What Would You Do

What Would You Do

Fiona Perry, Writer

“Are you Mr. Sanders?” asked the man who had walked into my office.

“I’m sorry, you must be thinking of my boss,” I smiled and then turned back to filling up the coffee cups.

“No, no, I specifically remember. We met at the convention a few years ago, right?” He didn’t let me answer, “Look, I wanted to thank you for the advice you gave me. Will you take money? How much?”

“Ten’s fine,” this guy obviously thought I was someone else and was so convinced by it he wouldn’t take no for an answer. It wouldn’t hurt to just take the money and give it to my boss later, would it?

“Ten million it is.” 

I opened my mouth to correct him and say that I just meant ten dollars but as I watched him write zero after zero after zero on that check I just couldn’t. Seven zeros! What kind of advice did I give!?

“T-thanks,” I smiled weakly as I took the check.

“Anytime,” he smiled back then walked away.

Ok, ok, ok, think, I thought to myself. This guy just handed me a check for 10 million dollars and I’m going to give it away!? I know that stealing and lying is bad but how could I live with myself after giving away 10 million dollars!? Oh yes! I’ll take a million out and then give him the rest! I winced, No one would ever give someone 9 million dollars, he’ll know immediately that I took some. 5 million it is!

I heard a screechy laugh that shocked me so much that I dropped the coffee cups I had been filling up for my coworkers. It shocked me even more to find out it came from me. I shook  off my surprise and ran out of the building to deposit the check, practically skipping the whole way there.

Suddenly, as I turned the corner to the bank, I bumped into someone holding a microphone backed by a camera crew. My skin turned pale and cold as I felt goosebumps emerge on my arms. I pushed the check deep into my pocket as I began to understand. That guy’s reasoning for giving me 10 million dollars was just for advice!? How did I believe that!?

“I’m John Quiñones with What Would You Do and….” the man’s voice trailed off as I came to the realization that the man wasn’t talking to me, he was talking to some other poor lady on the sidewalk. 

I almost collapsed from relief mixed with confusion. I mean, someone accidentally gave me a check for 10 million dollars and then I ran into John Quiñones on my way to the bank and you’re telling me those things weren’t directly connected!? 

I was so relieved and excited that I didn’t even realize I had turned around and started walking away from the bank. When I finally stopped and realized this, I found out that I felt guilty! What if John Quiñones was actually there for me? I would be publicly shown as a bad person, and the worst part was that I was a bad person! I quickly walked back to the office and gave my boss the check mumbling, “Your friend left this for you. He mentioned something about advice they gave you.”

My boss just laughed and patted me on the back, then closed the door, ending the conversation, and ending my only chance at getting 10 million dollars.