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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Selfishness (02/14/05)

TITLE: Dylan's Demise
By Karen Jimmy


Dylan sat in his corner office in his new leather recliner behind his new oak desk. He was feeling pretty pleased with himself and all his great success till his eyes fell on a picture of his parents. In an attempt to thwart the rush of anger threatening to spill out from behind his clenched teeth, he tossed the photo in a drawer and buzzed his secretary, ordering her to fix him a coffee.

He’d been seething ever since Monday night when his parents had called him from the airport to say goodbye. “How can they leave me like this?” he asked the open drawer where the photo lay facedown. “All because they want to ‘show some kindness to the poor in Asia’ or some stupid, sentimental thing. What about showing kindness to me, their own son? What if I need them?”

The nasty, whiny tone in his voice caught him off guard for a second, and he almost regretted his outburst, till he remembered his secretary. All at once he was filled again with righteous indignation.

“For crying out loud, Charis, where is my coffee?” While he still had his finger on the buzzer the door opened and his secretary peeked inside, looking almost guilty.

“I’m sorry Dylan, we’re all out of cream and sugar. Mabel is on her way to the Seven Eleven. I’ll bring your coffee just as soon as I can.”

Glaring at her retreating form, his angry train of thought shifted gears to another level, and another recent disappointment.

Up until a week ago, he and Charis had been dating. He’d thought the relationship was developing nicely. She was always available whenever he wanted something, just like his mother had been. She never complained and always did what he wanted to do, went where he wanted to go. Which is why it came as a complete shock to him when she announced things were over.

Going over again in his mind the conversation they’d had, he still couldn’t fathom where it all came from.

“I’m tired of this, Dylan.” Stunned, and looking like a wounded animal, he’d tried to defend himself. “But Charis, I don’t want to go to a ballet. I mean, come on, it’s your birthday! I thought we could go eat at ‘Le Chat Noir’. I even got Pierre to reserve us my favourite table.”

Remembering her sudden outburst and her tears almost made him feel sorry, but his thoughts were interrupted by Charis herself, coffee in hand. She barely looked at him, and said nothing. Sipping his beverage, his hurt pride won over the token bit of sympathy he’d felt toward her, and it gained momentum when his eye caught the upturned picture of his parents in the open drawer.

Slamming the drawer shut, Dylan pushed away his sorrow with a self-gratifying thought. “Well who needs any of them anyway? It’s their loss. They choose to walk out on me, good riddance. They’ll be sorry.”

And with that, he focussed once more on the days’ work. He hadn’t even noticed the silently weeping Charis who’d lingered just inside the door for a moment, hoping he’d have something nice to say for once. She made her way quietly to her desk, and packed the rest of her belongings.

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Member Comments
Member Date
donna robinson02/23/05
You made this character truly unlikable--good job! All the vices were woven in nicely.
Jessica Schmit03/01/05
It was a beautifully written article, but I would've liked to have seen some hope or "life" brought to Dylan's life at the end. Or at least more of a comparison between the lives of himself and his family. The joy they may have, even though they don't live with luxuries and then compare it to Dylan's life.