Lung Dilemma is an inspiration story about betrayal and the danger of trusting too much. But don’t take my word for it, read the story and see for yourself. Sip your coffee and sit tight. If you are in a plane or car fasten your seat belt…
(Friday, August 15, 2014; 5:40 PM)
I couldn’t gather enough courage within me to look at Mr. Coleman’s red face and burning eyes. I only stared at his untidy desk – at my file in particular. I prayed and hoped it did not have my firing letter yet. “Um..I…I am very sorry, sir. It…”
He slapped his desk and sprang from his chair, like a rocket setting off for the moon. His chair flew over the tiles and smacked the wall behind him with a disturbing bang. For a second or two he gave me a horrifying stare, shaking his head. Again, I did not look at his eyes – I only felt them on my skin, penetrating.
He paced aggressively to the door, barking nasty words. I held my breath awaiting him to slam the door. And he did. I quivered on the chair even though I had heard that upsetting bang a dozen times.
I sighed and resumed breathing. My armpits were drenched with cold sweat even though the blinds and the windows were wide open and the London afternoon weather was cool. I unbuttoned the top button of my grey shirt. I sighed again. Undoubtedly, that was the longest thirty minutes of my life. I rubbed my sweaty palms on my black jean and wiped the sheen of sweat on my forehead and chin with my left hand. I swallowed a huge dose of saliva. I didn’t know what to think or how to beg him. It was obvious he didn’t want to see my face in his company ever again.
I stared at the window and longed to stand there and get some fresh air whilst watching and listening to the afternoon traffic chaos of the city. I thought it would probably reboot my mind to watch the city’s madness from the eighth floor. After all, it was good chaos. It was people rushing home to their loved ones. But I quickly aborted the idea. It would literally take my job from the ICU it was in straight to the morgue. If Mr. Coleman could find me roaming in his office like I own it, he could say, “Get out. Don’t ever come back here. You hear? Get out.”
I shook my head, hating the fact that all that mess was Molly’s fault. I didn’t believe in grudges or hating people, but that was the point where I had to hate Molly, my ex-wife. That was all because of her. I had been driving the Mega Coach buses for eight years, but I never got even a verbal warning – let alone a written one. It was my genuine love for her that made me jeopardize my livelihood. In my normal state I wouldn’t exceed my limit of written warnings in less than a year.
I loved her but she fooled and insulted my heart. How could she sleep with another man behind my back? “How could she?” Feeling more heat I quickly rose to the window. The fading golden rays of the sun on the skyscrapers, trees, lawns, trains, cars, buses and people was awesome, but I couldn’t see any of it. I only saw Molly strolling with her new man in my head. They were holding each other, hand to hand – in sport wear, going to the gym. When I saw them kissing on the street I almost punched the window, but I recalled they were kissing in my head.
I wiped tears on my cheeks with my hand, failing to understand why she insulted my loved and trampled on my heart like that – I truly loved her, but she thought she was better of with a rich fool.
My cell phone beeped twice. Message. I took it out. I knew it was Florence, my new wife, asking how things went with my boss or encouraging me with a love poem. But my eyes almost fell off when I discovered Molly was the sender. I shook my head. She hadn’t contacted me in almost a year. Why…
“James. James. You don’t even respect my office, but you say you are here to beg for my mercy. Huh? Huh?” Mr. Coleman barked from the door.
I almost wetted my trouser. “Jesus. I am sorry, sir,” I said running back to the seat. But I knocked the corner of Mr. Coleman desk with my hip. I grabbed it before it tipped over. Only his pack of cigarettes fell on the floor. I picked it up quickly. “Sorry sir.” I sat down feeling awful clumsiness.
“What’s wrong with you?” Mr. Coleman screamed.
“Sorry, sir,” I said.
“You even call me Jesus. I am not Jesus obviously. Jesus wouldn’t do what I’m about to do to you. Coleman is my name, in case you didn’t know.” He dropped his massive weight on the chair. I wished it broke – it could humble him a bit. But it didn’t break, it complained with a squeal as he swung it staring at my face, shaking his big, bushy head.
The ticking wall watch sounded slower and louder than normal. My eyes bounced from place to place all over his table. But I could feel his eyes on me. I also thought I needed to say nothing more – he had to tell me whatever he had decided and I get out to read the message from Molly. At that moment I was more anxious about what she wanted to say far more than the job.
