Jim is awoken by the sound of his door opening. Lines of well dressed men and women walk into his room and greet him.
“Good Morning Sir”
Jim lets out an unattractive grunting noise in return.
“This morning’s breakfast is eggs benedict with a side of avocado on toast and orange juice.”
One of the women leaves the line with a tray in hand and walks over to Jim’s bedside. Then slowly sets down the tray in front of Jim. The only response from Jim is a blank stare as he changes his glance from the women to the food in front of him. He then begins to scarf down the food and leaves no remains.
After breakfast, another woman and man leaves the line and this time brings him a set of clothes to pick from. Jim carefully studies each set and then points over to the one of his choosing. A navy blue button down collared shirt with khaki pants and brown dress shoes. The clothes are handed to him and the group of men and women leaves allowing him to dress himself in peace.
As Jim heads downstairs, he is then greeted by an older gentleman, dressed in a tuxedo.
“Good Morning Sir. Was today’s breakfast to your liking?”
“Yes just fine. The toast was little burnt, so please be sure it’s done correctly next time. But everything else was mediocre. What are the plans for today?”
They begin walking together side by side down the hallway.
“You have a meeting in town at 10pm with the Vice President of Finance for Global Business Corp, then a lunch date with Fiona, and then you end the day with a meeting with the board of directors.”
“Ah I see.. Thank you Winston.”
At the end of the hallway, they approach large doors and they are slowly opened by two more men dressed in tuxedos. The doors open to a large driveway surrounded by a garden filled with rose bushes. A large fountain lies in the middle that the driveway circles around before making its way towards a large iron gate.
Jim walks towards a black sedan with the back door being held open for him. He gets in and they drive off to his first appointment.
His first meeting goes by rather quickly, so now he finds himself sitting in the restaurant waiting for Fiona. Fiona and him have been dating for 5 years now, but unfortunately their relationship hasn’t progressed much due to the nature of their jobs. As head of a corporation, Jim always found himself in meetings and Fiona was a famous photographer who was always being hired to travel to different events. When their schedule intersected, they would always try to make time for each other
Jim finds himself gazing out into the distance. His mind racing, thinking of everything from what his company has accomplished to what his company plans to do next. Normally the future would excite him, but this time he just felt bored. He wondered what would be next? What else could they accomplish? All of a sudden he feels a hug from behind.
“So what are you thinking about?”
Fiona comes around and sits in the empty seat across from him.
“Nothing? You seemed really lost in your thoughts, but then again that’s how you usually are.”
“I’m sorry Fiona.. Just a lot on my mind…”
“It’s okay! One day, I’ll find a way to crack that mind of yours.”
She reaches over and gives me a kiss. The smell of her perfume is intoxicating. It lingers even as she pulls away.
“But here! I got something from you!”
Fiona hands over a package, carefully wrapped in a shimmering silver gift wrap and then topped off with a blue ribbon.
Jim is surprised, “What’s this for?”
“Don’t tell me you forgot your own birthday!”
Jim looks at the package and sees a tag on top. He looks at it and it reads.
For the man who has everything. Happy Birthday!
“Thank you Fiona”
“Geez.. doesn’t hurt to crack a smile once in awhile yknow?!”
Lunch finishes and like clockwork, Jim head towards his next appointment. As he enters the conference room, Jim is immediately greeted by everyone around him. His face and expression still blank, but he still makes an attempt to greet everyone around him.
The meeting begins and Jim finds his mind wandering again. The voices in the room become distant and now he finds himself thinking.
“What am I doing here?”
The meeting comes to a close and Jim finds himself back at home. As soon as he enters, he is again greeted by men and women lined up in formation.
“Good Evening Sir”
Winston walks next to him and they head towards his room.
“How was your day sir?”
“It was fine.”
“I am pleased to hear that. Is there anything we can do for you?”
“No. Nothing. Just going to head to bed early.”
“As you wish sir. Please let us know if there is anything you need.”
