Ker Moua | Lead Copy Editor
There were two siblings named Ken and Mona. Ken was ambitious. Mona had common sense and knew when things were beyond her. Both siblings were opposites of each other but each helped the other. Ken dragged Mona everywhere while Mona kept Ken from doing anything he would not be able to handle.
The two children’s choice of careers in life were different. Ken’s was ever evolving while Mona had none but planned to enter the work force and figure out from there.
In elementary school, the older sibling, Ken, aspired to be an artist. He liked to draw and make art related crafts. His parents asked him to be a doctor or a lawyer. He complained he would rather have a job he enjoyed instead of a job he did not like.
Mona on the other hand was indecisive. She kept up good grades and hoped for a career to come along that she would enjoy.
In high school during Ken’s rebellious stage, he declared he would be a hobo and live in the streets. Studying art had grown tiresome and boring. His parents were shocked. They forced him to continue his education after he said he would take a few years off after high school.
Mona picked up a job at a local fast food restaurant. She worked hard and had good grades during high school. It was during her final year that she felt tired of school. She entered college but dropped out after two semesters. After high school, she felt the real world was cruel and unforgiving. She didn’t have the desire to continue. Instead, she focused on work and found a better paying job.
“You’re such a workaholic,” Ken once told her. “You have no time for family or hanging out.”
“Everything requires money,” Mona had replied. “Even the house we live in.”
“Do you not aspire to do more?” Ken inquired. “Do you not want your name in the history books?”
“Money rules the world,” was Mona’s reply. “I won’t have such grand ideas if I don’t have the money to support my every whim.”
After Ken graduated college with a less than desirable degree, he became addicted to online gaming. While not working, he would play games for all the odd hours of the night. He dragged Mona along and soon she was playing as well.
For years stuck in limbo, the siblings worked and played. Their parents complained that the money wasted on their games did not amount to them gaining anything. Ken was told to find a wife. Mona was told to go back to school. Neither listened to their parents.
Over the years, Mona noticed that Ken was everything Mona wished to be. He was motivated when he desired something. Their parents loved him more than her even though they say they love her just equally. He was a graduate and had a career. Simply, he was born a man and Mona was not.
“Do you hate being a woman?” Ken had asked her when she told him.
“No,” Mona replied. “I’m happy being a woman.”
“But you want to be a man because you want privileges,” Ken indicated. “You want things a man has but you don’t want to lose things a woman has. So you should just be indifferent. You are an independent woman. No need for privileges if you can do things yourself.”
While Mona was bored one month and thinking on Ken’s words, she went on a documentary binge. Watching hour long videos on an online streaming site, she began to question her role.
There are over 7 billion persons in the world. Why can nothing be solved? How is it that one person in this mass of billions cannot come up with a simple solution to simple problems? So many years have gone by since she worked and humanity is still stuck on this planetary rock.
The candle lit flame that burned inside of Mona burst into a raging fire. Mona wanted to build a spaceship and go to Mars or land on the moon. She wanted to build an underwater submarine and explore the deepest oceans. She wanted to uncover ancient civilizations or know if aliens do exist. But in the end, she still was indecisive. She had so many ideas and possible solutions.
“Then what’s stopping you from going back to college?” inquires Ken. “For starters, you need knowledge to be able to do anything.”
“I’ve been out of school for so long,” Mona complains. “I can’t remember what I was taught.”
“You do know how to use a computer and a mouse right?” Ken jokes. “That’s what free internet study guides are for.”
“I cannot agree on a single degree,” Mona counters. “It would be a waste of money without a narrow focus.”
“But you have ideas, problems, and possible solutions?” asks Ken. “Then study a degree where you can create things to your heart’s desire. Where you are not bound by a lack of knowledge but receiving a treasure trove of resources that you don’t have enough time to explore.”
“But that degree is overrun by men,” Mona responds.
“Do you enter a classroom to be given phantom looks or do you enter a classroom to learn?” Ken questions her.
“To learn what I want to learn,” Mona pouts.
“There’s your answer,” Ken explains. “Take the first step. Put yourself in trouble and work through it. You can do many things. You just need to focus and take that first step.”
And so Mona took the first step and studied. She paid the fees and took a test. Then she informed her parents. They were overjoyed that she was planning to do something with her life.
On the first day of the semester, Mona stood in front of a mirror and fixed her shirt before she left for class.
“Desiring to become something you cannot be,” her reflection begins, “Do you still want it?”
“You know money rules the world,” Mona smiles, “Plus sex reassignment surgeries cost money.”
“True,” Ken considers. “But you no longer want it.”
“I have accepted that you are nothing but my unfulfilled fantasy,” Mona says to the reflection, “And that I have to accept that I am me. And I can do more if I stop endlessly wanting something intangible and focusing on what I need to do to get where I want to be.”
“So is this good bye for now?” Ken inquires.
“Yes,” Mona says to the mirror, “Good bye, brother. Until we meet again.”
Mona walks away and the image of Ken disappears with a smile on his face.