Note: All the characters belong to Marvel. Nothing belongs to me, only the plot. Please letís all be kind to each other and not sue, I donít have any money. If you want to archive this story, I will be happy to send you a copy, as long you ask permission first, okay?

A Roll of Toilet Paper

By: Sunset < >

Ď A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single stepí
- Chinese Proverb

A room in a huge building was as dull as always. The opaque window blocked the sun so no light came in. No sound was also heard. Only the cold rush of air when one of the nurses came in, or if the doctor visits as he always do every week.

A man looked around the room, emptiness he felt, and pushed his wheelchair to the lavatory adjacent to it. Pushing the cabinet open, he grabbed his shaver and started shaving. He was much unaware of what time it was, for there was no clock in the room, and day for it had been very long that he stayed in the small and dingy room.

He went out, debating whether he should stay in bed and wait for the nurse or if he should just continue sitting down, nothing to do.

Finally, he decided to just stay at the corner, near the window as he always does and rest his head there, hoping to feel any thing from the outside world he was alienated from. Before he was kept in there, he didnít have to open his doors to know the outside world. Being born with the gifts of telepathy, he was a blest mutant. But just like what everything that had happen to him, it was gone.

He pushed his wheelchair and headed there, when he noticed a strip of white paper under his bed. With much effort, he bent down and took it, hoping to find something worth finding.

Surprised, he found a roll of toilet paper, one that the nurses had carelessly left or was just lying there since day one of his stay there.

The paper was a little yellowish and pretty much loose. He rolled more until the paper was free from it brown cardboard roll, all tangled up on his lap. He grabbed the paper and began rolling it back again.

After his first attempt to roll the paper back, he reflected on his life. His past life before the government placed him in this place.

His life with fun and pleasure, filled with desires and sorrows.

He rolled it again, remembering his mother, Laura, and how she died with an unknown disease when he was eight. He will always remember her and treasure all the values she taught him and love she showed. Closing his eyes, he began to remember the last time they last saw each other.

" Charles, look at this." She said once, hours before she died. " See those flowers over there?"

" Yes Mama. I see them." his younger self answered, looking at the pot of red roses growing by his motherís bedroom window. " Why are you asking, Mama?"

" Charles, look at the flower. Do they not grow alone?" she asked. He nodded. " Look at the way they grow, are they not dependent and independent creatures?"

" I donít understand Mama."

" Charles, look at them. They depend on the sunís light, the water we give them, and the nourishment we feed them to live, yet they feed themselves, give themselves energy and take care of themselves too."

He nodded in understanding.

" Charles, youíve been a bright boy. Tell me, do flowers live long?"

" No, Mama."

" But they still try their best to look pleasant and attractive right?" his Mama continued. " Charles, I want you to do that. I want you to be entirely independent with your life. Iím not going to live long and you know that too well."

" Oh Charles, donít be sad!" She exclaimed, wiping the tears rolling from his cheeks. " Even if I wonít be here, Iíll always look after you."

" But Mama, you wouldnít be here to help me grow!" he wailed.

" Sweetie, you donít need me to grow. All you need is yourself. Charles, promise Mama that you will always try your best to live a life that is worth living. Try to do the best, strive for perfection because life isnít long."

" Life wouldnít give you a warning on when itíll end." She cried, tears welling in her ocean like eyes. " Life isnít fair, and time will always be short. Promise me that within the short time you will live your life, you would make a someone out of yourself and donít waste time in doing so, for a fact that you wouldnít know when itíll end."

" Like the flowers?" he asked quietly.

His mother looked at him. " Yes, like the flowers indeed. Remember that every right step you make will bring you to high altitude because the key to life is just one step ahead."

And he remembers. Everything his mother told him, every advice that she showed him. And he did make a someone out of himself. Little by little, he made his way to the top, becoming the best that he could, like he promised his mother He became a doctor. A famous doctor who made a lot of money and helped a lot of people.. People like Jean Grey. A mutant telepath like him, who had in a catatonic state for nearly three years because of an accident, Charles brought her back to life. Something she and her parents are always thankful of.

" Oh doctor, thank you so for brining me back from life."

" It was nothing Jean. I was glad to do it, after all I am a doctor, am I not?"

" Oh I love you doctor!" the ten year old girl cried, throwing herself at Charlesí neck.

" Oh! Donít say that dear, for I might get jealous if you repeat those heavenly words to another man ten years from now." He cried, laughing at the childís innocent proclamation.

" Oh silly doctor! I would never do that."

" Why? Thereís nothing wrong with that!"

" Sigh." She put her head on top of her hand. " Doctor, it will take me forever just to make up the years I have spent in a comatose state. I would never have time for boys, for love even for happiness."

Charles looked at the little girl. " Honey" he said gently, " you are right in a way that life is short. Life is like a flower, you donít know when it will wither."

Jean looked at the doctor, her green eyes huge. " Thatís pretty."

" My mother said it before she died." Charles said, his voice thickening. " Jean, life might be short, but you can do many things with it."

" But doctor, Iím scared."

" Scared of what?" he asked, stroking the girlís red hair.

" To leave my family, to have no one to teach me to grow."

" Jean, itís up to you to live your life, and remember you can learn from your mistakes and that every right step you take will lead you one step closer to your altitude," he said, remembering the infamous quote from his mother that he knew by heart. " because the key to success, to life is one step ahead."

