It happened, yet again, one more time, no plan to escape, no warning it was coming. The song “The Bitch is back” comes to mind. It was written for her. She doesn’t know it, no one does, but I know. There is the bitch, her claws sharp, her tongue like a dagger. She smiles in mock sympathy, but I’m trapped in her path again. There was no way out. At least I didn’t think so.
I sit at my desk and take the abuse, it’s an old song and dance, yet it hurts nonetheless. “How many people did she send out on medical leave due to anxiety?” I think the present count is four. I won’t be the fifth. I won’t be another casualty of her words, the next victim of a “production environment”. Not me. I’ll just sit here and wait for the storm to pass.
I take a temporary exhile, an escape to the break room. Nervously, I take out my cell phone. No telling where “TyRhondasaurous” will be. I dial his number, he picks up the phone. The sound of his voice brings a relief, a calm, reassurance to my wrecked soul. He tells me to “hang in there” but it’s not what he said, or how he said it. It’s the fact that it came from him. My body instantly responds and an inner peace takes over- at least momentarily-at least it’s better than nothing. Right?
Break time over, the relief is moving away. Anxiety sneaks in and takes its place. I look at my email and shit, there is one from her. As usual, she makes no effort to correct her spelling and grammar mistakes. They are as obvious as she is bitchy. I acknowledge her email, refraining from using the four letter word of choice that I’m thinking of. The day is nearly done and I’m completely spent.
After forty-five minutes of dreaded traffic, I arrive home. This time, he calls and he patiently listens to my familiar story. We make a plan to meet in August-only three weeks away. I can barely wait that long, but it will have to do. I make my plan, my reservations. Finally, we will meet face to face. He’s given me something to look forward to, my feelings for him slowly transform.
I go back to the dungeon the next day. The word “office” makes it sound bearable, and it certainly isn’t it. I place his business card on my desk –between my keyboard and hard drive. It’s not in plain view, but in no way concealed. I look at his picture on the card. He’s a sign of hope, an escape. I begin to see how handsome he is, or does my bleak environment magnify his looks? I think of him more than just a future business partner. I think of him constantly. His picture invites me to a daydream that I don’t want to leave.
Time moves closer to August and I can see the date as it blesses my calendar. By this time, I’m feeling better about myself, about my world and even the bitch can’t get to me now. I think of him, I hear his words, I see his face. He’s going to take me away from all this. He said so. I’m going to work for him. We’re going to help people; we’re going to form a partnership. Did I mention that I’m starting to fall for him?
Then the day arrives, we finally meet. He is more incredible in person and meets all my expectations ten fold. Again, he tells me to “hang in there” and it’s become so much easier. I return to the dungeon, all but physically transformed. He is my rock, my calm, my shield that is never far from my thoughts. I'm going to make it through this.
Yes, he was true to his word. He DID take me away from all the shit the bitch doled out. I know it and I made sure that the bitch knew it. I walked out of the rat hole only two months later. I celebrated with him over the phone.
If you ask me if I believe in heroes, the answer is “yes”. Even though my hero doesn’t look like the ones you see in comic books, in movies or on TV, he’s every bit of one. I thanked him for being my hero this year. He has a permanent place in my life and in my heart.
Thank you for a wonderful year!