Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Yellow (11/12/09)
TITLE: First Things First
By Marc Smith
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“Wouldn’t miss it for the world, kido,” he assured, tussling the top of her curly brown hair.
“Good, because you promised, and I’m the sun in our play this year,” she informed with pride.
“And you will be the cutest, most yellow sun ever, sweetheart. Now, come give me a hug so I can go to work.
After a long, heartfelt embrace by his daughter, Sonny turned and headed out the front door. His wife quickly followed, pulling the door closed so their daughter could not hear their conversation.
“Did you mean it?” she asked pointedly.
“What?” Sonny responded.
“You know perfectly well what, Sonny. You’ve missed the last three events you promised to be at. Don’t disappoint her again. I can’t take picking up the pieces of her broken heart anymore.”
“Don’t start with me, Danielle, we all knew what my promotion would mean. I’m doing this for you two.”
“Sometimes it’s not what you do for us that matters, Sonny.”
“I don’t have time for this.”
“You’ve got 2 hours before the play starts,” Danielle firmly reminded him as he closed the car door.
The drive into work was unusually long as a million things raced through Sonny’s mind. It had been a particularly bad week for him and the dismal, rainy weather suited his disposition.
Sonny had made partner at his advertising firm nearly six months ago. At first things were great. His increased salary allowed him to afford his family’s dream home as well as many other luxuries they had desired for a long time. However, things started heading south quickly. The demand his job put on his time was straining his home life, and recently he had been so busy that he had to miss several of his daughter’s events.
Sonny rationalized his actions saying he was doing it for them, but in the back of his mind he knew he was doing most of it for himself. He had a list of goals he had set for himself that he wanted to accomplish. One of them was the canary yellow Porsche 911 Carrera in which he was now sitting. The other was becoming a millionaire and owning his own business by the age of forty. He was well on his way to that goal until this past Monday morning.
“Morning, Sonny. I’d like you to meet my son in law, Jake. I just hired him this morning and would like him to work with you on the new Sunlight Soap campaign.”
“Excuse me?” Sonny asked in shock. “But, sir, I generated that lead and was looking to close the deal on my own.”
“I understand that, Sonny, but I think it would be a good idea for you two to learn to work together.”
Sonny knew exactly what that meant. His boss, Mr Watson, was grooming Jake to take over the company for him when he retired next year instead of him. Sonny pulled into the parking lot, ran into the building, and quickly made his way to the corporate meeting room.
“Sunlight Soap – For a healthier, happier family…” Sonny began his pitch for the new account to his boss. However, his heart just wasn’t in it. He couldn’t get his mind off his daughter’s big, blue eyes or the conversation he had with his wife just before he left. Several times he stumbled over his words, and at a couple points he had to stop and regain his train of thought, yet the war within his mind raged on. His priorities had been wrong for far too long and that fact was becoming clearer to him with each passing moment. Suddenly, a ray of sunlight peeked through the clouds and shone onto his chest. He looked down and slipped his hand into the warmth of the beam. He knew what he had to do.
“I’m sorry Mr Watson, I have to go,” he announced.
He knew the consequences for his actions and was willing to live with them. His dream was over but oddly he didn’t care. Sonny walked into the darkened auditorium of his daughter’s school, took the seat next to his wife, and gave her a wink and a smile as the curtain lifted for the performance to begin.
Samantha quickly found him in the audience and beamed with happiness. He was right. She was the cutest, most yellow sun to ever grace the stage.
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