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“Send this to 50 other people or….”
Jim knew what the “repercussions” were of not forwarding chain e-mails and so mechanically he clicked the forward button and sent it to his only pal in the office – ‘Princess Forward’ Fiona. She was the go-to girl if you wanted any forward e-mails. She could bombard your inbox with forwards like pick-a-color-and-find-your-soul mate e-mails, e-mails with Goddesses and Deities and even more. She even badgered people to post their wish-lists to a birthday website so much that Jim had to eventually give in.
Cheery and vivacious as a cheerleader Jim wondered often why she was so ‘wishful’ all the time. That very aspect of her irritated him but he did not approach her and complain. He never approached her. He did not appreciate too much wishful thinking. Infact he disliked the very thought of it. Like clockwork Fiona peeped over her cubicle and gave Jim that pleasing smile as if it was the only thing she was waiting for all day.
‘At least it works for someone’ wondered Jim. So, forwarded e-mails and a warm smile were only exchanged between them on a daily basis. Somehow, Jim wished it was more....But he wouldn't.
Sub-consciously Jim felt that smile of hers was different today, or was he imagining it?….he put his thoughts to rest. Fiona is as happy as sunshine, always. The chain e-mail then found its righteous place in the folder labeled ‘Junk’.
Yet, somehow he did not have the heart to delete it. He never knew why.
Day was as boring as a snore Jim felt if the clock was punishing him by ticking ever so slowly. He needed to get out of this miserable office. He pondered countless times on why he should quit this job that was squeezing the happiness out of his life. However, he was often shocked back into reality by the burden of the mortgage of the house he was planning to buy, the impending education loan he had to pay for and most importantly saving up for retirement. This job’s salary was the reason, the ONLY reason he was working there. He couldn't care less otherwise.
Fiona’s charming smile was only enough to ignite some passion to read a drone of a expense report but perhaps not for the other problems in his life. Poring over the expense sheets and graphs he thought why he was so very miserable a week before Christmas. ‘Tis the season to be jolly?…Bah! Humbug!
Why couldn’t he be happy as a daisy? Others hid their misery so well. He often wondered. He wished so much to be like Fiona. Cheery and upbeat regardless. He sighed.
It was his stomach grumbling.
Involuntarily Jim got up and slouched like a zombie to the kitchen and poured him some decaf. He let out yet another sigh. Tapping the mug he leaned with his back towards the kitchen counter mulling over life and its insane possibilities. He was tired, very tired. He yawned and chugged down the decaf in a swish and headed back towards his desk. Having his boss catch him asleep was the last thing he needed today. Slouching back unwillingly into his chair, he fought slumber as he stared into the excel sheet.
It read: ‘The Sales office expense report dated January ………….’
And no sooner a moment had passed, Jim shook himself up with a start; quickly looked around afraid whether or not the boss had heard him snore or had used his desk as a pillow- he didn’t even know how long he was out.
‘Guess nobody saw me’ Jim thought.
His stomach now rumbled louder to a growl. He was very hungry. Looking at his watch he remembered that he missed his breakfast today again in order to catch the subway train. He got up and went to the kitchen again and rummaged through the fridge for a fruit or condiments for a sandwich or a piece of celery at the least.
Strangely, he found a wishbone. Right in the central compartment of the fridge, nothing but a wishbone!
‘And its not even Thanksgiving!’
He thought. He mulled for a while, and putting his aversions of luck and wishfulness to rest he gave it a firm snap. It broke into two. It’s believed that if one has the larger portion of the wishbone his or her wish would come true.
‘As if my day would get any better with a wishbone’
He catapulted the pieces into the trashcan. Turning around he waited for a familiar sound but instead came a metallic crackle. Was his hearing affected? Middle age was perhaps getting to him, he thought. Surprised, Jim turned back and looked over to the trash can. The bone had hit a metal lamp of some sort. Shiny gold and with intricate designs on its surface Jim examined the lamp against the kitchen light aghast thinking what in the world was a lamp doing in a office trash can?
Examining the lamp carefully, he found an inscription on the bottom of the lamp:
‘Make a Wish’
Was written in gold.
Chuckling silently, he headed back to his desk and sitting down he decided to give it a shot.
‘Perfect! Now I await a genie. Hmm.. 7 wishes was it?’
Perfectly aware that it wasn’t any good he chuckled some more and rubbed the lamp uninterestedly once.
He rubbed it twice.
Yawning, he placed it onto his desk and yawned some more.
An e-mail flashed into his inbox.
‘Must be from Human Resources’, he thought
Nonchalantly he clicked open his inbox and it read-
Subject: Re: 3 wishes
Your wish is my command master!
Aghast Jim sat up in his seat. He rubbed his eyes to make sure he was awake.
‘What’s this?! Oh wait, relax, must be a joke or something…’
Convinced it was an office joke doing the rounds, he examined the email and tried to trace back the address but to his surprise it showed it didn’t exist!
‘How is that possible?’
His heart was beating fast. In complete disbelief and he assumed he was imagining things he rummaged his desk for his spectacles and he something unusual caught his eye.
A bouquet of clover leaves held by a smiling leprechaun was placed right on his desk.
He was taken aback as to how he didn’t notice it all morning! Something didn't seem right. His heart now raced.
But what got Jim gasping was a smiling elderly lady dressed as fairy godmother tapping on his shoulder.
‘OH MY GOD!’ He yelped out and in a flash he was out of his chair, outside his office floor and into the empty elevator and frantically pressing the Basement button.
‘What the hell is happening to me!
Oh my god I’m hallucinating!
I gotta go to the hospital. What’s happening to me??!!’ he gasped aloud in the elevator.
No sooner did the elevator ding open into the basement there was a flash of light and cries of:
Yelled everyone in the basement in chorus.
There was Fiona carrying a large cake and all the rest of the office mates including the fairy godmother (who turned out to be the cleaning lady) all in confetti and balloons happily smiling towards Jim. Fiona giggled as she saw Jim’s panicky yet confused expression. He looked dazed and confused as everyone pulled him out of the elevator and into a colorfully decorated basement- it never looked the same dingy basement like before- and were exchanging hugs and laughs all around. Every one named Fiona as the mastermind behind the birthday prank.
'How could I forget my own birthday!' Jim smacked himself in the head and chuckled in disbelief that he fell right into their trap. Correction: Fiona’s carefully crafted trap.
He laughed out loud as he learned of the details of her plan to freak Jim out right before him rushing to his car. He now realized, she knew him so well. At that very moment ignoring the crowd of people around him, Jim noticed her again and noticed her noticing him- her smile was different, more mischievous, more loving-and he smiled back, in kind acknowledgment.
After the party came to an end and everyone had left for the day, Jim asked Fiona as he escorted her to her car.
‘So…. You did all this for me? But why ?’
‘You know Jim; you should start believing things more. Perhaps it would come true’ she said and smiled kindly.
‘Huh?‘ That wasn’t a straight reply. ‘But-‘
Before Jim could probe more, Fiona gave him a quick but tight hug and rushed to her car.
Jim looked dazed and confused as before.
With a smiling goodbye wave she left in her car and Jim waved back, still stunned.
He then noticed something sticking in his shirt pocket-
A note, it read:
My dear Jim,
Have faith in your dreams and someday
Your rainbow will come smiling through
No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
the dream that you wish will come true
Loads of Love,
At that very moment, Jim smiled widely as he now knew his coming days would never be the same again.