Jim arrives at his room and finds his pajamas laid out on the bed for him. He dresses himself and heads to bed. His eyes slowly shut and then he drifts off. Resting up for the next day.
A loud crashing noise abruptly wakes up Jim from his sleep. Jim is delirious and his head is aching, unaccustomed to waking up before his usual schedule.
No response. He could feel his heart beating faster than usual. He slowly gets out of his bed and makes his way towards the door and pushes it open slowly. He puts his head out and tries to peek into the hallway and no luck. The hallway was pitch black and he could barely see outside. He exits his room with his arm extending outwards to avoid bumping into anything.
All of a sudden as he reaches the corner, a shadow flies past him. It’s Winston, bloodied and beaten up. Jim’s eyes widen and his mouth is left open. He rushes over to him and puts his head next to his mouth. He feels a puff of air rushing towards his face.
“Good… still breathing.. Who did this?!”
Jim begins running down the hallway that Winston was sent flying through. Along the way he sees everyone who’s ever taken care of him lying on the ground. Injured and beaten just like Winston and the only question running through his mind is why?
At the end of the hallway is the entrance to the mansion. The entire room is lit and at the bottom of the stairs near the entrance is a man twice his size. In his hand is a gun and in the other is another one of his servants. The man is lifting his servant in the air. Jim ducks down to avoid being seen and listens in on the conversation.
“Where is the vault?”
“I told you… I don’t know where it is” The servant struggles to breath and is gasping for air as the man’s hand grips tighter around his neck.
“You’re the 6th person to say that to me.. How unfortunate.”
The man lifts him up higher in the air and tosses the servant like a piece of rubbish and sends him crashing into the wall. Jim can do nothing but watch. His heart is now racing and sweat running down his forehead. He attempts to move, but ends up stepping on a piece of glass. The glass shatters and the noise reverberates throughout the entire room.
The man exclaims. He quickly scans the room for the noise.
“You can try to hide, but I know you’re there!”
The man inches his way over to the where Jim is. The man turns the corner and sees nothing but shattered glass.
“So I see we have ourselves a rat scurrying around.. There’s no point in hiding. I will find you!”
“You don’t have to look any further!”
Jim comes running out from the side with a piece of wood from a broken furniture. He tries to hit the man, and misses his head. Instead, Jim manages to hit the man’s hand and knocks the gun out of his hand. Jim tries to go for a second hit, but instead the man catches the wood and swipes it out of his hand.
“You got balls kid. I’ll give ya that!”
Jim back peddles, but not fast enough. The man manages to get a clean hit on Jim’s head which knocks him onto the ground.
“What do we have here? Looks like we have the master of the house! Maybe you can tell me.. Where’s the vault?”
“What are you talking about?! Are you seriously going through all this trouble just for money!”
“Money? Looks like you don’t even know what I’m talking about. What a waste of time…”
Jim turns to the side and sees the man’s gun underneath one of the cabinets. He starts making his way towards it.
“Trying to run away are you? What’s the point?! You’re all going to die anyway!”
The man begins walking over towards Jim. Jim slides his hand underneath the cabinet and pulls the gun out towards the man. The man freezes in his track, but the man smiles.
“Something tells me that you’ve never shot anyone before.”
Jim has the gun set on the man, but his hands are shaking and is struggling to line up his shot.
“A rich, spoiled, brat like you could never kill me. Just give it up.”
The man takes another step forward. Jim shuts his eyes and pulls the trigger. A loud bang noise fills the mansion, followed by a thud. Jim opens his eyes and sees the man on the floor. Jim walks over to the man and sees his eyes, lifeless and empty. Jim reels back and vomits all over the floor.
Jim now on the floor lies down face up. His heart still racing, but the expression on his face now different. It no longer has the same lifeless, uninterested expression that he wears everyday. For the first time, there was fear, excitement, and a smile. His eyes were filled with life.
Everyday, his butlers and maids would pamper him, but it could never generate the feelings he had now. For the first time in a long time, after coming close to death, he felt more alive than he ever did.