But then I also thought probably Mr. Coleman would find it disrespectful not to look at his bushy face. Finally I looked up at him and a warm wave swept through my stomach. I adjusted my watch. He was still staring at me, lighting a cigarette.
“James, you roam my office like it’s yours,” Mr. Coleman said, puffing a lot of smoke.
I wished I could tell him that he was also smoking in a public office, but I was definitely not in a position to make any form of demands. Even coughing felt disrespectful. I wanted to clear my voice but I didn’t. “Um..I…I am very sorry, sir. I…I was…”
“Listen. I will call you with my final decision. Get out of my face.”
I moved out as fast as I could lest he changed his mind and gave me his decision there and then. Telling me later would give me a chance to continue hoping.
But I was angry at myself for freezing up. My tongue felt sticky and foreign inside my mouth – like I borrowed it. I couldn’t say even one line I rehearsed in front of Florence. Not even one, yet I had prepared a long powerful speech.
I took out my cell phone as I walked down the concourse to the elevator. I wished to get to the bus terminal without bumping on any of my colleagues. I didn’t feel like small talking with anybody. I opened Molly’s message with my sweaty hands.
James, I hope you are good, my love. Don’t be surprised by my lingo. You remember what you said when you were still begging me to stay – you said you have undying love for me. Baby, I have good news for you, I also am feeling what you were feeling. I now understand what you meant. I just hope you still feel it. I also feel this undying love for you. And I miss you, sweetheart. I wanna come home, baby.
You won’t believe this fool beats me now – almost every day. I don’t love him anymore. I’m not even sure if I ever loved him. Probably, I was attracted to his huge wallet. But I don’t love him, I love you, baby. He does have the money and the glamour, but I’m tired of it. I want the real thing, baby. I want you. I wanna come home. Please ask me to come. Yes, it has been a year, but I want you back, my love.
My plan goes like this, sweetheart – I divorce him and you and I remarry. The good news my love is that in the divorce settlement I am looking at around 5 million pounds. Baby, we will be filthy rich and madly in love. You will resign from that stupid driving job of yours and we will buy us a home, have kids and travel the world.
Baby, I also heard from reliable sources that you are preparing to marry some Murray whore from a pathetic small town up north. Honey, please abort that thing and we come back together. You know we had the real thing – it was lovely what we had.
Get back to me quickly, babe.
When I discovered I was already in the bus, heading home, I knew that Molly’s message was not different from a fantasy movie. Or a dream. She obviously had an ambitious imagination, but had no idea how a man’s mind and heart was wired. She didn’t know that sleeping with another man or even having interest for other men deletes even the most beautiful woman from a man’s heart. In my heart she wasn’t different from the worms that live in a pit latrine, feeding on whatever is down there. She honestly had to forget about me. I forgot about her ages ago. Who would love to chew a gum that was thoroughly chewed by another man anyway? She had to forget. She blew it. It’s over. I didn’t even care about the lung I donated for her.
Yes, at times I felt awful when I thought of her in love with another man with my lung inside her. When I gave her the lung I wanted her to continue breathing for me – not some fool. I would almost burst when it clicked in my head that she used my lung to please another man. The craziest part of me longed to take my lung back from her.
I quickly glanced around the bus, terrified I almost embarrassed myself. I almost said, “Foolish woman.” Fortunately, almost everybody was deep in thought. A few were busy with their cell phones and tablets. Probably they would think it was somebody’s tablet game.
It was chilly outside since the sun was disappearing fast, but it was hot in the bus because it was full – some people were even standing on the isle. It was stuffy too. Most people’s deodorants were finished by the heat of the day and sweating. Natural scents ruled the bus. Only one young lady standing across our seat was fresh. She looked like she was straight from the shower. Her perfume made the atmosphere a bit better. It was only her dress code that disturbed some men: mini skirt and a tiny funky top. If the bus was heading downtown, I would guess she was going to service the men who found buying sex normal. I leaned against the window and gazed outside lest she thought I was interested in her services.
Most people were jogging in groups and pairs, some were walking their dogs, and some were taking those romantic walks – holding each other hand to hand. Molly and I used to do it when she wasn’t in a bad mood. It was sweet. But it was sweeter now with Florence. Florence was not only warm, but honest and respectful too. No moods – always happy. She knew how to tame her man with her tender personality.
