Rodney sat at the table with his coworkers. Everyone was chatting and joking, and Rodney made the best of it, pretending to be happy though he really wanted to be anywhere but there. After all, it wasn’t him they were celebrating. No. It was Jake who had managed to get the promotion. Not him. And here they were, partying to celebrate Jake.
After an hour that seemed like forever, they all raised their glasses. Rodney faked a smile as he joined in when they all shouted “Cheers!”
Finally, the party began to break up and Rodney was able to leave. He stewed with resentment the whole drive home. When he got home, he slammed the front door open and stomped into the living room, where he plopped down on the couch with a long groan.
His wife, Ellie, came to the room. She stood in the doorway, discretely hiding one arm from the doorway. “How was your day?” she asked, even though it was obvious.
“Horrible,” he replied. “I got passed over for promotion. Again. Jake got it instead. Can you believe it? Then they had to have a big old party to celebrate it, and I got dragged along to it. Gah! Can this week get any worse? First, we lost good old Trusty. Then Grandpa got sick. And now this?”
“I know, dear. I know. It’s been a really hard week. And I know how hard it’s been for you to not have Trusty anymore. You’d had him since he was a puppy, after all. And he was a great dog. But, well, maybe this will help? I know they’re usually good to cheer someone up.”
She stepped into the room and set a small dog carrier on the floor. She opened it and two small black lab puppies tumbled out. Rodney watched in surprise as they stumbled across the floor toward him. Slowly, he smiled and he could feel his glum mood lift. He got down on the floor and they climbed over him while he laughed.
“They’re brother and sister,” Ellie said. “I couldn’t stand to break them up. Do you like them?”
“They’re great!” Rodney managed to say between puppy licks on his face. “Thank you, dear. Cheers to you for your smart thinking.”
She grinned and got down on the floor beside him to play with the puppies.
This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “cheers”: