“I should work on that screenplay.” I thought, while logging onto Facebook. It was a typical Sunday. I finally get a few hours to myself to write, and I usually throw it away on…pretty much anything. “How do I procrastinate today?” I thought, scrolling through email. Just as I saw the Netflix House of Cards season 3 email (and had prepared myself to binge watch), I noticed an email from a coworker. “Could you send me _____ document from your flash drive?” I sighed. I ‘d never squeeze Netflix and a ps4 session in at this rate.
I reached into my bag for the flash drive. It’s gone. The drive for a hundred stories, countless poems and potential Razzie award winning screenplays, was gone. Not again.
I hopped on the bus with my stories in hand. Going to the Statue of Liberty was exciting and all, but there was one thing more exciting: I just finished the newest story in my series! What better place to show my friends than a boring bus ride? As soon as we settled in to our seats, I nudged my best friend. I flashed my folder (it was YU-GI-0H themed. Shut up. It was cool) and told him to take a look. He just shook his head, saying, “Reading on the bus makes me feel sick.”
I was a little disappointed, but that was okay. At least I could read my stories. Time passed by as I read about every punch, kick and plot twist along the way. Before I knew it, we were at the Statue of Liberty. As we piled out of the bus, I realized that a full folder may not be the best traveling companion. “Can I leave my folder on the bus?” I asked the teacher. She nodded as we headed off to see what the deal was with this big green lady.
My room is in tatters. Clothes strewn everywhere. My bed is upturned. Every bag lay with its contents spilled out. There was simply no hard drive to be found. I sat at the edge of the bed, thinking about all that I had lost. “Idiot!” I thought, holding a hand over my mouth.
I thought my stories were unotouchable. That the drive was unfailable. Nothing could happen to it, so why worry about making any copies? I could just start over…
I stood up suddenly. Maybe the drive was in my office! I grabbed my keys and raced down the stairs. I had to know.
We walked back to the familiar looking bus, weary from a day of climbing stairs and riding ferries. My best friend looked a little sick. Made sense, boats are worse than buses…what? I had reached my seat but there was a huge difference: No folder. I looked around the seats, and even under them. How could it move?
I moved up to the bus driver and asked, “Did you see a folder around?” The bus driver nodded. “Yep, dumped into the garbage in between shifts.” I stopped. The world froze. It was all gone? Just like that?
I slowly went back to my seat. Everything I had written was gone. I didn’t have any backups. Nothing on the computer. My stories were gone.
“Can I read your stories?” my friend asked. “No. They’re gone now.” I said. “Oh? Well, I guess you can just make new ones?” he asked. I looked out the window, the Statue of Liberty now a distant sight. I was starting to feel sick myself now.
I crawled in between the seats of my car. After a failed search throughout my office, this was the only option left. The flashlight illuminated what was under the seat, revealing what I already knew: It was gone. I sat in the back of my car. I was starting to feel sick again.
The moon shone through my back window. I looked up and out to the stars that had started to come out. For a moment, I wished there was just one. One to make a wish on. One to reverse time. One…just to keep me writing. I shook my head. It was happening again. I climbed out of my car and began the walk back to my apartment.
I thought of the stories I had lost. The screenplay I wrote off a suggestion from a dear friend. My first attempt at writing a book. The complete rewrite of the series that I had lost almost 12 years ago. I sighed and pushed open the front door. This time, I looked straight ahead. I started over once. I can do it again.
One day, this will be a funny story. Just like I taught in the humor presentation I gave off my hard drive the other day…OH MY GOD!
I grabbed my key and flew out the door. There was one last place to check.
“How was your trip?” mom asked, typing away on her computer. “It was okay.” I said quickly. My mom didn’t notice my deflection. How could should not notice? I lost so much today. An entire world! And yet…no one noticed.
I turned back to my mother.
“Mom, I don’t think I want to be a writer anymore.”
My mom raised an eyebrow. “Really? You’ve been telling stories since you were six? Why change it now?”
I met her gaze and said, “There’s too many people out there. Nobody would read my stuff. It’s unrealistic.”
I stand in the middle of a dark presentation room.
My flash drive stands clutched tightly to my chest.
I had two thoughts:
- I am backing up every single thing on this to the cloud, sixteen laptops and my n64 somehow.
- This is a second chance if I’ve ever seen one.
I don’t know if this was fate. I don’t know if this was a cosmic lesson. I don’t know if this was some random series of events one after the other. But I did know that it would take more than a couple of lost files to stop me from writing again.