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The Song Prompt Inspired Annie’s Tale- A Response to Bill’s Final Challenge


This short story is written as a response to Bill Holland’s final challenge.

In his challenge, Bill asked fellow HP writers to write one more story or poem on HP, which should be our best work at the time of the writing. He asked us to put all our effort into it because he would like to find out how much we have grown as a writer all along he has known us.

The Song Prompt I have Chosen

I chose the ABBA song, “I have a dream” as the prompt for my short story. Below I give the abridged lyrics of the first verse of the song so that you get a feel for it in case you are unable to view the full song lyrics in the YouTube video that follows next.

The Shortened First Stanza of the ABBA Song: “I Have a Dream”

I have a dream, a song to sing, to help me cope with anything

If you see the wonder of a fairy tale, you can take the future even if you fail

I believe in Angels, something good in everything I see

I will cross the stream, I have a dream

A YouTube Video Showing the Full ABBA Song Lyrics

Pic: Annie

Pic: Annie

The Song Prompt Inspired Annie’s Tale- The Response

A girl named Annie in a middle-class family aspired to be a bank officer like her Dad. But she believed in herself more. She thought, “I would hate to struggle with financial problems. I intend to follow the steps of the ladder to becoming the Manager of a private bank.”

Her favorite song was the ABBA song: “I have a dream.” She was the only child of her parents. As she had no siblings to talk to at home, she sang the ABBA song to console herself and dream. Currently, she was studying in the BBA (Bachelors of Business Administration) program at a reputable university.

She hadn’t done too well academically so far. The job potential in banks was highly competitive. So, if Annie wanted to get a job at a reputable bank, she had to work harder. She comforted herself, “Angels will help me realize my dream.”

She put more effort into her studies. In the third semester, her grades in various courses improved. She played the ABBA song and sang along. She said to herself, "In the end, I will cross the stream."

She graduated with flying colors, getting the fifth position in the class. Afterward, she took part in the interview for an MBA (Masters of Business Administration) in the same university. But there were a dozen more who were better candidates. So, Annie missed the chance.

She went home remorseful. She hardly talked to her parents all day. Her dreams were shattered. She sang the first line of her favorite ABBA song:

I have a dream, a song to sing, to help me cope with anything

Angels surrounded her at night and helped her to sleep and dream well. She dreamed that she was studying in an MBA program.

The next morning, she announced to her parents, “I didn’t get the chance for an MBA in my current university, but I would like to go to another university for an MBA. What do you think, Mom and Dad?”

“Sure”, her Dad said. “There are a couple of other good universities like NSU, BRAC, and others. Research on the web and find out which suits you and apply."

Encouraged, Annie browsed the net with the ABBA song on earplugs. She finally chose NSU and reported to her Dad.

Her Dad remarked, “It will be a long distance from Malibagh to Bashundhara. But if you are strong in your dreams, the distance will not matter. If you don’t like to go by bus, you can try uber.”

Annie replied, “I will try going by bus first and see how I feel.”

She went by bus to give the viva voce at NSU, taking her mother along. She had prepared well and bought an MBA guide and had gone through it thoroughly. Her interview went brilliant, and she was accepted into the MBA program of NSU university.

Two whole years of MBA, making friendships with classmates, studying in groups online and offline, reading and researching material offline and online, and she made the way to be an MBA graduate.

Next, it was time for job hunting. She went from one bank to another and dropped her resume with no luck. She became weak and dog tired and fell on the bed but sang to herself:

If you see the wonder of a fairy tale, you can take the future even if you fail

She daydreamed like a fairy tale story. She would get the dream job as a bank officer and also get a dream life partner, who would be a colleague.

And just like she imagined, she went confidently to another private bank, dropped her resume, and finally, gave the interview when she was called. After waiting in anticipation for five days in a sequence, she finally got a call that she made it. Yes, she ultimately got the post of bank officer.

She began her duties, learning sincerely and loyally and being helpful and cooperative with customers and clients. She got educated a lot this way. The higher-ups were impressed with her and transferred her to a better branch. Along the way, she got promotions. She was highly respected, and she gave her all into her service. Finally, the day came when she got transferred to the main branch.

At the main branch after working for three years in a row, she was selected as the Manager of the bank. It was the happiest day of her life, her dream coming true. She had a colleague named Minhaz who had also contested for the position, but it was okay with him that Annie won it. Therefore, she was surprised when he gave her a marriage proposal. She wondered if he loved her, or he wanted to take revenge of some kind.

Pic: Minhaz, Annie’s Future Life Partner

Pic: Minhaz, Annie’s Future Life Partner

Annie had become this wary and candid. She talked with Minhaz during lunch breaks and later, spent longer times together during the breaks of their service. Eventually, they met each other during weekends. Annie figured Minhaz to be a faithful colleague, and after two years, he proposed to her again. Annie accepted happily.

On the way back home, she sang in high elation:

I will cross the stream, I have a dream, I will cross the stream, I have a dream.

© 2022 Rosina S Khan