Jean was soon released from the hospital and but she still continued to see him. Soon he met his love of his life, Gabrielle Hanse. Quiet and witty, they made a place for themselves in a small cottage, just miles away from the hospital. They were both contented and happy but work destroyed it all. Charles was very busy in keeping his motherís wishes that all were lost, Gabrielle and their unborn child, who left just one day and never returned, Moria, a fellow doctor who he fell for and Amelia, a nurse in St. Croix Hospital, where he treated some cancer patients.

Finally, he grew quite old and tired. He resigned from his job and went home in Weschester, New York City, and stayed in his familyís a mansion. He lived there for a long time when he spotted a mutant boy, whose powers were not yet developed, was living a miserable life in an orphanage far away. He adopted him and loved him like his own.

The boy proved to be very diligent. He was smart and good. He became Charlesí source of happiness and satisfaction, something Charles never felt before. The boy grew to love Charles. Scott Summers, the boy, took care of Charles, and Charles, took care of him.

Time passed, then another member was added to them. This was Henry Mc Coy, a mutant from birth.. Then Warren Worringthon, a child with angel like wings, whom he found in Washington. Then was Bobby Drake, a young lad who gave humor in the place.

He took the boys in, taught them to handle their differences. He trained them, not only physically, but also emotionally. Those were some of the best days in his life.

But their being different got in the way. the world clamoured for their deaths. He then soon formed the X-Men. A mutant group who that consist of mutants that will give the future mutant kinds a more harmonious place to live in.

The group consisted of Scott, aka Cyclops. Bobby the Iceman. Henry, the Beast and Warren, the Angel. But the group needed another member, someone who can balance the opposite personalities of the boys he chose. Jean Grey.

At first she refused, but then she joined the group becoming Marvel Girl, and the only member the others awed. Together, he and his children stopped evil and fought for peace.

But everything changes, and so did the X-Men. Lorna Dane was invited along with Alex Summers, Scottís brother. Then Ororo Munroe, a child thief, Logan, a government agent, Sunfire, John Proudstar, Kurt Wagner and Colossus . These children of him made him feel love and importance.

Then his group expanded. Rogue, Gambit, Jubilee, Sam Guthrie and many more.

Scott soon found his own happiness, and to who? Why to little miss Jean Grey. How happy he felt when he heard his surrogate son and daughter and hope that he would get to hear them exchanging their vows for each other on the day they willfinally wed.

Then Jean Grey died. On the moon, sacrificing herself for the rest of the team. Her death took a lot from everyone. To him, her parents, her best friend, Ororo, her team mates, the man who loved her but canít love him back, Logan and the man of his heart. Scott.

Then someone came along. Madelyne Pryor. The woman that took Scott back to the land of the living and the same woman that Alex Summers was awed at. Scott and Madelyne got married and he had to leave the X-Men so Ororo became the next field commander of his outlaw group.

Jean Grey came back. She was found in a cacoon and because of her, the X-Men split into half, fortunately, Charlesí prayers were answered. The team became Ďoneí and he looked forward for things to come.

But things became bad. Then everything changed. He changed, they changed. Burden of being a leader and the truth about his son with his former wife Madelyne was getting into Scott. He became as irritable as possible. Logan was his usual irritating self, but over the years he became more irritating than ever. Warren had gone of with his new found love Betsy, and they left, much to Charlesí dismay. Remy and Rogue was having some problems with each other and Magneto, Charlesí archenemy was the cause. Hank became obsessed with the Legacy Virus. Jean was getting torn up between Scott and Logan. Nothing was ever the same.

But the wost of all was himself. He became different. His feelings changed. His way of looking things did too. He lost the trust he gave himself when he succumbed to his will. He wanted to destroy people. He wanted to stop the harm done to the mutants. He wanted to love Jean Grey.

Maybe it was his longing for Jean that destroyed him. His silent desire for her, his seething jealousy for her better half. Maybe it was also the fact that he couldnít shoulder the pain he felt any more. When his children like Warren left, or when he sees his children in pain with the burdens he gave them.

Whether what reason it is, he destroyed them in the end. Shattered their spirit, destroyed their trust. He became Onslaught. Destroying half of New York City, killing most of the super heroes. He is suddenly thankful that the X-Men werenít one of them. Thank God.

But he still killed them all. Because of him, the X-Men werenít the same. His X-Men werenít the same.

It was raining outside, he could feel it. But he didnít mind, for his tears were blinding his eyes. He knew that it was no use crying over things that will never change any more.. Everything changed.

He rolled the toilet paper until its last paper. He was surprised to find out the similarities of the paper and life.

]The roll of toilet paper started small, but when you keep on rolling it, it becomes big. His life started little, almost from nothing. His childhood wasnít happy, but in the end, he was able to pull things of. He had a family who loved him, a place to live, a happy life. Everything that was denied to him during his childhood.

But what did he do? He wasted it. He killed his life, hurt his loved ones and it all started with one little step, one little feeling. Like drugs addicts used. One little pill. One little feeling.

Ď A journey of a thousand miles begin with a single stepí

His entire life began with love for others, for his Ďfamilyí that gave him life, love brought him out of the quest for self recognition that he promised his mother he shall have. Love.

ĎA journey of a thousand miles begin with a single stepí

Hate destroyed it all. Hate for his childrenís happiness. Hate for himself for not having it. Hate.

ĎA journey of a thousand miles begin with a single step.í

Because of love, he had life. ĎA journey of a thousand miles begin with a single step.í

Because of love he had hate. Because of hate, he lost life.

ĎA journey of a thousand miles begin with a single step.í

Because of himself, his pride, his selfishness, his hatred, he had nothing.



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