There's a reason they call me 'The Flatterer.' I can talk myself out of anything. Got arrested? Compliment the officer's devotion to his job. Got scolded for not submitting your work in time? Convince the teacher you did not want to increase their work. On the verge of getting mugged? Praise the robber for trying everything to make ends meet. I have a trick up my sleeve for any situation. I earned the title. But today, I may be facing my toughest challenge yet. I am standing on the edge of the gates of heaven, and I have to convince the gatekeeper to let me in.
"Next," he shouted as the man ahead of me was banished to hell.
"Oh, boy! What do we have here," he said, examining my file. It contained everything about me - my every deed. But most importantly, it had the list of all my sins. It was a long list. "You have stacked up a lot of sins. I'm afraid you're going straight to hell," he said, perusing through them.
"Umm.. wait. Can't you do something about it? Isn't there any way you can send me to heaven."
"Send you to heaven?" he chuckled "You should be thankful I'm not calling Satan to escort you out of here. It's written here that you lie a lot. It's one of the mortal sins you know".
"I wouldn't call it lying exactly. I mean…. I tell people what they want to hear. A couple of them are lies, but .."
"Either way, you're going straight down."
"No no. Listen. Why can't you just let me in?"
"The rules are pretty strict. I can't just let anyone enter. That would be heresy."
"Oh come on! I made some mistakes. What's the big fuss? Just let me in. Besides, I'm sure you're tired of all this".
"Tired of what?" he asked.
"Judging people. Deciding whether they go to heaven or hell. Classifying them into right and wrong. It must be demanding. I bet you work really hard."
"You're damn right it's demanding. I can't slip up. The last thing we need is people like you traipsing around inside, ruining everyone's peace of mind."
"But you do slip up, though?"
"Sometimes a couple of them end up in the wrong place. But it's very rare," he said.
"After all, morals aren't absolute. If a man steals food to feed his hungry kids, is that right or wrong? I think it depends on perspective." I said.
"I guess you're right. The boundary can be a little blurry sometimes. Right and wrong aren't always binary."
"Yeah, exactly. And do you think it's fair that a person is judged right from his birth"?
"So maybe you can bend the rules a little. Bring a little excitement into the job," I said, trying to sway him.
"You do make a compelling argument, but .."
"Why don't you start with me? Send me to heaven. What's the worst that can happen? "
"Absolutely not. I couldn't do that. Your list is pretty long, and I could get into a lot of trouble if they find out".
"If who finds out?"
"My boss. He's always breathing down my neck to do my job properly".
"Maybe I can convince him. Let me talk to him. Where is he?"
"That's a bad idea. Besides, he isn't here. He takes care of things on the inside."
"You know what. You send me in, and I'll put in a good word for you."
"Really, you would do that? What would you say?"
"I'll tell him how hard you work and how friendly you were. I'm sure he'll understand"
"You would do that?"
"Well, maybe I can make an exception for you," he said as he opened my file again and scratched out the word 'Hell.' Jackpot!
He signalled the guards to open the gates as he scribbled the word 'Heaven' on it. "You can go on now," he said, "Enjoy your stay."
"Sure will," I said, entering the pearly gates.
He was about to close my file when something caught his eye. "Why do they call you the Flatterer," he asked as I bolted.