In a small red box on the sagging top shelf on the left hand side of my bedroom is a genie. I’ve had the genie for ooh, about 12 years. I found the genie quite by accident one day while pottering along doing my normal, everyday, run of the mill things.
I found an old oil lamp in the middle of the road and picked it up, absently mindedly rubbing the tarnish with the sleeve of my favourite denim jacket.
With a “KABLAM!” the genie suddenly appeared, right there in front of me and was shimmering with promises and delights that I believed only the genie could give me. I thought the genie was magnificent and beautiful and she didn’t promise me three wishes.
Instead the genie was just friendly and pleasant.
Thing is, I never thought I needed 3 wishes from the genie. I was happy in the genie’s presence and happy to even SEE the genie every day. I mean, not everyone has a genie do they? I was privileged just to be chosen by the genie to be the genie’s friend.
Not wishing to scare my genie away I was always very polite and never deliberately rude (well apart from the time she heard me belch and seethed “Lance! I kill you!!”). However, I was also never too polite or forward with my emotions. I mean, I feared that the genie might get scared off if I showed too much genuine emotion so I kept everything on an even keel.
After maybe one year of having the genie as my friend I stopped paying my genie so much attention. I still remembered her and thought about her but I was too preoccupied with other things and then after an even longer time I recalled that I had ignored my precious genie. I felt so guilty and realised that my genie was probably hurt by me ignoring her the way I had.
The worst thing I could imagine was that my genie didn’t want to know me any more. So I picked up the lamp and put it in the small red box, on the sagging top shelf in my bedroom.
For a long time it stayed there, gathering dust and then one day I realised that I was just looking at a box that contained the answer to a long unsolved mystery.
Did my genie hate me or worse….had my genie forgotten me?
So today I took down the small red box from the sagging top shelf and removed the lamp and with trembling fingers I rubbed the lamp for the first time in a long time.
Instantly the genie was there and she smiled at me and her brown eyes twinkled and she said “Hello, Lance. My…it has been a long time. How are you?”
I smiled back and said sorry to my genie for ignoring her. I apologised for my behaviour and if I’d made her angry. The genie listened to me then smiled again and leaned forward to kiss my lips. She then put her smoky hands either side of my face and said “Lance, I do not simply live in that lamp when you are not here with me. Did you really think I just stay in there all the time? I go other places. I mean, you’re a fantasy author! You know that portals exist to other worlds. I have other friends and a life when you are not here. I will never stop wanting to hear from you and never stop wanting to be with you BUT my life goes on every day. You should know that I thought you were angry with ME because you just disappeared and didn’t call me for so long. I love you, don’t forget that but don’t think I judge you for everything you do. We all make mistakes. I have feelings too and I am very glad you found me again.”
The genie and me then walked and talked and laughed and enjoyed each other’s company and when it came time for her to go, I kissed her goodbye and she went back to the lamp. I put the lamp on my mantlepiece and threw the red box off the sagging middle shelf in my bedroom away.
The lamp now sits on my mantlepiece where I can see it every day. Sometimes the genie comes when I call. Sometimes she comes when she wants to. Sometimes she doesn’t come at all.
But the genie is always there, somewhere.