hospital, yet considering her lack of hydration and amount of blood loss, the odds of her survival were extremely low. 

Upon hearing the news, her parents’ smiles remained plastered on their faces, without expressing an ounce of concern for their very own, precious daughter. 

My heart is broken because it dawned on me that if I had been in the same situation, I can’t imagine my parents having any more of an empathetic or remorseful reaction to me. 

For this reason, I reach out in front of me, and push the pill towards Dr. Walls and say,

“I can find happiness on my own, thank you very much.” Little does she know that what I truly long for is to be able to embrace pain and sorrow, so that when each morning comes, I can genuinely rejoice over the beauty of a sunrise. For, I will not let anyone rob me of triumphantly knowing, in my heart, that I have persevered through trials in order to experience raw joy without the aid of a deceitful pill.

Picture Credit: Yaroshevska, Anna. We Heart It | Get lost in what you love. “Beauty, Dreams, Emotions, Hand, Happy Pills, Hope – Inspiring Picture on” We Heart It, 27 Jan. 2017,

Written by

Gabriella Hendricks

Gabby Hendricks, junior, enjoys performing in the school musicals. She is also learning how to play the guitar and loves spending time reading. Gabby began to truly appreciate literature and writing when her sixth-grade teacher read The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros to her class and would also have the students write their own creative stories.