Howie Ronic was a genius of a man…. in the common sense of the term of course. His IQ was a staggering 141 and he knew to speak 8 languages by the time he was 10. At 24 he had five degrees, a cabinet filled with medals and was on a mission to create a more “human” world. As a boy Howie had faced a lot of sadness and pain through most of his growing years and felt he would be better off without having that part of his life flashing back every now and again.
This pushed Howie to have a dream, a goal, something he had wanted all his life. He wanted to create something that would put him alongside people like Arthur Eichengrün, R. Richter and Alexander Fleming; he wanted to make a difference to the world and have a strong positive impact on people’s lives. These men had inventions so brilliant that they had gone down in history; they would always be remembered for their discoveries; maybe not by their name but perhaps as ‘the-genius-who-invented-the-painkiller’.
Howie’s childhood was marked with bullying and being picked on because of his tiny lanky figure and timid personality. Hard as he may have tried, the boy could not seem to get over feelings of anger, resentment and apprehension. He thought about how the new generation of kids dealt with these old antics. He had read about suicide, depression, and revolt and pondered on a solution. Therapy and counselling never really worked on him, it made him feel better but that was all. He remembered every dreadful moment like it was yesterday. The pushing and the shoving, the name-calling and the horrible pranks which made him the laughing stalk of the class.
He wished the memories could somehow disappear, he wished he never had to feel those feelings every time he saw a kid being pulled up by his collar. According to Howie, negative memories sometimes destroyed a person. His own experiences had made him feel worthless to the point where he had almost lost the will to live. He wanted to change this and worked on a solution day in and day out for hours at a stretch – sometimes forgetting to eat, other times forgetting to sleep. One day while deep in research he created a compound that altered the long term memory. Negative emotions associated with memories could finally be treated. Thus began his journey to create something so unbelievable that his own mind failed to grasp its power.
Thirty-three years down the line, the lanky silhouette who used to patiently hide by the dumpster had now achieved immortality. The tonic was an over-the-counter drug that was prescribed for every emotional issue possibly known to mankind. Every time a heart broke Ronic made it better, every time a tear fell Ronic helped made it disappear.
The tonic became the solution to negative memories and emotions a person did not want to remember or deal with; pain, anger, hate, sorrow, sadness, almost anything. Ronic was now known as that-genius-who-invented-happy-time-every-time. He had made life more bearable for many; somewhere along the line the drug gave many a reason to live. They didn’t have to deal with their emotions like before; the tonic was enough to make the bad things go away; similar to alcohol but the effects were permanent.
But after a few years, research showed that using the drug could be detrimental. In some extreme cases, people could lose their sense of emotion. Holly Mathews was as 26 year old with a prescription that permitted her to use the drug at least once a week. By the time she was 28 she was free from every kind of emotion that negatively affected her. In an interview she commented, “I lost my best friend in a car accident. She meant the world to me and I loved her like a sister. As I stood watching her casket sink into the ground I wanted to cry but the tears wouldn’t come, I wanted to feel sorrow, to express how much she meant to me but I couldn’t. It was almost like I wasn’t even human ”
This was in response to the Writing Challenge on The Daily Post.
<a href=”http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/oh-the-irony/”>Oh, The Irony</a>