High and Mighty

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
What if your strong suits is the cause of your downfall?

Submitted: February 27, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: February 27, 2017



High and Mighty


“Thank you so much, Greg. My family really owe you a lot,” said the old man.

I replied with a warm smile, and bowed my head to him. The old man walked away with his family smiling, and I could not stop myself from smiling too. The happy and satisfied feeling after helping people is there, and I went home.

I saw Jane, my girlfriend, was watering the flowers. I walked to her and hugged her slim waist from behind. She showed her perfect white teeth as her soft and pink lips were getting wider and wider. “How’s work?” she asked while hugging me tightly with her petite arms. I pecked her lips briefly, told her that I just helped Mr. Thompson, and how happy I am after helping him. I could see pride sparked in her beautiful hazel eyes, as she smiled while tugging my arm as a sign to follow her into the house.

The scent of freshly grilled food fills the air, followed by the sound of my hungry stomach. Jane laughed and told me that she bought my favorite vanilla ice cream that I could enjoy after the dinner. Seeing the smile of my beloved one always makes me feel happy and could not resist the urge to smile too. We were enjoying the delicious and juicy grilled chicken, while telling each other what happened in the day.

Suddenly I remembered what my mom always taught me since I was small. “Remember, Greg, always help other people no matter whom they are. But never ask them anything in return of your kindness. It’s improper.” Those words have been my main principle, and because of that I really love to help people, no matter who they are.

“So, what’s your plan for tomorrow? It’s been a while since you have a holiday.” Jane’s sweet voice pulled me from my trance. I asked her if she wanted to go somewhere and she said yes. It has been a while since I went to a date with my lovely Jane, and I could not wait to spend my whole day with her. We continued our dinner with giggles and laughter.

The weekend has passed, our date was a success, and we had a very happy and exciting weekend. Monday came and it was my time to get back to work. As I opened the door, I saw a truck parked in front of my house. There were some men lifting up boxes into the house on my right. I asked one of the men who were carrying a box, and he nodded as an answer that someone moved to the neighborhood.

I turned my head to see what kind of person who moved to the new house, but all I could see was a dark living room and an opened front door. I said to myself that probably the new owner is still inside to sort things out. I walked past the truck, and went to my office, without knowing that someone was watching my from afar.

The day passed normally like usual, a colleague asked me to help him in his work, and my boss asked me to take care of her papers since her secretary was absent. I helped them gladly, and got praises as usual in change of my help. I glanced at the clock that was hanging on the clean white wall, and it showed that working time was over. Cleaning up my items, my cellphone suddenly rang. It was weird, since Jane rarely called me when I am at work, unless if there is something urgent or important. Hoping to see Jane’s name popped out on the screen, an unknown number popped out instead. I raised one of my perfectly trimmed brows, and picked up the call.




Still silence. I asked once again, and there were no response from the other part of the phone, so I decided to hang the phone and continue to pack my things up. I said goodbye to my colleagues, and headed home.

Jane was watering the flowers again when I reached the gate of my house. Seeing her petite yet strong figure bowing above the flowerbeds, her white oval face was framed with wavy light brown hair, lips were pulled to each sides signing that she was happy, made my heart flutters and fasten my walk. Sneaking behind her, I hugged her and made Jane jumped. I laughed knowing that she loves small surprises, and that I succeeded making her happy.

“Anyway, have you seen our new neighbor?” Jane asked me, and I shook my head. And then, to my surprise, she smiled and told me that she already met the new neighbor, a kind looking girl but with a gloomy presence. I did not really understand why would Jane describe someone as gloomy, but I decided to meet my new neighbor first so that I could understand what Jane said.

“Oh, there she is.” I turned my head to the same direction as Jane’s, and saw a tall and thin girl was opening the front door of her house; her uncombed long pitch-black hair made her hair looks like a bird nest. I almost jumped out of my skin, if only I were not hugging Jane at that time. She turned her head to the right and left, and saw us. I could swear that she locked her eyes with mine, they were so dark, I thought I was absorbed into a bottomless pit. I blinked twice, and nodded my head in recognition as I scan her face.

