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Mr. Perfect (Short Story)

Hmm…your life does indeed flash before your eyes as you’re about to die…

My car careened off of the freeway overpass and began its descent down into the icy waters below. I was to die of exposure or by drowning that night, whichever came first. It didn’t matter. My desire was to meet my end and I had no preference about how I went about it. As I plummeted towards the water, I thought once again about my numerous reasons for taking this drastic course of action.

I don’t regret my decision for even a second.

Everyone around me thought I had the perfect life. I couldn’t blame them. I am a 4.0 GPA student. I have rich parents who can afford to give me the best of everything and a girlfriend who loves me. I am the captain of the basketball team, debate team and cross country team, and a champion in each of those. But, it still wasn’t enough…

Some might hear that and just think I’m a spoiled, greedy bastard. To those people I say, “If you had the chance to live my life for one day, you would know that this isn’t the case.”

To be honest, I would have been very happy with a much more modest lifestyle. In fact, I would have given anything to be able to live my life without all the pressures of my day to day life. Unfortunately, the word “modest” isn’t a part of my parents’ vocabulary.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been in a rigorous training program designed and supervised by my parents to ensure that I was perfect. Actually, the word “rigorous” doesn’t even begin to describe how difficult the program is. This program was created to ensure that when I came of age, I would be fit to run the “family business”, a multinational corporation that dominates the market in every field it has a stake in. If the government didn’t have laws and regulations in place to ensure that businesses from becoming monopolies, the “competition” would have been ground into dust the moment they entered the market.

According to my father, it is not enough to excel, one has to leave the competition in the dust. To him, life is a competition and second place is unacceptable. Throughout the course of my schooling, I was always required to be the best in my class in every subject. If I wasn’t I was severely punished. If someone scored one point higher than me on an exam, I was admonished for my so called “second-rate work”.

I always had the best of everything. The best tutors, the best doctors (to maintain my perfect health), the best educational resources, the best personal trainers, and so on. Everything I needed was provided for me. Well, except for one thing. I had no social life whatsoever. My parents thought things like friends, television, and videogames were trivial and unnecessary and thus, I never had any of these things.

My girlfriend has never met my family. I forbade her to ever acknowledge that she was anything more than an acquaintance around my parents because if they ever knew about it, I would never see her again.

I never really had any friends until high school and even then I was never allowed to speak to them outside of school. I was never allowed to go to malls, restaurants or arcades because they would “distract” me from my studies.

In high school, I was nicknamed Mr. Perfect. To this day, I can’t seem to understand why. Even with my 4.0 GPA, numerous sporting trophies and achievements and academic rewards, I was never given any accolades by my parents. I never had their full approval. To them, I could always do better and I was not deserving of praise until I had done better. I tried fruitlessly to do well enough to earn my parents’ respect but to no avail. I’ve often wondered why I consider them parents. In the physical sense I am their son, but spiritually and emotionally, I’m nothing more than a business partner and now, they are dead to me.

The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back came in the form of my parents finding out about my secret girlfriend. Not only was I forbidden from ever seeing her again, they actually had the nerve to pay her parents ten million dollars to relocate to an undisclosed location, effectively making it impossible for me to ever find her.

They wouldn’t even let me say goodbye.

Well, no more. I’m ending it all today.

To my parents I have one final thing to say,

“Nothing can ever be perfect, and no man can ever reach true perfection.”

My life is proof that this statement is true. I can’t imagine they’ll cry once my body is discovered or at my eventual funeral. After all, one has to be emotionally attached to the deceased for such a response to be evoked.

Some may think I’m taking the coward’s way out… and I agree. After being considered “perfect” all of my life, I’m glad to finally have one flaw to call my own.