The Stanford college of Manhattan was the abode of the most popular,happening, and classiest group of friends in the city. And it literary consisted of all the upper-east-siders. Just like every group has its own alpha person, Chuckbas was the leader in this one. He was the only son of the owner of the Empire hotel chains all across the U.S.A. Money for him was as easily available as the oxygen in the air. This caused into him arrogance. He was short tempered, spoilt and a hard core drug addict. His friends Jim, Amanda, Kate and Rooney were becoming sick of his ill habits and its after-effects (including bailing him out of the jail twice last month).
It was a pleasant Saturday evening. And Kate had a house party. There was a lot of happiness, dance and music. Young couples were making out in the front lawn. But sitting in the corner of the backyard was Chuckbas with his only girlfriend – Cocaine. That night he was too high that the night ended on a very different note.
After being chucked out of the party by Kate for shouting and abusing at her guests, Chuckbas planned to go attend a rave party 8 miles to the east. While he was striding towards his car, Amanda came to stop him from driving since he was not in his senses. But he irritably pushed her back. She managed to get up just in time to jump into the passenger seats before the engine roared to life. Because the truth was that even though his friends were annoyed and angry at his actions, they still cared.
Exactly 5 miles away from Kate’s place, while jumping the third red light at an insanely high speed, the car smashed into four people and got crashed in the nearby pole. Amanda bumped her head on the dashboard and even Chuckbas was bleeding from his nose, but both were conscious enough to jump out of the car and run towards the crime scene. The scene: road tainted red because of the flowing blood, four bodies lying wounded( or maybe dead by now) and a group of people now beginning to crowd them. Chuckbas was frozen on the road becoming a victim to emotions and self introspection. With Amanda standing beside him paralyzed with shock, he went through an unrestrained quick flashback of his life. Questions like what he has ended up becoming suddenly started pinching him in his brain like needles.
Before he could think any further, the siren of the approaching cops became louder and clearer. Both of them got horrified and ran to save their lives from one street to another, Hiding behind columns, inside the buildings and running several blocks down. This chase of the police and the murderers continued for more than three hours till Chuckbas and Amanda finally ditched the cops and ended up in the local metro rail. People were staring at them and children were becoming uncomfortable and scared of their looks. Chuckbas realized that Amanda hadn’t uttered a single word since the start of the journey. He looked into Amanda’s eyes searching for an explanation, an answer for why she took the risk of her life to be with him. He wanted Amanda to hurt him, beat him and kill him for being a monster all these years. Finally Amanda broke the silence, she said – “Is this the price of your lifestyle? Is this what you want? Its time you stop being Chuckbas and become Charles Bastik: your real name and your real identity.” Having listened to the golden words of his angelic friend Chuckbas pledged to make this incident a turning point in his life.
6 months later:
Chuckbas and Amanda are living a contented life in Sweden, to where they had escaped that very night. They are away from their elite world and all its traces. Living life on their own terms, Chuckbas started working in a coffee shop. Amanda became a tutor in philosophy in which she had done specialization during her college. Their life gained new heights and they became high, this time it was not the high of alcohol or drugs but the high of adventure-skydiving in which the inculcated every 2 months, for the thrill of it.
“life is thrilling, but it is we who have to choose between the thrill of regret or the thrill of wonder.”