Yes Man

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It was another usual morning when the alarm rang at the top of its lungs at 7:00 A.M to wake up Chris. Chris, being the late riser he was, stretched out his arm to turn off the alarm without opening his eyes. He turned it off and rolled over in his sleep.

At last after waking up at 1: 00 P.M Chris got up and stretched himself a bit. Glancing at the clock he felt a pang of regret remembering he was supposed to get up early to go jogging with his brother Tom. This was the third time in the week when Chris had failed to keep his promise despite his attempt at making people happy. He would have to apologize.

Chris was the person who believed that real happiness lied in making others happy. He was so passionate about his belief that he often tried to make several people happy at the same time by offering to do chores or other things for them. In other words he was a "Yes Man". Sometimes he would pull it off and people would admire him for it and sometimes it would all get jumbled together and would turn into chaos but Chris would regard it off as a bad day.

And today was the worst of them.

As he went down for breakfast (in his case, actually it was lunch time), his brother was sitting on the sofa reading another heavy black volume book. The title was "The Medical book of Surgery". Of course, Tom was a medical freak. He was a freshman in school and had already started reading books on surgery and medical science since he wanted to be a doctor. He didn't even greet Chris as he moved past him into the kitchen to get something to eat. Chris knew he was mad him so he decided to make it up to Tom.

"Hey bro!" Chris greeted Tom cheerfully.

"Hi." Tom replied without taking his eyes off of the book.

"How was jogging?" Chris asked casually.

"Solo" Tom replied scathingly.

"Hey I know you're angry with me but-" Chris started to say but Tom cut across him. "Don't bother. I don't care." He said.

"Oh Tom come on! I'm sorry, okay? I really am. You know I can't wake up so early in the morning. Look I want to make it up to you. Give me a chance. Please!" Chris said pleadingly.

Tom looked up from the book and gave his older brother an x-ray glance to see whether he really meant it.

He did
"Okay." Tom said after a while. "If you do me a favor then I'll forgive you for all the promises that you broke."

"Yeah anything."

"I have to go to this book fair today and it's really important but I've got a project to finish. I have to hand it in tomorrow. There are some drawings left to do so if uh you could do them for me..." Tom wandered off and looked hopefully at Chris. For Chris this was no problem since he was an expert drawer. He was relieved. "Yeah sure. I'll do it."

"Thanks."

As the day progressed Chris forgot about his promise to Tom as he had found something different to occupy his thoughts. He just remembered that today he was supposed to go to his girlfriend's birthday party. She had been planning for the party for the past two weeks. He was so occupied with his thoughts about the party that he didn't even pay attention when his mother asked him if he could baby sit his 4 year old sister tonight as she had some work to do in her office.

"Yeah sure mom I'll keep an eye on Alina." He answered mildly while thinking how much fun he was going to have at the party.

The day passed in a blur for Chris as he could think of nothing except the party. So reality crashed on him in the form of Tom as he reminded him to finish up his project before he went out.

The project! How could he forget? What was he going to do? He had to go to Sonia's house. The party was going to start at 8:00 P.M. Chris looked at the clock. It 6:50 P.M. Maybe he could finish the drawings. After all he was good at drawing and sketching. It wouldn't take him more than half an hour to finish them.

He started working on Tom's project and had drawn more than half the diagrams when his mother came in and told him that she was going out and she handed Alina to him and told him to take care of her.

Alina! Another problem presented itself in the form of his sister. How on earth did he forget?

Cursing his poor memory Chris went in the kitchen to make a milk bottle for his sister. When he returned Alina was nowhere to be seen. He looked behind the sofas and curtains but didn't find her. His eyes suddenly fell on the half finished drawings he had left on the table. His mouth opened up in horror as he saw what was left of them. Several loopy lines had been scrawled over each picture with a pencil, some pages were torn, while some had been crumpled into balls and thrown on the floor. Ali quickly picked up the pages and stared at them unable to think what to do. He had left Alina alone for five minutes... Just five minutes and she....

