That day, a small, nervous woman was heading to my desk, blindly. She managed to get in front of a long queue in the airport, waiting to be checked-in for a flight to NYC and was able to kill the one who would have dared get in front of her. All of a sudden, she froze half-way staring at me so hateful that I could not but notice her, otherwise, such an insignificant person would have never attracted my attention. An ancestral gut feeling made me recognize her from that distance, in the crowd. Her hatred crossed all barriers of time and space. She was my enemy. A pitiful enemy I didn’t wish to meet ever again. But she was there, at a distance, in front of another desk, spying on me every now and then.
Everything started five years ago. I was working in an organization and her husband was my boss. But before being my boss, he was a friend, well… it’s was I thought. A friend, nothing more. Not interested in him otherwise, not even for a fraction of a second. We used to go for a drink and laugh a lot. He was not a man who could get my attention in any way: a common person, a mousy individual who was craving for attention and affection from any being around him, the pleaser with no personality, no guts. In a word, not my type at all. But he was fun telling stories. We started working together and we happened to get a cup of coffee in the office to talk about work or make fun of different things in the office. Nothing major, nothing nasty, just laughing at some lazy people (so many of them there though) around. Some old spinsters started to be jealous, just out of stupidity and they became good friends because of their imaginary, new enemy: me. Otherwise, they hated each other. I didn’t care. I had nothing to reproach myself, neither professionally, nor socially or morally, just keeping them at a reasonable distance, being professional while doing my job. This made them mad because they had nothing else to do with their time, living more than comfortably in not deserved well-paid jobs. And they started talking bullshit behind my back until one day when one of them, or maybe altogether, wrote an anonymous letter accusing me of having a secret relationship with my boss. Bullshit… But they managed to get his wife on my back and me out of job.
My boss’s wife, a nasty, jealous, unscrupulous woman, phoned me to accuse me of having made her husband in love with me. Interesting, I told her, come and let’s talk, I have nothing to hide and your husband is zillions of miles away from being of interest to me. He’s just a friend, nothing more. She was completely mad and did not want to listen to any reasonable thing I could tell her. I did not insist ‘believe what you want and hurt yourself if this is all you can do, I don’t care.’ She’s a psychologist, God saves her patients.
The story told to me by her husband before this: about twenty years ago, she eloped with another man, leaving him with their two young children. As soon as she realized the new man had far less money than her husband, she came back. He accepted her apologies but never forgot, waiting patiently for the revenge day. Waste of time, in my opinion
The time of the story. For him, this was the perfect, so long expected occasion to take revenge on her and by collateral damage on me, because I was not interested in him more than a friend. ‘I cannot have you, you’ll not be in the job anymore’, must have been his thoughts, I guessed. So that was it. He played the victim in front of his wife who required him to get me out of the organization and block all of my applications in other organizations. As the perfect coward he was, he did what she asked, forgetting all the emails he had sent me from holidays with her: nothing professional. My responses kept on being neutral, colleagues like, which must have irritated him.
The mad woman never had the guts to come and talk to me, but kept writing to me, from time to time, hateful messages, and sent them to my mobile number. The last time, some weeks ago, after five years (!), she sent me another message at about midnight to inform me her husband had had his mobile phone stolen by ‘my compatriots’. Her last sentence: ‘still looking for a job?’ I responded to her in a sarcastic way and informed him about her message, kindly asking him to tell her to stop or I would file a complaint with the police for harassment. Surprisingly, he received the message, or maybe the “new” owners of his phone… ?
And last week, they arrived in my space, the glorious days being gone and so being the business class tickets of the times when he was not retired. I guess I screwed up their holidays: seeing me again and me seeing they were traveling in economy class 😉
I genuinely believe there is a lesson in the story. A lesson I must understand and let go. Jealousy is poison and I will never get how a human being can be ruled by it. But this is not my lesson, I know it isn’t…