Insecure at times, a bit of a misfit and always having a feeling of being out of place was what Ruby felt about herself. Little did she know that a gift was waiting for her under the Christmas tree that would change everything.
Being a teenager was hard, Ruby couldn’t figure things out, she wasn’t interested in the same music or clothes as her friends and she didn’t know how to engage in what seemed to her to be conversations about things that really didn’t matter. She had her own way of looking at the world and everything else was just noise to her.
After breakfast the family gathered together and all opened their presents in the living room. Although Ruby was growing up, she still felt butterflies in her stomach as she and her little brother opened their presents. She could tell her Dad had tried his best to find something for her but a pair of wireless headphones wasn’t really on her list of things she had hoped for.
The new Doctor Who Christmas episode came to an end and Ruby could see that her parents had long since nodded off on the sofa. ‘The new female Doctor Who obviously didn’t impress them’ she thought, ‘…or perhaps it was Mum’s indulgent Christmas food’ she mused. Her little brother was happily playing with his new LEGO set and so she decided to drift off upstairs into her room.
‘Let’s see what Adele sounds like on these things’, she thought as she put on the headphones and laid back on her bed. And then it happened, after a few seconds she turned the headphones off and threw them on the floor.
“Can I have an extra £15 this week Mum? I need to buy a physics book for school”.
“A physics book?”. The surprise in her voice was obvious.
“Yeah, it’s about Einstein and the theory of relativity”, the excitement in Ruby’s voice made her Mum suspicious.
“Are you sure that’s what you need it for?”
This inquisitive yet doubting tone would have made Ruby defensive a couple of months ago but she had done a lot of growing up recently and she knew it was just her Mum’s way of looking out for her.
“Yes Mother, it’s an audiobook that I can listen to on my headphones, I’ll even show you the receipt if you want”.
“No, no, that’s fine, here you go, I’m just happy you’re taking an interest in school”, her tone now changing from doubtful to trusting. Her Mum knew there was a change in Ruby but she couldn’t quite pinpoint the cause.
“What an amazing man you are Einstein, you really are a genius!” Ruby couldn’t help but blurt this out throughout her time with Albert. She had learned so much from him and she felt a close connection to him especially when she saw how he didn’t really fit in at school either. To both of them understanding things were so much more important than merely learning facts. As she spent more time with him, she began to realise the importance of pursuing challenges, no matter how hard. This life lesson she learned as Einstein feverishly worked on his papers about his new theory of general relativity in the year 1911.
At the ripe old age of 100, Ruby’s hair had long since turned a regal looking white and wrinkles had formed on her face. She had lived a life she was proud of, a life of fulfillment.
As she reminisced in her favourite armchair, she remembered the first time it had happened, it was Christmas day and she was on her bed in her parents house. She had put on the headphones for the first time. For the next couple of seconds she had somehow ending up in the recording studio standing next to Adele. It was where the song had been recorded.
These headphones were magically taking her to the time and place of the audio being played. Ruby spent the years that followed in concert with many of her favourite bands, time travelling with Doctor Who in his Tardis, pondering the universe with Einstein, fighting alongside war heros throughout the centuries and had watched maestros like Leonardo Da Vinci as they created their masterpieces. Time had taken its inevitable toll on Ruby’s memory and she found it difficult to discern whether those headphones really did what she remembered they did but the things she had learnt and experienced were the memories that really mattered.
Buy a loved one something that has the potential to stay with them for the rest of their lives. Audio books and a pair of headphones transport you to amazing worlds, give you the ability to time travel and help you meet amazing people along the way.