Challenge: Write something (prose, poetry, fiction, or even an essay) about the ways your life may have changed. It could have been in the past, the present. Or you can be creative and place it in the future.
Kevin looked out over the calm ocean, waiting for something to strike his line. He wished Helen and Sam were with him, but this fishing expedition was his birthday gift from his wife and son and there wasn’t any money in the budget for additional passengers. There was no money for one fishing trip; where had Helen scraped it up? He took the beer, offered by another fisherman, and adjusted his sip to the roll of the boat (no point in wasting any). He thought about his wife; she was so loving and supportive. She had taken the job at the local dry cleaner, two weeks after he had lost his corporate vice-presidency. There should have been a financial cushion, but they had been living pretty extravagantly, and they owed a lot; she never complained, just cut their budget and trimmed out all the extras, put the house on the market and went to work, while he sent resumes to every company with a heartbeat. It had been almost a year now, of no response, not a single nibble. Kevin sighed and was raising his beer to his lips, when the sudden, insane jerk of his rod knocked the beer from his hand and he tightened his grip on the pole. “Wow, something big!” he thought. That was his last conscious thought for the next seven and a half hours.
Well, into the morning hours of the next day, Kevin stood next to his prize, the world’s largest blue-finned tuna. It hung, head-down, from the rope around its tail with “1498 lbs” painted on the side. He stood, dazed, as cameras flashed, one thought spinning in his head, “Two pounds over Ken Fraser’s 1979 world record!”
The next months blurred with activity, as Kevin rose to overnight celebrity; newspapers around the world featured him and “big Blue”; he appeared on The Tonight Show and Good Morning America; several venues awarded prize money (debt disappeared); job offers rolled in; Helen and Sam appeared on the cover of People, PhotoShopped with big Blue (the headline read “Some Birthday Gift!”); Sam threw out the ball to open the world series; Kevin appeared, briefly, on Dancing with the Stars and met an actress.
Three years after that fateful birthday, Kevin sat, looking out at the ocean, while a young actress (a different one) set a huge cupcake, sporting a single candle, on the table beside him. “Happy birthday, hon. Your ex called. She wants to swap weeks for Sam to visit. She and David have plans to be in Nice, on their honeymoon. I told her it was probably OK, but you’d call her.”
Kevin pulled his gaze from the rolling ocean, to look around the glass house on the cliff – he had everything now, everything he had ever wanted. He sighed, took a breath and blew out his candle.
Photo: courtesy of Outdoor Life – Ken Fraser 1496 lb: This is the “Big Kahuna” in tuna fishing – a giant bluefin that dwarfs everything imaginable in this area of big game fishing. This IGFA 130-pound line-class record was taken by Ken Fraser in late October, 1979 out of Aulds Cove, Nova Scotia, and weighs 3/4s of a ton!