Chris's head snapped up as he remembered that he still hadn't found Alina. Abandoning the ruined pages he began to search for his naughty 4 year old sister. He found her in their parents' bedroom sitting on the brown and white carpeted floor playing with some sticky red material. He realized it was his mother's lipstick as he saw the lipstick tube lying next to her.

"Oh my God Al. What did you do? Mum's going to kill me." Alina giggled. He picked her up and quickly changed her clothes and began to clean up the mess she made while keeping her with him. It was no use. The stain wouldn't go away. Great! Get ready to suffer the wrath of mum tonight Christopher, he thought to himself.

After cleaning up as best as he could-still nothing the stain was same as before only more smudged which made it even worst-he looked at the clock and to his dismay it was half past eight.

Sonia would be furious! He thought frantically. What to do? How could he go? He couldn't leave Alina home alone.

He went back into the lounge, gave Alina her milk bottle, and sat on the sofa with his head in his hands.

It was unbelievable! Sonia was waiting for him and he... he couldn't go. Chris smacked his forehead angrily. How the heck did he get himself into this situation in the first place? It was his own fault he knew it but there was no use crying over spilled milk.

Perhaps a little luck was on his side as the front door suddenly opened and Tom came in, his arms laden with books, which no doubt he had bought at the fair.

"Hey what's-" His words got cut off as he saw the ruined drawings on the glass table and on the floor.

"Chris what is this?" He asked.

"Huh?" Chris raised his head. He hadn't realized Tom had come home and when he saw where he was pointing at he suddenly remembered the project.

"Um, it was Alina. I was busy when she..." He trailed off when he saw the mixed expression of hurt and anger on Tom's face.

"Tom...”

"Just forget it! I should have known!" Tom exploded with anger. He spilled his books on the nearest chair and faced Chris "You never do anything right. Never ever! Unreliable!"

He stormed upstairs and Chris heard the bang as he shut his door loudly.

Could things get worse?

They certainly did as Chris's phone rang and he picked it up without seeing the caller ID as he was so distracted.

"Hello?" He said grumpily.

"Where the he** are you?" A voice shouted from the phone.

Sonia!

"Uh Sonia listen-"

"No you listen to me!" Sonia screeched. "Why aren't you at my party? Do you know for how long I have been planning it? I want a perfect birthday but it keeps getting spoiled when people ask me 'Where is your boyfriend?' and I have to say 'I don't know!'"

Chris pulled the phone away from his ear. Even then he could hear Sonia's angry tirade clearly.

After throwing him a shower of insults Sonia finally calmed down to let Chris apologize.

"I'll be there in no time." He hanged up.

He quickly got ready, told Tom that he would have to take care of Alina as he was going out and walked away quickly before Tom could say 'no'.

He was assured. Tom would take care of Alina. He was quite attached to her. Chris quickly put Sonia's present on the front seat, got in the car and pulled it out of the driveway and was on his way to her house.

When he arrived at her house 10 minutes later he could see the party was going on in full swing. Loud pop music was playing inside. He picked up the present (a cute silver bracelet that said 'Remember Me' and a Kate Spade Handbag) and he went inside.

Sonia really had put together a great party. The big lounge of her house was decorated with pink, white and red roses. A DJ was playing in the corner. A big banner was set up on the wall which said "Happy Birthday Princess Sonia". Underneath it was a big three storey chocolate cake topped with chopped strawberries, vanilla icing was covering the boundaries and a big candle with the shape of number 18 was on the top storey of the cake. Standing a few steps away from it was Sonia, wearing a black gown with sweetheart neckline, with her hair set in curls, she looked so luscious that Chris couldn't help but stare at her. He wasn't the only one. Lots of sets of eyes were surveying Sonia from time to time but she took no notice. She was animatedly chatting with her friend though it was clear from her face that her heart wasn't in it at all. She kept staring at the wall clock.

