Good morning and Happy Hump Day ! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.
Today is Chan's birthday, the first since the death of his parents, but no one seems to have remembered. Can this day get any worse? See what's going on in this week's chapter of Super Trooper! Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them. Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!Super Trooper #65 (15.2)
Chan’s unhappiness over the day’s events—or rather the lack thereof—grew even greater when he arrived at work to find it was just another ordinary day on the job. Not one happy birthday in the bunch, just business as usual. He tried hard not to be grumpy or morose, but he found that difficult to do when everyone else was just so full of smiles and sunshine.
He hadn’t brought a lunch, thinking someone would treat him for his birthday, as was the usual custom among his fellow employees. But when an offer wasn’t forthcoming, he finally decided what the heck, he’d just do something for himself. Why not? Even if no one else realized what day it was, he did.
But those plans never came to fruition either. As he was debating on where he wanted to eat, he received a phone call from Denise. She had an emergency and had to leave and he needed to come home to take care of Madhu.
“Did you call Evan?” Chan half-heartedly suggested, although he had a pretty good idea that wouldn’t work either, which she confirmed.
“I did. He must be out on a call,” she replied. “I’m so sorry.” Funny, he didn’t think she sounded sorry. That was probably just his bad mood thinking. He needed to not take this so personally.
“It’s all right, I’ll be right there.” Chan hung up and heaved a giant sigh. What next? Well, his manager could tell him he couldn’t leave work just now. Then what would he do?
But surprisingly she was more than happy to let him go. He could swear she was even working hard at keeping from grinning, but he was too irritated to analyze the reason for that, just grateful she wasn’t angry that he was leaving.
He gathered his things from his office and turned out the light, bidding the others good-bye as he passed on his way to the door. As he walked out the door, he could have sworn he heard giggling, but decided that was just his imagination. Oh well, Madhu would be happy to see him, anyway. He hoped nothing the situation with Denise wasn’t too dire. She didn’t sound stressed or anything, just insistent.
Maybe he could take his sister out for lunch? That thought cheered him a little until he reached the house and saw Evan’s cruiser in the driveway. What the hell? Had he left work for nothing? If Denise had reached Evan after all, why didn’t she call Chan and let him know?
Now he was beyond irritated. And majorly feeling sorry for himself.
He slammed his car door shut and stood for a moment, willing himself to calm down. Maybe he could just check on his sister, ascertain that all was well in hand, and return to work to finish out the day. No harm done, right?
He took a deep breath, told himself everything would be fine, and strode briskly toward the door. Of course it was unlocked, so he let himself in and glanced around. No one in sight, but something smelled very good. Maybe Denise had been cooking.
“Evan?” he called out. “Madhu?”
And that was the moment when Kamal jumped out from the kitchen and burst into the living room, followed more sedately by Laksha, with Evan bringing up the rear, Madhu in his arms.
“Happy birthday!” they all cried out. Well, except for Madhu. But even she was smiling.
Kamal screamed, “Are you surprised? Did we surprise you, Chan?”
Chan felt like bursting into tears, he was so happy. How could he ever think the people he loved would forget him, even for a moment? “You surprised me very much,” he replied. “Good job, bro.” Kamal held out a fist expectantly and they fistbumped.
Laksha hugged him and kissed his cheek. She seemed particularly pleased with herself, he noticed. “Happy birthday, Chan. I made you a cake.”
To say he was touched would be an understatement.
“Happy birthday, love.” Evan greeted him with a kiss. Chan couldn’t help but notice the glint in his lover’s eyes.
“You deliberately misled me,” he accused Evan, even though he couldn’t stop grinning himself.
“I had to, otherwise it wouldn’t have been a surprise. I hope you’re hungry. I’ve been cooking since you left.”
“You have?” Chan was surprised.
Evan nodded toward Laksha, who beamed at them both. “She’s been teaching me to make your favorite dishes.”
This was all so amazing. Chan couldn’t help himself, his eyes brimming with tears even as his heart swelled.
“Is something wrong?” Evan asked, concerned.
Chan shook his head. “No, no, on the contrary. Everything is perfect. Thank you so much.”
And suddenly the horribly gone-wrong day became the best day of his life.
to be continued
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