Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. | A short story by Shubricca L Bell 

Once upon a time, there were three sisters who lived in a small village. After their parents passed, they inherited a quaint little house in a valley. The three sisters always wanted a house on the hill, because it represented prestige and success.

The people who lived in the valley would often look up to the hill, and watch as the people on the hill lived a carefree life. Everyone was always happy and smiling as they went in and out of their large homes and fancy cars, with their spouse, kids, and pets.

The people on the hill watched the people in the valley as well, but they mostly watched with pity. The people on the hill began to buy properties from the people in the valley for what they considered small change, but the people in the valley didn’t have the same money that the people on the hill did, so whenever the people in the valley were offered the money, they’d quickly take it, because they thought they’d be rich.

When the village began to look more like the hills, and there were only a few houses left that sat on huge acres of land, the three sisters knew that they had to soon make a choice like the villagers before them. Would they sell or would they stay?

Yesterday often thought about the village of the past. Everyone in the valley worked hard and carried their own weight. Things weren’t perfect, but times were simpler. 

Some people were content with what they had, but some wanted to live on the hill, and that’s what enticed them when the people on the hill came to offer them money for their houses. Many people sold quickly, because they wanted the dream of living on the hill. Sadly many villagers didn’t live on the hill long, because they didn’t make enough money to keep up the lifestyle, and they didn’t have any knowledge of how to create wealth. 

When Yesterday thought about all these things, she became sad, and simply wished that things could go back to how they used to be, before the people on the hill came and took over. Yesterday had many bittersweet moments thinking of the past, but she was mostly depressed and couldn’t get past what had now become of their village. 

Tomorrow was always thinking about what would become of the next day. “We don’t have to make a decision right now,” she’d always say- then the next day would come and she’d say, “Maybe another day.” 

Tomorrow was a procrastinator.  She believed that the next day will be a better day. She’d put off her happiness for another day. She has always wanted her own business, but she’d keep putting the start date on another day. “I’ll be rich- someday,” she’d often say, but she was lazy. 

Tomorrow always believed that the next day would bring better opportunities and happiness, she did not know that the present held just as many opportunities as the future. When the people from the hills came to make an offer, she thought, “This must be the day that I’ve been waiting for. My dreams are about to come true! I will be happy and carefree like the people on the hills.” 

Tomorrow was ready to make an offer, but she was so used to putting things off until the next day, so she told the businessmen to come back the next day. 

Today was the oldest sister. She carried a lot of weight. She had to become a parent to her younger sisters at the age of eighteen, when their parents died. 

Today planned her days out. She was often anxious because she had so much on her plate, and Yesterday wasn’t much help because she was always depressed about the past, and Tomorrow wasn’t dependable. 

Before the businessmen came back the next day, Today called a community meeting with her sisters and the few villagers who were left. “Listen up. The people from the hills are coming. They have already begun building retail stores and other establishments to cater to their lifestyle. 

There are barely any trees. Many gardens have been destroyed. Our farmers no longer have a job. Forest animals are being killed as they try to find new places to stay. Many people who have sold their properties, are now worse off than before the businessmen made them offers- therefore, we need to be smart about this. We need to take a stand right now.” Yesterday interrupted, “I just want things to go back to the way they used to be,” she said. 

“I’m sorry, Yesterday, things will never be the same, and you shouldn’t want them to. In the past we had it good here, but many of us would always focus on what the people on the hills were doing. While we envied their lifestyle, they plotted to take ours. Yesterday, we didn’t know how valuable we were as a community, and now our gold mine has been taken for pennies,” Today said. 

“I’ve been waiting my whole life for this opportunity. I knew I’d always be rich, and now’s the time. I’m selling my share, and I will finally be happy,” Tomorrow said.

“Tomorrow, if you’re not happy right now, you’ll never be. A bigger house, a nicer car, and more money can only bring you temporary happiness. What’s going to happen when the car starts to have problems, or you can’t maintain the mortgage on one of the houses on the hill, or when your bank account gets low? You see, there will always be a problem that you will have to deal with, and you can’t always put things off for another day, nor can you expect people in the real world to pick up your slack as I’ve done. 

Don’t be so quick to jump on an opportunity just because it sounds good, or else, you’ll be broke and homeless in six months. Learn to earn your keep, and stop expecting something for nothing.

The people in the village listened as Today gave each one of them sound advice. When the businessmen came, the remainder of the village agreed to give the businessmen a counteroffer. We would like to become shareholders. We won’t agree to sell our properties unless we gain shares to all the businesses you’re creating and you have to pay us for what our land is worth. 

We know that our properties are worth one hundred percent more than what you’ve offered people in the past, and because you’ve swindled others out of their money, we want two hundred percent and we want to become shareholders, or we aren’t selling,” Today said.

The businessmen laughed. “We’ll never give you that! Soon you will have no choice but to sell. It will become harder for the few people left in this village to maintain it, and you all will sell, and at that time, the offer will be much less than we’re offering now, so, you’d better take it,” a businessman said.

“We won’t sell,” Today yelled. She repeated it two more times and her sisters and the rest of the community joined in on the chant. 

After some time had passed, the businessmen began to sweat. Their efforts of trying to create side deals with the villagers weren’t working, and they needed the villagers land. The businessmen asked to meet with the villagers again. 

“We will give you one hundred percent and you can become shareholders, but we won’t go any higher,” they said. “Then we aren’t selling,” Today said. “Quit wasting our time. Let’s go everyone,” she said.

“Okay, okay. One hundred and fifty percent and that’s final,” one of the businessmen said. 

Today talked amongst the villagers. Many were exhausted and short of money. Times were hard and they were ready to settle. 

“Okay, we’ve made our decision. We will take one hundred and fifty percent and become shareholders but, we want you to give every person you took from in the past, a share in each company as well. We are also asking that you create affordable housing, so that other people besides those of you on the hill, can have a nice place to stay,” Today said.

“You are asking for too much. This offer is worse than your previous offer. We will do no such thing,” the businessmen said.

“Okay, goodbye,” Today said. The villagers began to murmur amongst themselves. Today saw fear in their eyes. 

“I know that you all are scared, but trust me- things will work in our favor, but we all have to be on one accord. We have to leave now to show them that we are serious and we won’t be moved,” she said. Everyone began to follow Today out of the building.

“Two hundred percent, and we will give you all shares,” the head businessmen shouted. “Take it or leave it,” he said. “We’ll take it,” Today said.

After settling, Today and her sisters began to buy land and create affordable housing for people. Many of the previous villagers became residents. The sisters began to become real estate gurus, creating many residential and non residential properties across the states. 

Yesterday bought her a home in the country that reminded her of the valley. She finally found peace in the present, by taking past lessons and learning from them. She realized things will never be the way they used to be, and they’re not supposed to, and she was okay with that. 

Tomorrow bought her a condo in Manhattan, and because she learned the value of earning her keep, she felt like she was contributing to the world in a positive way, and she found happiness.

Today is the happiest of them all. She seizes the day, and create opportunities for herself and others. 

Today currently live on the hill. She decided to live there because it gives her just enough to remember her past, see the present, and look forward to the future. 

The End. 

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