Welcome to the 2017 Blogging A-to-Z Challenge! I’ll be blogging my way through the alphabet the entire month of April, taking a break on Sundays, for a total of 26 posts! This year I am writing short stories based on a word that starts with the letter of the alphabet. The 26 fictional stories are not related to one another. This is a chance for me to exercise my imagination and explore creative writing which I have not done since college. Learn more about the blogging challenge HERE!
The theme for today’s story is Arrogance.
The moon hung low and red in the night sky. Jamie could see the wrinkles on his hands clear as day. He stood up from the steps and stretched his chilled, aching body reminded that he really was getting old. He had been lost in thought for some time with the same memories tumbling around in his mind. On a peaceful night like tonight it was hard not to get lost in thought. Memories were all he had left and they were taunting him. The more he remembered the more he realized what an ass he had been to everyone around him. And now that he lived alone, Jamie felt the absence of companionship.
His first promotion came with a big office and an even bigger raise. The sleek black BMW he had always dreamed of was purchased and he drove it with pride. Although, most would say he pulled into his reserved parking spot at the office with a revving arrogance. Jamie shuddered just thinking about his old self. That word: arrogant. It was a perfect adjective that had once shamefully described him to a T. As he tasted more of the good life he hungered and thirsted for more, for better. He worked harder and longer hours. A freshly dry-cleaned outfit, a pillow, and blanket were kept on hand for the inevitable one night each week he would work late and decide to sleep in his office. Favorite hobbies and relationships fell to the wayside in his never-ending quest for promotion. The months turned into years and he steadily made his way up the corporate ladder. His body softened and his belly inched over his belt.
A decade passed. Around the time he was made CEO his ego became unchecked. At work, his colleagues tired of his self-congratulatory staff meetings. At home, his family couldn’t get a word in during dinnertime. Every conversation he had was about him and his success. This may have been forgiven if only he had remembered his manners. Working for him was a thankless task. Living at home with him was the ultimate chore. Jamie believed the kindness and support shown to him by family, friends, and co-workers had sinister motivations. Soon he began to distrust everyone. He suspected colleagues of obstructing his projects and viewed his children as leeches. He categorized those close to him into two categories: those that were attempting to take him down a notch and those that wanted a cut of his success. Not once during this time did he pause to take a moment for self-reflection. Which was disappointing because he could see now that a brief moment of introspection would have changed his course for the better. It is true that hindsight is 20/20. But, he pushed himself further along in his career while one by one loyal colleagues and loved ones were pushed aside. His suspicion turned into bitterness and angry outbursts that frightened those around him. Everyone needed something from him and he didn’t have the time to help out these ungrateful people. His kids constantly asked to play after he got back from a long day at the office. His partner wanted to plan a week-long vacation but he just didn’t have the time. Until one day, he noticed his home was silent. He returned from work to find his family vanished and only his belongings remaining, even the dog was gone. Jamie felt abandoned but his pride prevented him from reaching out and apologizing to his loved ones.
He swallowed his shame and came back to the present. As he had been stood thinking, an hour had passed and the moon sat higher in the night sky. It was silent outside and inside. After his family left, he had quit his job and become a professional sulker, a career that thankfully was unsuccessful. Now, he worked part-time at a local hardware store helping others with their DIY projects. Being in contact with passionate people helped him to find a purpose. He had only wished the cost hadn’t been so great.
And with this story that makes it one down and 25 more to go! Thank you for reading my short story. What did you think? If you are here with the Blogging A-to-Z Challenge, please leave a comment below because I would love to check out your posts!
P.S. Check out my other short stories HERE!