Every Wish Has a PriceIn the far reaches of the Universe, there was a small shop.
It didn't have a sign hanging outside - the sign was blown away by a hurricane, and the new proprietor decided not to hang a new one because all the locals knew what the store sold - wishes.
There was a huge selection.
Here you could buy practically anything: huge yachts, apartments, marriage, the post of vice president of a corporation, money, kids, a dream job, a beautiful body, victory in a contest, powerful cars, power, success, and much much more.
The only things not on sale were life and death. Those were the purview of Head Quarters, which was located in another galaxy.
Everyone who would walk into the store (and by the way, there were many wishing people who never, not once entered the store but stayed wishing at home) wanted to know the price for their wish.
Prices were different.
For example, a dream job cost giving up on stability and predictability, being ready to plan all by yourself and structure your life, belief in yourself and allowing yourself to work where you would like and not where you have to.
Power cost a little more. You have to give up some of your convictions, to find a rational explanation for everything, to be able to say no to others, to know your own price (and that price needs to be high enough), to allow yourself to say 'I', putting yourself forward no matter the approval or disapproval of those around you.
Some prices looked strange - marriage, it was possible, to get almost for free. However, a happy life was really expensive: to be personally responsible for your own happiness, to be able to get joy out of life, to know your true desires, to give up on wanting to conform to or imitate those around you, to value what you have, to allow yourself to be happy, to be conscious of your own value and importance, to give up on the perks of being a 'victim', to take the risk that you will part with some friends and acquaintances.
Not everyone who came into the store was ready to immediately buy their wish. Some, seeing the price turned around and walked away. Others stood there for a long time thinking and calculating how much they have right now and where they could get the rest.
Some started complaining about the too-high prices, and begged for a discount or inquired about when there would be a sale.
And there were those who gave all their savings and got their most intimate wish wrapped in beautiful crinkly paper.
Other shoppers looked upon the happy buyers with envy, and gossiped that the proprietor is a friend and they got their wish just like that, with no effort at all.
Often people offered the owner to lower the prices so he would increase the number of buyers. But he always refused, because then the quality of wishes would suffer.
When they asked if he is not worried that he would go broke, he always shook his head and answered that in all ages you can find a few brave souls who are ready to risk and change their lives; who would give up their ordinary, predictable life; who are capable to believe in themselves; who have the strength and what it takes to pay to get their wish.
And on the door of the store there was written, at least for the past hundred years:
'If your wish is not coming true, it means it hasn't been paid for yet'.