Thick and untrimmed eyebrows that connected to each other shadows her slanted eyes, making her face even scarier than it should be. Her nose was so sharp, I almost thought she was a descendant of a witch, and directly scold myself from thinking such a bad thing to someone that I just met. She was so thin; there were almost no fat at her cheek, making her looks like she wore too much bronzer on her cheek. She blinked, nodded in recognition too, and slowly walked to the fence that was separating our houses.

She walks with confidence, with the feeling that she did not care about her appearances, and so does other people. I gulped, and slowly walked toward the fence. I did not know why, but I felt scared to meet her, to see her face, and to look directly at her eyes. Gathering my courage, I stretched out my arm and introduced myself. Jane was next to me, reintroducing herself again to Rose, my new neighbor.

We talked a little as an icebreaker, and I felt a little better. It seemed that Jane was right, Rose was a kind girl, however her appearances made her gloomy and scary. We shook our hands, and went into our own houses.

Days passed, all went well within the weeks that I have spent with Jane and my colleagues. I always helped them everyday with whatever they asked me, not to mention my boss that promoted me into her secretary since her previous secretary had a problem with the job. Jane was so happy to hear about my promotion, and we spent that night on a restaurant, with a full course dinner and some crisp wine.

My relationship with my new neighbor, Rose, was better too. She did not seem as scary as the first time I met her, she was fun to talk with. I always saw Jane and Rose giggled together every time I walked from my office. I felt happy that Jane had a new friend, since she was always alone in the house, doing the house chores and the online knitted garments she made. At least she has more people to talk with other than me.

Everything was normal, until one day, when Jane had to went to her parents’ home, I met Rose at the garden.

“Why do you like to help people? Doesn’t it make you tired, helping people that you don’t even know?”

I raised my eyebrows in surprise, did not expect anyone will ask me about that. I smiled, showing my perfectly white teeth to her, and told her that it was my main principle, to help people whoever they are, even though if I did now know them. I told her how my mother taught me not to ask anything from anyone whom I helped since it was improper. Her next question really surprised me and I could not even think what should I answer about it.

“How can helping someone without getting something in return is fun? Won’t it make you loss your precious time, while the people you helped can save their time and also their things or money just because you help them freely?”

I gaped at her for almost a minute. I never thought about that, since my mother always taught me not to ask for anything in return from the people I help, because it is improper. I blinked several times, while staring at her dark eyes. Rose raised her eyebrow, silently waiting for an answer. I sighed for a moment, and was saved by my cellphone. I gave Rose an apologetic smile, and turned around to pick up the call after glanced to the screen that shows Jane’s name on it.

“Hi Jane, how’s your parents?”

“They’re fine. Dad just got out from the hospital, something was wrong with his liver.”

“Oh? Is he okay now? Say hi to them from me, dear.”

The conversation continued, and Jane told me that she would go back to my house in the next two days. I headed back to my house, and began to prepare dinner for myself.

While cutting the ingredients, my mind drifted back to what Rose had said to me that evening. I began to ponder and question about the reason why people help the other just to get something in return. My brain and my gut was beginning to have a war, one believing that what Rose said has a point, where people really should get something in return from helping the others. However my gut told me that it was not right, helping people just for the sake of benefit from other people. Suddenly I felt a sting on my finger, and saw blood pooled on my index finger.

Shit, I said to myself. I cut my finger while cutting the meat, thanks to the war between my mind and my gut. I shook off the thought for a moment, took a tissue to wipe the blood, but the pain was still there. I sighed, told myself to focus, and continued to cook.

Two days passed, and I still could not stop myself from thinking of what Rose said to me two days ago. My brain started to win; I felt that what Rose said was true. I needed something I return from other people whenever I help them. Should I try that? I did get a lot of thanks every time I help them. But was that enough? Was I satisfied with thanks only? Jane should be coming home today, and I still have to go to work. I took a bath, and getting ready to go to work.

As usual, my colleagues asked me to help them with their work. I began to hesitate whether I should help them like usual or try to ask something in return like what Rose said to me. I decided to try with the second choice, and asked my colleagues to give me something in return.

“Oh? Sure, what do you want, Greg?” My colleague seemed surprise with my question, since it was my very first time asking someone to give me something in return as a gratitude gift for my help. Several seconds passed, I did not know what I wanted from him. A minute felt like a week, and finally I decided to cancel my request from my colleague because I did not know what I want from him. I helped him with his work, and got a thank you as his gratitude for me. However, I felt a pang of feeling that I wanted more than just a thank you, I wanted something that I could hold, or something that can satisfy my need. 

