a prompted short story by The Overlord Bear
Prompt (from r/WritingPrompts): “You’ve had a fulfilling life, you got your dream job, married the love of your life, had 4 of the best kids in the world and died a regret-less death. Then you wake up.”
“So, since you’ve been such a loyal employee, I’ll fast-track you to a promotion if you fulfill this task: Have some head with Melissa over here.”
Fat bastard boss, ruined childhood crush, unlucky flunky guy. Us three were in a sparkly office encroaching upon a divided floor that always squeezed us bugs.
And I was already tired of this dead-end job because of that last sentence.
“Sorry, Boss, but…I was already gonna give you my resignation letter when you happened to call me here. Didn’t want to be rude when you looked so excited. Don’t worry, though. I won’t be tattling.”
I handed him my resignation letter. When he read it, his dropped jaw turned into a sneer, but not at me.
“If this piece of shit can risk everything to back up his no,” he told Melissa, “Then why don’t you try and fight me, huh!?” He even finished that with a slap.
It was a horrible scene, of course. But I couldn’t push myself to declare more of a protest, not when I could see myself in both Melissa and our boss. I knew Melissa and I had to speak up about this, but I also knew that now wasn’t the right time.
“So I can leave now?” I then asked. “You can keep the final pay and stuff, too. You’ll probably need it more than I would.”
“And he’s even kind about it!” our boss continued, still hitting the yelping and crying Melissa. “Where’s that strong girl you were bragging about, huh!? You pitiful slut!”
I didn’t know who she was anymore. Why did I even have a crush on her, again?
Oh, yeah, the whole strong girl thing. It hurt to leave her alone, but it also hurt to realize that I had been chasing stupider dreams.
“Got your resignation through, Perce?”
Going home went by in a flash. My pregnant wife asked me that as she prepared food with our three grumbling kids, their smartphones on the living room table. I placed mine along with theirs, too.
“Yeah,” I answered as I rolled up my sleeves and moved utensils. “Boss even offered me a promotion before he realized.”
“Did he offer something sleazy?” asked Perry, the eldest, with a childish gleam in his eyes.
“Perry, Dad’s not a girl!” exclaimed Susie, the second, with a slap on her older brother’s shoulder. “Or was his boss gay?”
“I hope he didn’t take time with that Melissa lady, though,” declared Penny, the third, with a frown at me.
“Penny!” my wife then admonished with a slap on our second daughter’s shoulder. “Didn’t I tell you that that’s just Mommy and Daddy’s business?”
“Hey, take it easy, Sellie,” I smiled at my wife. “I’m feeling gladder for the whole family’s concern, really.”
My wife and our three kids aimed widened eyes at me. Their silence was also unnerving.
“It’s really complicated,” I sighed, “But to give you an idea, Boss let me go easily…if you ignore the whole abuse he was laying on Melissa.”
And then the silence became more awkward…though it was still surprising, as I expected them to shout at me about how I should’ve helped Melissa out.
“Shouldn’t you have tried to save her, Dad?” Perry asked, though, fists clenched in front of him.
“And complicate his feelings about the Melissa lady?” Penny retorted, glaring at her older brother. “Please.”
“So his boss is straight…but still horrible…” Susie commented, hand under her chin. “Good thing you left, Dad. But…”
“I’ll be honest: I do feel bad for Melissa,” Sellie expressed, arms crossed. “You still need to have better faith in me, but I’ll allow you to help her out as long as the rest of the family is allowed to help you out, okay?”
Now I was the one with widened eyes and a dropped jaw. Who…Who were these people in front of me? Even the hug and the dinner that followed felt like a dream.
But when I woke up the next morning with my big and smiling family on our little and lowered bed, I realized that reality had become a miracle.
With that, I laughed and cried more than I’ve ever done in my life.
Author’s Note: I feel on fire today! Really, I feel like I’m becoming more open with the sort of fiction I really want to write, for one, yo. Praise and thanks be to God Almighty very much again for the strength and the challenges~