Must. Make. New Year's resolutions.

Submitted into Contest #25 in response to: Write a short story about someone writing Valentine's Day wishes.... view prompt

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Holiday

December 31st, New Year’s Eve.

Work was one big paradox. While many people were off today, those that were not needed stuff done ASAP. Since my mom always told me to take care of everything before the clock struck midnight on the last day of December, I made sure that my desk was cleared by the end of the day.

The streets were quiet but busy at the same time. While some people were at home getting ready for the upcoming party, others were out running around, trying to accomplish last-minute tasks.

As I walked home from work, I wondered what I would say to various people as they called to check in on me and invite me over for a New Year’s Eve celebration. Ultimately, I came to realize that I would have to pick one friend that I was going to use when talking to my family, and one family member when talking to my friends. That was one of the few perks of having a large family – there was always someone I was “visiting.” Thankfully, I always kept those two worlds apart, so no one was the wiser when I remained home on my own after telling people I was meeting up with someone else. The reason why I did that was to make them feel better. I was fine being on my own, but others seemed to think it was sad to be alone during the holidays.

Ordering a pizza didn’t seem festive enough, but when I saw a neon sign of a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, I figured that Chinese food might just do the trick. I stepped inside and ordered Sesame Chicken with a side of fried rice. The woman behind the counter warned me that it would take about 10 minutes to cook and assemble the meal. Maybe for the first time in my life, I smiled instead of grunting at what she said to let her know that it was alright and that I didn’t mind waiting.

It was cold outside, so the warmth from the stoves in the restaurant felt pretty cozy. If my house wasn’t less than five minutes away, I might have stayed there all night. Once my food was ready, I readjusted my hat, hood, and scarf and walked outside. My glasses were notoriously fogged up due to my warm breathe bouncing off of the tightly wrapped scarf. Between the scarf, the hat, and the fogged up glasses, there was barely any face exposed, and I still felt cold.

Once at home, I made myself a cup of tea, powered on my computer, and sat down in front of it. Facebook popped up as soon as I opened my browser. Before diving in, I took a deep breath, followed by a sip of the tea I brewed. Warmth filled my stomach, and I shivered, finally defrosting.

The snow was still falling, adding to the already-tall, mountains of white powder all around. I brought my eyes back to my computer screen and scrolled through a multitude of “Happy New Year’s” posts. My eyes rolled inadvertently. Some people shared their reflections on the topic of the passing year, while others focused on introducing their audience to their New Year’s resolutions.

That world seemed so alien to me. A world in which people enjoyed getting ready and attending New Year’s Eve parties. A world in which people didn’t care about all of the drunk drivers that plagued the roads that night. They also didn’t care about the danger associated with fireworks, or sexually transmitted diseases for that matter.

Life is hard enough. Why impose more restrictions on yourself? New Year’s resolutions only make us more miserable. Seeing that I didn’t have much planned for tonight, I decided to entertain myself by attempting to come up with some resolutions of my own. A quick Google search revealed that exercise is what Americans vow to do more of with the beginning of a new year. 

Next” – I thought to myself, thanking Mother Nature for giving me the perfect body without the need to work out.

Another very popular resolution includes eating healthier.

I stood up, walked to my kitchen, and opened up the fridge.

Eggs, milk…, an apple” – was what I found in my refrigerator aside from light.

All these are nothing if not healthy.

Returning to my desk, I found out that saving money is also something many people decide to work on with the beginning of a new year.

I could not help but laugh to myself.

Getting back up, I walked over to my purse that I had left on the living room floor as I came in from work. I pulled out a wallet and opened it up. Hundreds of dollars appeared in front of my eyes. As I added up next month’s rent, utilities, and a student loan payment, I was left with all of $47 for groceries and other miscellaneous spending for next month.

Having tossed the wallet back into my purse, I sprinted to my computer. Filled with joy, I opened up my Facebook page and wrote my very own New Year’s resolution.

I will learn to live on $1.5 a day” – I wrote and clicked “Post” without blinking.

It felt good to be just like everyone else; to be able to say that I have come up with a New Year’s resolution. I wondered how many Likes my post would get. How many videos of “Living on a budget” would be recommended to me. Maybe I will become an Internet celebrity…

No party could compare to the evening I had with myself. That night I watched a couple of movies, feasted on Sesame Chicken and rice, texted everyone “Happy New Year,” and went to bed before the clock struck midnight. For a moment, I felt normal, and that moment was long enough for me to fall asleep. What would happen after would not matter. After all, New Year’s resolutions are not meant to be kept. Everyone knows that.

January 25, 2020 03:25

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2 comments

Sean Reiley
18:43 Jan 31, 2020

The protagonist's voice is well established and it doesn't take very long to gain insight into their personality. Appreciate their refreshingly honest takes and unapologetic attitude concerning how they go about their life. Would definitely read a book about this individual and their experiences. Great stuff.

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Sam Kirk
00:37 Feb 01, 2020

Thanks so much! Stay golden!

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