Creative Writing : The Tempting Offer

Written by,
Sathiya Seelan Ramachandran

The Tempting Offer

The new 2018 Mercedes -Benz S450L cruised past the crawling traffic of Monday evening effortlessly and swiftly turned right into UEP Subang Jaya exit. The special treatment accorded  to the heavily tinted car bearing a Pahang state emblem drew grouses from the impatient drivers waiting for their turn. The traffic police officer wasn't letting them pass yet. Monday evenings are very unforgiving.

One of them lost patience and attempted to follow suit. The moment he veered his vehicle into the emergency lane, a bright blue light flashed followed by a loud siren. The driver quickly steered his car back into lane. As he did so, a traffic personnel casually rode past him from behind - keeping the line in check.

Watching the commotion from the rear view mirror, Dato' Murugan chuckled. His vast wealth not only bought him a honorary title but also sense of entitlement to break rules at will. He's convinced that he's immune from the long arm of the law.

"I'm not in a hurry, you know," said Dato' Sathyan as he peered at the golden sky through the side window. " Go slow".

He quickly glanced at his Rolex watch and leaned forward to adjust the radio volume on the hand rest. Their conversation took a break as the FM radio came to life.

"...மாலை மணி 7 இடம் பெறும் நிகழ்ச்சி, செய்திகள். செய்திகள் வாசிப்பது, வசந்தி."

"நாட்டில் தொடர்ந்து அதிகரித்து வரும் சட்ட விரோத நிதி முதலீட்டு நிறுவனங்களின் எண்ணிக்கை அச்சமளிப்பதாக, மத்திய  வங்கி
 ஆளுனர், Dr. Zeti, தெரிவித்தார்."

"குறுகிய காலத்திலேயே அதிக லாபம் ஈட்டும் திட்டங்களில் முதலீடு செய்வதில் மக்கள் சற்று எச்சரிக்கையாக இருக்க வேண்டும் என கேட்டுக் கொண்டார்."

"மேலும், மத்திய வங்கி அங்கீகரிக்கப்பட்ட திட்டங்களில் மட்டுமே பணம் முதலீடு செய்யு--"

Dato' Murugan muted the volume with a flick of his finger. His hands were firmly holding onto the steering wheel.

Annoyed Sathyan reaches into his jacket and starts fiddling with his smartphone.

Murugan broke the silence, without taking his eyes away from the road.

"Dato', how long has it been since you've retired from athletics?"

Sathyan paused but his eyes were still fixated on the screen. Murugan glanced at him briefly before turning his attention back to the road.

"You won us a silver medal in Olympics. An achievement unparalleled by any Malaysian in the past two decades!!," he continued.

"You're a role model. An inspiration. You belong to the big league. Yet, you're wasting your time here coaching juvenile kids in prison school."

Sathyan seemed distant for a moment. He was nostalgic about the good old days. That snide remark at the end bothered him.

"Muru, you've already got a handful of people aboard. That Seputeh MP signed up too? Why do you need me?," asked Sathyan curiously.

"These people are go-getters. You, my friend, on the other end letting a golden opportunity pass you by."

Sathyan was silent.

Murugan tried persuading harder.

"Look, what I'm offering you is a very special kind of deal. Don't sweat. You don't need to chip in a single sen, alright."

"I'm gonna place you up high above in the ranking. And you'll get to enjoy all the benefits from your downlines as well. All I want in return is for you to endorse my company and products."

Murugan turned to see Sathyan's reaction. Failing to see any meaningful expression, Murugan fine-tuned his tone.

"Come on, Dato'. How long you want to keep driving that crappy MPV? Don't you want to roll in Mercedes like this."

Sathyan smirked at the comparison. You and I are nothing alike. He thought.

"I appreciate the offer, Muru. Really. But, I'll pass." Sathyan was resolute in his decision. "I may not be rich. I'm not scraping my rice pot either. I'm contented."

As the car approached the guard post of gated community, Sathyan lowered the window and waved at the Nepalese Gurkha. The gurkha let them in, bypassing usual formalities.

"Please reconsider your decision, Dato'," Murugan requested as he stopped his car by a Semi-D. A toddler was playing on a tricycle in the porch. Not very far, a lady in mid-50s was watching over the toddler while stringing jasmines. " I'll meet you at the golf club, tomorrow."

"Thanks for the ride, Muru.", replied Sathyan as he got down and closed the door behind him.

The toddler jumped in delight on seeing Sathyan. The car behind him sped off without much delay.

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