A woman picks up the courage to face the man who probably ruined her life.
I Was Sad To See…
Deo Duce Calamus Comitante
I was sad to see in the phone book that he still existed. I prayed for judgment for so long now. Just under the ad for the Genesis Hotel Spa, there it was: Manson, Rick. I called the number next to the listing just to make sure. After three rings, he picked up and said, “Hullo?”. I slammed the phone down when I recognized his voice. “Hullo? Hullo? Hullo?”, I mocked his weird accent, infuriated at the thought that he was still breathing the same air as I was. I should have dealt with him the second I saw him at the cafe. If I wasn’t trying to convince my therapist that I was improving, I would have run him through with my butter knife.
Well, it was no use to dwell on the past but I couldn’t let him ruin my future as well. I considered it my responsibility to rid the earth of vile beasts such as him. What if he mutilated the soul of another innocent? I couldn’t imagine spending another day from then on if there was a possibility that he was still destroying the lives of many other young girls like me. So, I packed provisions, including a flashlight, blanket, toothbrush, clothes and a jumbo pack ofChips Ahoy!to keep me awake while I staked out his place.
It wasn't hard to find out where he lived. I called in a favor and was able to get the address to his abode in a matter of minutes. As I pulled up across his apartment, I was disgusted by the malodor and the lack of sanitation in this place. I thought it suited the condition of his soul perfectly.
A few hours into observation mode with my best bird watching binoculars, I realized something. Not everyone can understand my motivation and the reason behind my being there. Some would even call it over reacting. My therapist did tell me that I ought to be more patient with those around me and learn to brush things off. I wondered what he would say if he saw me like this, staking out my arch enemy for the most opportune moment. I believe that he would have congratulated me on not bowing to injustice and taking righteous judgment into my own hands. Yeah, that's probably what he would do. He might even nominate me for an award for my undying service to all of mankind. I wonder if there's an award for something like that. Well, they'll probably make one once they see what I just did.
My train of thought broke when I noticed him coming around the corner and heading to his building. He was not alone. Wrapped around his arm like a tourniquet was a blonde woman, giggling like a hyena at whatever lie he was probably spouting.Poor child. If only you knew what a monster this man was.How an inconsiderate, repulsive, socially awkward pig like him could get a girl like that was beyond my imagination. I had to end this quickly before it was too late. I thought that maybe after this mission, I could go into matchmaking.
I ran up the fire escape to where his apartment was supposed to be on the third floor. I peered in through the grimy windows and watched for any movement. I heard loud music, probably from where the hallway ended and proceeded to break the glass and open the latch from inside. No one paid any attention to my infiltration as I made my way to the end of the hallway to the source of the music and my prey. I crept behind the corner to catch a glimpse of him in the far kitchen adjoining the living room. His partner was snoring on the couch and she barely stirred as I wove my way among the furniture to the wall that separated the two rooms. I crouched down and pulled out my steak knife from my boot. I had prepared for everything and tonight will mark me as the embodiment of justice. I was ready. I stood up and walked into the kitchen.
"We meet at last." I said.
He turned and looked at me with surprise and confusion. But as his eyes travelled down to my knife, his expression transformed to fear and anxiety as he came face to face with his living nightmare. That look was so delicious that I couldn't help but smile at his vulnerability.
When the bloke finally found his tongue, it came out, stammering, "Wh-Who are you?"
"Me? Why don't you remember me Rick? After what you've done to me, you should at least have the audacity to remember the victim of your crime. But I see that you can't even manage that." I imagined plunging that knife into his soft flesh and it almost made me giddy.
I continued, "You saw me every day until a few weeks ago when I stopped going toLily’s Bakery. You took something from me that day and for that, you'll pay." I took a step closer and he jumped, frantically backing into a corner. There was no escape.
"I-I'm sorry ma-am. I'm don’t know what you’re talking about but please don't kill me. I'll do anything. Anything! I'll pay back whatever I owe. And more! I'll give you all my money. My apartment. Anything!..." He was blabbering like a parrot. It was so amusing to see him like this; begging for his life. It almost made it all worthwhile.
I ended his pleading before he bored me to death. I was getting angry. "You can't give me what I want. Not even if you searched the whole world for it. I only ever come to that cafe for one reason and one reason only. Their cherry cheese Danish. I came everyday just for a whiff of that piece of heaven. I never bought one because I was trying to lose weight. That day, they posted an ad saying that they're taking the Danish off the menu because it was a limited time offer. I knew this would be my last day to ever taste that beautiful, creamy, red delight so I dug into my purse to scrounge all the change I had. It cost 85 cents including tax and I came up with 2 quarters, 1 dime, 4 nickels and 5 cents. It was as if the heavens itself took pity on my plight and blessed me with exact change. As I made my way along the queue, you sprung out of nowhere and pushed me aside as you exited. You didn't even say sorry. But being the angel I was, I didn’t take much notice. Nothing seemed amiss until I finally got to end of the line and the cashier. I ordered the cherry cheese Danish and she picked the first one out of a freshly, baked batch, wrapped it in a napkin and handed it to me. The Danish itself took over my senses. The soft, flaky texture. The red cherry preserve blending in with the melted cheese. In that moment, it was the most beautiful thing that I've ever seen in my whole life. I eagerly handed the cashier the change and proceeded to walk out into a new world. That was until she called me back and told me that I didn't have enough money. I was confused. I told her I gave her exactly 85 cents and she said that I needed one more quarter. I didn't know what to do. I tore apart my bag looking for one more quarter that can reconnect me with my Danish again. There was nothing inside except a few bubble gum wrappers and some old receipts. The lady took my Danish and asked me to move to the back of the line. I realized that I must have dropped it when you bumped me so I went down on my knees and started searching. I tried my hardest but the only results were dirty knees and some irritated customers and staff. I was kicked out and banned from entering that establishment ever again. This is what you did to me. This is what I've become, Rick Manson. I had one chance to give up my cares to that single Danish and you robbed me of that opportunity. This is why I’m here. I saw no reason why I should let you live from now on."
I moved forward and as I drove him into a corner, he started pleading again. I sighed but figured I should let him have his last words despite neither their incoherence nor the fact that I didn't care what he had to say anymore.
"Please! Don't kill me! I can give you the Danish. I'll promise! Please listen to me! I'll give you what you want!"
I yelled, "You can't give me what I want, you insufferable pickle! That was a limited time offer! I'll never see that Danish in my whole life ever again! There’s no other like it!"
"It's in the refrigerator! Please look there, you’ll find it." By that time, he was bawling like new born baby. I moved to the refrigerator, all the while keeping an eye out for any last minute escapes and opened the door.
There, in the center rack, in an open white box, enameledLily’s Bakerywere 3 cherry cheese Danishes. I dropped my knife as I drew out the box, my mouth agape. I looked at the man cowering in the corner, praying and crying at the same time. I walked up to him and he cringed under my shadow.
I asked him in barely a whisper, "Where did you get this?"
He looked up at me as said, "The-They brought it back."
I couldn't believe it, "Are you lying to me? Why would they bring it back?"
"There was a huge demand for it and the bakery brought it back because of the uproar it caused."
I stood there for a few moments. Then I picked up my knife and wiped the handle on the refrigerator for any fingerprints.
I waved the white box, "Can I keep these?"
He swallowed, "Sure, take all of it."
I smiled my best smile. "Thanks! Oh and please don't call the police. I'm on parole right now and it wouldn't do well if this was on my record." I winked and he nodded like his head was going to fall off.
I left the apartment the way I came in and was on my way to being happy for the first time.