The Price Of The Last Laugh

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Flash Fiction Fun


What price would you pay to have the last laugh?

Submitted: July 25, 2018

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Submitted: July 25, 2018

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Okay, let me start from the beginning. How do we determine what is the beginning? The moment we were born? The earliest ambiguous memories we can conjure up? I shall start with the first event that hurled us into this.

I was 7 or 8 years old, or thereabouts. I had no friends in school, I did not have the toys the other boys have. Nobody wanted to share theirs with me, I had nothing to offer them. I wanted to change the way things were. I wanted friends. The action figure at the toy store is the answer to all my problems. I knew at first sight that the boys would fight amongst themselves to get a feel of it. It was after all, a few months of saving my allowance which my parents gave me.

I forwent my chocolate ice-cream after school, I restrained from buying an extra snack, I made sure I had saved up the amount I set every day. Not going to lie. It was demanding as a child as it is now. To curb one's base desire has never been easy regardless child or adult. Often times, it is a stronger want that manages to subdue these feelings and bring order to these chaotic cravings.

Time is relative, I do not care what others might say about it. That slow saving, slaving, sluggish to stagnant time is over. Finally, the money has been gathered, all according to plan. I had not been eating ice-cream or snacks for months. Weird though, no one bothered to ask why, I do not think anyone noticed at all. It is fine. I got it now. The toy made of plastic, painted with bright colors, fitted with batteries and sustained by jealousy. The night before I slept, I counted my money, I had to make sure I had enough before going to the store the next day. I could not sleep. I counted it again.

***

"Mom, I wanna go to the toy store today. I want to buy the action figure."

"Okay, honey."

I knew exactly where to find it. I have been to the store often, alone, after school, to make sure that it would be there when I had the money. I was focused. There were no other toys except this. I got in, bought the toy and was out in a matter of minutes.

"That was quick son. What did you get?"

I showed her.

"Oh wow, that looks amazing. Got to show it off in school tomorrow? Time to make some friends son."

I smiled.

I brought my toy to school the next day, hardly playing with it the day before. Breaking or dirtying it would be disastrous. I stood in the center of the play group.

"Hey guys, look at what he is holding."

"We've stopped playing with this action figure a few months ago."

"Ha.Ha.Ha"

I did not cry, I did not feel like it. I was more confused than upset. So the plan has failed, I did not know what to do now. I looked at the promised plaything that was to grant me an easy wish. I was disappointed. I walked away from the group, or rather, they were already at another area on their own playing with their toys.

"That looks cool. Can I play with it for a while?"

His name is Jack, he handed out his toy, a stuffed dog. He said it was his favorite and we shared and played together. From then on, we became friends. Best of them for twenty years.

***

The company that Jack and I founded was growing fast. Faster than we anticipated. Soon, we were hiring staff and opening offices all over the world. Time is relative. The next ten years flashed past. It felt like two. Not soon after, minor differences we had became oversized, conflicts were irresolvable, difficulties multiplied and grew exceedingly large. Although he was loyal, I had to oust Jack.

It has been three years since I last saw Jack. He requested to see me in my office. I know Jack, he needs money. I remembered him always splurging on things. I prepared a pile of cash on my desk and waited for him. He came in but he was well-dressed.

"Hey, how are you, buddy" Jack said softly.

Seeing the cash on the table, he reached out and held a small stack and continued speaking in his soft, familiar voice.

"It has been a long time, my friend. I just want to"

"Get back, I'm alright Jack, keep your hands off my stack." I interrupted.

Jack placed the stack into its pile and took a step back. He opened his mouth to speak.

But I added on "I've got a new car, caviar, living a five-star day dream, think I'll buy me a football team."

I saw Jack close his mouth and began to speak only to stop himself at the last second.

We looked at each other in silence.

I knew he understood. He understood that he could not live it up like me and so he turned his back and walked towards the door.

Ha.Ha.Ha.


© Copyright 2018 W.K. All rights reserved.

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