In a slight move from my normal quest for Yummy Mummy status, this is written in response to Josie’s Writing Workshop at Sleep is for the Weak. I could actually have related this to a few of the suggested prompts. This is my ‘first’ Writing Workshop post. It relates to a boss I had many years ago and ‘taking stock’ now, he would probably like to think that karma had dealt me a lesson in keeping my mouth firmly shut as I lost my business last year and am still getting back on track after having felt like my world was pulled out from underneath me. However, when I saw the choice of prompts, I knew what I would write. And this post is about a time I stood up for something I believed in and the consequences of that day. I knew I’d write it down some time 😉
“You really are a HORRIBLE person aren’t you?!” I heard myself hissing, trembling as I stood in the doorway of my boss’ office. I could feel my colleague (who had pretty much been set up by this nasty little man for something he was determined to see her in a lot of trouble for) behind me. If I could see her, I would know that her mouth had dropped and her tears had stopped. Mr Boss looked stunned. His wife (for it was a husband and wife business…let’s call her Molly), looked horrified and shrieked back “What on EARTH is going on? What is WRONG with you lately, Liz?”. That was it. I couldn’t stop the pent up anger leaping from my mouth, hardly realising before I said it that this would take the form of “What’s wrong with ME is that I can’t trust him….and neither can YOU!”. Cue Eastenders-style Duh..Duh..Duh..Duh…duh duh duh duh.
Molly knew this was serious. She knew she had to let me speak. She told my colleague to go home. She curtly asked Mr Boss to get out of the room and ordered me to get in. He must have been pacing. Up….down…..up…..down……
I burst into tears, suddenly quite overcome. I told Molly how sorry I was and how much I thought of her and how she was my friend as well as my boss. I looked into her huge dark brown eyes and she looked like a frightened puppy. She was a beautiful woman. Beautiful, positive, giggly, clever and so kind. You don’t come across many women with the combination Molly had. She had nearly everything. Except ‘everything’ included her vile little weasel of a husband. And she desperately wanted a baby, but they were having problems (which broke her heart but which he was surprisingly unmoved, almost cheerful about). She was my good friend, a friendship that had developed over the 3 years I’d worked there, to the point where I was introduced to her equally lovely, welcoming family and felt like one of them. And now I was here, telling her about how I had suspected he’d been having an affair for some time. Telling her about the client meetings he never seemed to follow up. Telling her about the second mobile phone he kept in his desk drawer. Telling her about the letter. The letter from a sex contact agency. She looked disbelieving, so I suggested she open his briefcase and see. I’m not a snoop! I often went into his case to sort out his paperwork. He may have been academic, but he had zero common sense! The minute she snapped the locks of that briefcase open, he stormed into the room, flinging his arms about, clearly desperate to create a diversion. Funny that!
She told him to stay at the office and drove me back to her house. We talked. Turns out it wasn’t the first time he’d done the dirty. She confided in me. She cried. I cried. We laughed. I asked her what she was going to do. She didn’t know. She told me it was going to be difficult to decide as they’d just invested such a huge amount of money in their new house. I knew that he was an excellent businessman. They had a fantastic lifestyle, plus he was the only man she’d ever really been in love with. It would be difficult to leave everything. After about an hour, he stormed into the house, clearly desperate to divert attention by screaming that I should never have been going through his briefcase. Funny that! She demanded that he calm down. We all talked. I actually heard myself tell him I was sorry. Told him that I didn’t want to cause any pain (in hindsight….like that was MY fault!). Told him that I’d been cheated on before and so it was something I’d felt strongly about. Left them to it to discuss their marriage. I felt terrible leaving them there like that. Having been responsible for that, albeit indirectly.
I was exhausted. It had been the most emotional day I’d ever had in my working life!
I took my notice of resignation to work the next day (doh…OBVIOUSLY!). They sat side by side, united and told me that I didn’t need to do that. He told me they had sorted everything and that Molly understood it had all a big joke between him and his mate. That I’d imagined all the other tell-tale signs and that she believed him, didn’t she?
Molly smiled. Her smile’s sadness hid the fact that she was trying to be very genuine.
“We can forget it ever happened” he advised me. He grinned.
Forget it ever happened?!
I couldn’t. Obviously. I got a job elsewhere. He told me he was glad because it could never have worked out with me being there and him not being able to trust me anyway. After I left, Molly and I didn’t contact each other again.
Years later, Molly’s parents came to stay in the village where my mum lived and worked. They specifically went to the restaurant they knew my mum owned and asked for her in person. I was staying with her at the time. Mum told them. They asked if I would meet them. As I waited for them, I was apprehensive. Had I ruined their daughter’s life? They smiled their warmest smiles the moment they saw me. They told me that Molly and Mr Boss had got divorced. They told me that things had been difficult for the two of them for some time after I left but that Molly had to do things the way she did in order to get what she was fully entitled to. They told me that Molly had met and fallen in love with a man who drove a truck since then and how absolutely adorable he was. When I started to them how sorry I was about everything that had happened, they stopped me. It was ALL for the best, they assured me. I felt relieved. She deserved better and now she was free to go get it. It had all been worth it.
I so hope that Molly had her happy ever after. By the sounds of things, she certainly had a happy-for-right-now at least. I hope she had the family she longed for. I know that Mr Boss had women after Molly. Through the grapevine I heard that the last one he was seen with was a stereotypical gold-digger. Funny that! As for me, I was young at the time. I think I have probably mellowed on the whole ‘cheating on your partner’ subject these days. As you get older you see it happen more and more. I have learnt to understand that there are often two sides to every story. So I might not get nearly so fiery over infidelity these days. But I remain fiercely loyal to my friends. And I will stand up for them, no matter who I have to stand up to. No matter what the consequence.