A Happy Ending

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A darkly humorous short story (1000 words) about life and the possibility of a happy ending.

So, you want a story, eh?  A story with a happy ending?  Well, let’s see here.  Ah, let’s try this:


One day, Paul, a mildly successful young businessman is walking down the street (past one of his favorite coffee shops by the way) when he spies across the street the most beautiful woman that he has ever seen.  She has beautiful copper hair that goes down to her shoulders and –oh!- I think she just grinned at him.  Without thinking, he turns and watches her.  She is walking down the opposite side of the street.  He just can’t let her walk away from him!

At the same time, a truck driver is coming down a nearly empty town road.  He is regretting only getting four hours of sleep last night, and he is holding a nice, hot coffee in one hand.  Suddenly, his phone rings and he sets his coffee beside him.  As he reaches into his pocket, though, his elbow accidentally knocks over his coffee.  What a disaster!  His pants are definitely ruined!  He looks down in horror at the brown stain seeping across his khakis, the road temporarily forgotten.

Paul steps out into the street, ready to chase down the beautiful lady and live life to the fullest.

The truck barrels down the road, heedless of obstacles.

Well, man meets truck, and Paul is buried in a small plot at the local cemetery.


Wait!  That wasn’t a happy ending!  My bad, shall we try again?  Ahem:


Paul runs across the street, hardly glancing over his shoulder as a truck barrels by behind him.  He catches up to the young woman, named Mary he finds out, who quickly accepts an invitation to get coffee.  The two fall in love and are married in a small chapel with both of their families there.  They go on a honeymoon to Paris and spend a week in the City of Lights.  Like all good things, however, they eventually return home.  One day, Mary decides to bake a pie for her husband (as he always did like apple pie).  She painstakingly gathers all of the ingredients and works for an hour before putting the delicious looking pie in the oven to bake.

At the same time, Paul is up in his room.  He is just drifting off to sleep after a long day at work.  He lays on his bed happily, and soon, he is dreaming of distant lands.

Downstairs, Mary’s phone buzzes.  She glances at it and hurries out the door without a second thought.  Her good friend Julie’s boyfriend broke up with her!  Again!  She needs to go comfort her immediately, the pie completely forgotten.

Paul slumbers on upstairs in the nice, but rather old, wooden house.  Of course, who has time for fire alarms these days?  It’s not like there’s going to be a fire.  Oh, wait.

The oven is quite old, and the pie has been in there for quite a while now.  Soon, flames begin to lick the wooden walls of the home, creeping around the house like a robber.  And Paul slumbers on. 

Eventually, flames meet person, and Paul is buried in a small plot at the local cemetery.


Hmmm…  Still not happy, eh?  Let’s backtrack a bit:


Before rushing off to comfort her friend, Mary remembers the pie and quickly pulls it out of the oven.  Eventually, Julie and her boyfriend get back together, again, and all is back to normal.  Time passes (five years to be exact) and nothing exciting at all happens.  And that just drives Mary crazy.  She loves Paul, but something is just missing.  The love has become old and stale.  One day, she meets this one guy (and he’s like so hot!) at the park, and they go grab coffee.  It turns out, he’s a small business owner and his favorite movie is The Notebook (who knew!).

At the same time, Paul is busy working like crazy, getting quadruple overtime.  Today, he’s decided that he’s worked enough.  He’s going to go home and surprise his wife, and try to rekindle the flame that seems to be guttering out.

One thing led to another and Mary and that one guy (she even has trouble remembering his name!) end up in his Mustang outside of her house.  She still loves Paul, but it wouldn’t hurt to have a little fun, would it?

Paul drives quietly back up to his nice, old wood house, hoping that Mary won’t notice he’s home so he can surprise her.  Maybe he should have gotten flowers.  As he walks up to the house, he notices a strange car parked down on the street by his house.  And, what an unpleasant surprise, he sees Mary and some other guy down in it, looking like they are having a grand old time.  Silently Paul walks into the house and up into his room.

Well, belt meets rafters meets man and Paul is buried in a small plot at the local cemetery.


Still not happy?  Fine, I’ll give it one last try!


Paul stays at work late as usual, Mary has her little affair and kicks the poor entrepreneur to the curb (what was his name again?) and life goes on as normal.  The couple grows old and, sadly, never have any kids.  They talked about adopting, but they never do anything.  Soon, they are both retired and loving of each other.  Fate being naturally cruel, Mary is taken suddenly by a stroke and Paul lingers on.  He takes to playing a lot of golf to distract himself.  One day, he’s putting on the tenth hole (doing a bit better than usual, truth be told).

At the same time, all of that fried chicken that appeared to be a good choice at the time are catching up to him.  His arteries are straining as it is, slowly filling up with platelets and other scary things his doctors warned him about.  As the ball sinks into the hole, he wants to jump for joy, but unfortunately, this just seems to push his poor heart over the edge.

Let’s just say, blood clot meets man and Paul is buried in a small plot at the local cemetery.


What?  You don’t like that one either?  Well, I’m done.  I’ve given you several different endings.  Now, you decide which one of those is the happy one.

Submitted: October 24, 2014

© Copyright 2022 Oppenheimer. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



I can't decide whether this is a comedy or a tragedy! :O
but I have decided one thing...I like it! Poor old Paul though D: no matter what he does he always ends up in a small plot at the local cemetery.

A good read for me though :)
good job!

Fri, October 24th, 2014 3:18am


Thanks, it's always fun to blur the lines between the genres. Glad you enjoyed it!

Thu, October 23rd, 2014 8:19pm

Chris Green

I absolutely love this. Postmodern, no people have stopped using that expression, so its back to existentialist, but whatever it is right up my street. I love stories that are playful. Best story I've read on here in several weeks. Very nice work.

Fri, October 24th, 2014 7:42am


Thanks for the support!

Fri, October 24th, 2014 5:58am


"Paul is buried in a small plot at the local cemetery." Always laugh at that part.

Fri, October 24th, 2014 7:47am


Glad you liked it!

Fri, October 24th, 2014 5:59am

Shahwar Akram

AWESOME! Well a happy ending? Well well...I guess Paul does not meet happiness in any way :D lol I liked it! Keep Writing!

Wed, November 26th, 2014 4:57am


Thanks for the encouragement!

Wed, November 26th, 2014 1:29pm

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