Automatically, I scolded myself and reminded myself about my main principle that my mother always taught me. Letting out a deep sigh, I continued to work. More and more work was piling up, since I became a secretary. Feeling stressed, I decided to go out to a coffee shop near the office, and had a cup of cappuccino. The wind blew softly as I sat down on the chair outer part of the shop. And Rose’s words came back to my mind.

Should I really ask something in return whenever I help someone? The war between my mind and my gut continued, and slowly but sure I was leaning to my mind’s side. Yeah, they should have given me something in return if they want me to keep helping them. Food? Drink? Money? Anything was fine as long as it was not only a thank you. I did not remind myself anymore about my main life principle that my mother taught me ever since I was a kid.

Another colleague came to me and asked if I could help him finishing his job. What a coincidence, I wanted to try it by looking for preys. Before I accepted to help him, I asked to my colleague to buy me a food after I finished his job. He directly agreed to me, told me that he would buy anything for me as long as I am happy.

A smile formed on my lips, however it was different from the smile that I had. It almost looked like a wicked smiles like Rose usually did. I quickly finished my colleague’s work, and he bought me a grilled fish that I could have for dinner. My heart skipped in joy, knowing that people will get me more and more rewards thanks to my kindness.

Ever since that day, I always asked people for a reward of my help. They gave me clothes, money, gold, foods, and a lot of things that I could never imagine I could get just from helping people. And I prefer to help the rich, since they would give better items unlike those poor people. However, they never shown their smile again, all I got was items and an unenthusiastic thanks. Oh well, who cares about smiles when I could get so many items like these?

“You know, you’ve changed.” Jane’s words surprised me.

“Changed? I’m always the same as usual.” I lifted one of my eyebrows in confusion.

Jane nodded; she told me that I was different from the Greg she knew. “You never asked someone to give you something in return whenever you help them. Didn’t your mother tell you that it’s improper?”

I snorted, and laughed. How could this girl be so lovely? I told her that I was wrong all that time, I should have been asking the people whom I help something as a reward. Her beautiful eyes widen as I continued to explain the reason why I did that. Her lips began to tremble, and suddenly a tear dropped from its place.

“Why? The Greg I knew would never do this kind of thing! I could not bear to be next to you anymore. Let’s break up. You’re just too much.”

I felt like the time had stopped, everything became cold and dizzy; I had to grip the edge of the table to prevent myself from falling down. Break up? Why? I could feel anger welling up inside my chest, and the sound of blood roaring in my ears.

“Break up? After all these years we’re together, you want to break up just because of a simple thing? Don’t joke around, Jane! Why?!” I shouted those words in one breath. All I could get was a whispered no and Jane walked away from me, walked away from my life. I felt so miserable, I cried all night because of her.

Weeks passed after I broke up with Jane. It felt so weird, seeing how big the house actually is, just because she was not there anymore. I went to work as usual, and always went home early, since now almost none of my colleagues asked for my help. Even my boss rarely called my name to ask for help. It was quite weird yet satisfying, since I could go home earlier unlike usual. I did not know the reason why none of them asked for my help anymore, until one day when I went to the coffee shop near the office, I heard someone was talking about me.

“Hey, do you remember Greg, Mrs. Lawlee’s new secretary? I heard that no one likes him now. It seems that he has changed a lot, you did know that he never asked anyone in return of his help right? Now he wants a reward every time he helps someone! It was a small and cheap reward, but now all he wants was money! Even from his other people who he never met, he asks for money! Can you believe that?!”

Great, and now more people hate me because of the thing that someone should do when they help people. Was it wrong to help people and ask them for a reward? Was the thing Rose said to me wrong? I should not ask for any reward to other people that I help? There were a lot of questions in my head, as I briefly walked back to the office.

My life was ruined. People did not like me anymore, even my beloved Jane left me because of what I did. I began to resent my choice of following Rose’s words. But what could I do? I could not change it anymore; they have hated me for what I have done. I stopped at the crossroad, waiting the red light turns into green light like other people around me. But then, the urge to walk made my feet move. I could hear people started to shout, and the sounds of car’s horn became louder and louder. And it was all pitch black.

© Copyright 2018 Kelly Liu. All rights reserved.

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