Ten Friends

By Bill Fountain

Posted November 27, 2020, 8:42 pm

Kevin had ten friends and a wife. He was feeling good about his life.

One day, he applied for a higher-paying position at his place of work. He was distraught to learn that he didn't get the job, but instead, it was given to a new guy. Kevin had five years more experience at this company than him and felt mistreated and overall underappreciated. He goes to sleep feeling like a failure but trying to remember to stay positive.

Seeing that his job may be a dead-end one, Kevin applied for a more prestigious company but is again turned down. Figuring it must be because he doesn't have the educational credentials necessary, Kevin applied for a respected college. For the third time in two weeks, Kevin is rejected.

Kevin feels like a failure but continues working hard at his job. He is noticeably more irate around co-workers, and it's becoming more and more apparent that Kevin hates his job. After work, instead of winding down and relaxing from a stressful day, Kevin takes his frustrations home with him to his wife.

A week later, Kevin has nine friends and is feeling worse about life.

Kevin feels success is a foreign state of mind and something that must not be for him. He is nothing more than a common pencil-pusher and is never going to accomplish anything with his life. During nights out drinking with friends, Kevin consistently complains about society and the problems they cause. He frequently debates others, and people are quick to back down, sensing his aggressive and passionate energy, deciding that arguing with him is too exhausting and pointless.

Two weeks go by, and Kevin has seven friends. He notices that three of his friends have stopped replying to him, and he gets angry that people are so sketchy and rude. They are inconsiderate toward him and his problems and aren't worth his time. He mentally notes all the things he hates about his lost three friends and wishes evil upon them.

When Kevin hangs out with his remaining seven friends, he starts to notice that these guys have the same shitty qualities as his former friends. He calls them out for petty offenses, and they try to keep the peace, but it appears Kevin is looking for trouble.

Tired of the negativity that Kevin is projecting in his everyday life, his wife decides to leave him. Kevin once again feels mistreated and underappreciated, and vents heavily to his remaining five friends. They do all they can to comfort him in his time of loss, but months go by, and it appears he is still an irritable, negative person.

Three weeks later, Kevin has one friend and no wife. After seeing his stagnate life and all the friends that have left him, Kevin becomes very paranoid and obsessive with his one remaining friend, fearful that he may lose him. Kevin does any and everything for his one friend, and compliments him, and agrees with him consistently. Kevin becomes angry and aggressive when his friend says anything critical to Kevin, but then Kevin immediately becomes loving and caring in an attempt to cancel out his previous rage.

His last friend can't handle it anymore and stops responding to his calls. Kevin is left with zero friends and no wife.

But then he wakes up. It was just yesterday that he had felt spiteful at the new guy for getting the promotion he wanted, and he still had ten friends and a wife. He realizes it was all a nightmare, but the way it felt so real horrified him.

Kevin goes to work and congratulates the new guy on his promotion, and genuinely wishes the best for him. He continues to emit good vibes, showing gratitude for what he has. The nightmare reminds him to show love and appreciation for his ten friends and wife and to treat them well.

People love this new loving, positive Kevin. A year goes by, Kevin is promoted and has twenty friends, one wife, and one son.

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