Chris was sure she was anxious to cut the cake but wanted to wait for him so he hurriedly strode forward passing through the crowd to get to her side. Sonia saw him coming through and took a few steps forward towards him.

And, this was where the final thing that could seal Chris's worst day happened. As he hurried forward he failed to notice the drink that someone had spilled on the floor as his eyes were glued to Sonia's smiling face. He stepped on it and slipped, the gift flew out of his hands, but instead of falling down on the floor he skidded forward, bumped into Sonia and took her along with him and together they both fell on the top of three storey cake. Chris felt his mouth full of cream. Before he could spit it out somebody squealed and he realized that Sonia was underneath him. With difficulty he pulled himself out of the cake. If he looked like a brown bear with all the cream sticking to his face and clothes it was nothing compared to how Sonia looked! She struggled out of what was left of the magnificent cake and pulled herself straight. Her hair was completely covered in chocolate with strawberries sticking out in various places. Her back was completely drenched in cake, chocolate and strawberries. Her pretty face though not as messed up as rest of her, was flushed brick red.

The house had gone quite. Somebody even had turned off the music. Suddenly snickers broke out from everywhere and someone let out a burst of laughter but it got punctured by a high snarl that came, undoubtedly, from Sonia.

"YOU!" She shouted at Chris. "HOW COULD YOU???!!!"

"Sonia, listen to-"

"SHUT UP!!! YOU JUST KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!" She screamed. "IT WAS MY SPECIAL DAY AND YOU RUINED IT! YOU SCREWED IT UP! YOU DID IT!"

"I didn't mean-"

"DON'T GIVE ME THAT! FIRST YOU SHOWED UP LATE AND THEN YOU DID THIS!!!" She waved her hands around.

"GET OUT! We're OVER! GET OUT OF MY SITE!!!" She looked around wildly and finally scooped up a handful of cake and threw it at him.

"OUT! LEAVE ME ALONE! WE'RE DONE MR.!"

"Sonia what the-" He was bewildered. "What are you doing? Look I'm sorry! I didn't mean to-"

But Sonia like an angry wolverine picked up some more cake and threw it at Chris.

"GO AWAY!"

Finally Chris realized it was no good staying there unless he wanted to get more shouted at, so he left. He could hear Sonia's wails of despair even in his car.

What had he done? He thought miserably as he took off his jacket so that the car won't get stained.

He couldn't believe it happened. How could it have happened? Chris had never felt more dejected in his life than he felt at that moment. He just lost Sonia. They had just been together for 4 months.

But as he drove hopelessly towards his house a small voice in his brain said that if he had just kept track of what he was doing that day it would never have happened. He shouldn't have promised to do Tom's project. He shouldn't have promised his mom that he'd stay home tonight and look after Alina. If he had told them both he was busy he might not have arrived at Sonia's party late. He might not have done... well what he did.

He didn't realize that he had reached his house. He got out and went inside the house. His mother was back, he saw. Then he remembered the carpet in his parents' bedroom.

Before a single word could get out of his lips his mother started shouting at him.

"Where were you? How could you let Alina in my room? Did you see the mess she made? After I strictly told you to look after her you neglected your duty! Why didn't you say you couldn't do it? I wouldn't have left. That carpet was a gift from Paris. Oh I'm so disappointed in you Chris."

She took a deep breath and finally looked at him. "Oh my... What happened to you? Is that cake? What were you doing?"

"Mum I-"

She didn't give him a chance to finish. "Clean yourself up!"

She looked at him with crestfallen face. Chris's insides squirmed with guilt. He went upstairs in his room, feeling far worse than he had ever felt in life. Like someone had pulled his insides out. It was his entire fault. Everything that happened. If he hadn't tried to please everyone (his mother, brother and Sonia) at the same time this would never have had happened. He went inside the bathroom and began to wash himself up silently vowing never to be a "Yes Man" again 'cause he didn't think he could handle anything like this again.

Could you?





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