I smiled as it clicked that by the way Florence’s efforts were under attack. Molly was back in the scene. I looked around again. This time one person saw me smile alone. The miniskirt girl. When I looked at her she smiled and nodded. I laughed a bit embarrassed she caught me. The old woman sitting next to me looked at me with an ugly eye. She thought I was buying sex from her. I faced outside again.
One interesting thing about Molly’s move was that I had seen both of them and Molly was no where near Florence. Florence didn’t offer beauty only – she had a lot to offer. She was groomed to be a wife. She never competed with me, but complemented me. Her respect glittered more than diamond. She made me put it in my priorities never to hurt her. She was a sweet woman. She made me care genuinely.
Molly had never bathed me, but Florence did not only bath me, but went on to give me a full body massage and foot rub when I was exhausted. Molly’s cooking was terrible – civilized dogs wouldn’t eat what she cooked, but Florence’s meals were five star hotel type. Molly was a pig – Florence was super neat – always clean and smelling fresh. She bathed twice a day everyday. Molly never bathed at all on some days. Her only strength was beauty. She clearly overestimated the weight of beauty in a man’s heart. If she had a father when growing up, he would teach her that beauty is nothing but a fishing hook. A hook doesn’t prepare nor fry the fish – it only catches it.
The sun was completely gone outside, streetlights had taken over. I yawned and looked at my watch. It was five minutes before I got to my love at home. I smiled and nodded. I quickly glanced at the miniskirt girl – she was chewing a gum, laughing and texting on her phone. I was a bit relieved she didn’t see me act crazily for the second time. I acted crazily because I had connected the dots. I had discovered what was behind Molly’s new plan. It was jealousy. She was all fine when I stayed alone for almost a year. Now that I had met somebody else she couldn’t handle it. She couldn’t picture me with another woman – it drove her crazy. But that’s the dish she served to me and I ate it with tears. She ran with another man and never considered my feelings. But now she didn’t want to feel what she made me feel. “Stupid woman.”
Jesus. People turned and stared at me. I saw them in the reflection on the window. I was smart and calm enough not to turn. They didn’t laugh except for the miniskirt girl. I felt small and stupid, but I acted normal.
Finally, the bus stopped at my terminal. I quickly got out, avoiding every face. I didn’t have enough courage to look at people who thought I was crazy and was going to murder some woman. The bus revved and joined the road behind me.
However, there behind me was the miniskirt girl following me. I looked at the bus and saw the lady I was sitting next to shaking her head, staring at me. She was sure I had brought the young girl from London to Maidstone for a night of sex. Fortunately, I also didn’t know where that cute blond was headed.
“You and I can fix that lady troubling you,” she said, giggling. She was walking by my side already.
I laughed and looked at her, “How could you and I do that?”
“You look like a nice man. I can give you my special – hundred bucks for the whole night.”
I laughed. “No thanks. I have a great woman waiting for me at home.”
“But everybody in the bus thinks she is stupid and you might kill her tonight.”
“No. It’s not her. My ex. She wants to come back, because she heard I’m getting married.”
“She is the needy, jealous type.”
“I wouldn’t mind that if she was also honest to me, but she left me for some fool. Now that she heard I’m getting married she wants to come back.” I stopped walking. “I am going this way. Tell me, where are you going here. Someone footed the hundred bucks bill?”
She smiled, gazing at my eyes, blowing her gum, “I told you – that was a special for you. The one I’m going to is rich. He doesn’t catch the bus like you and I. He paid five hundred, baby.”
“Five hundred pounds!?”
“But why are you doing this? You are young and beautiful. You could be at college or…”
She swiftly sealed my mouth with her small hand and continued walking. “Bye, bye. Greet your new wife for me.”
I knocked on the door and Florence opened. I kissed her as usual, but she didn’t feel normal. I stared at her eyes and she looked like she had been crying. “Besides the job thing, what’s troubling you, babe?”
She broke down and cried in my arms. I held her and led her to the couch. I got worried, thinking somebody close had died. I turned her sobbing face towards me. “What it is, babe?”
She stared at my eyes with her wet face. “Your ex wife was here.”
“What?” I screamed, not believing my ears. “How could she? Why? Did she hurt you?”
“No, she didn’t assault me. It’s just that… It’s just…” She broke down and cried again. I held her tightly against my chest. She cried on my chest until my shirt was soaked. “Sorry, baby. Sorry, sweetheart.”
She tried to recollect herself and said, “It’s just that she said hurtful things to me. She explained to me how deep and out of this world was your love for her. She said you could kill for her. She said it is impossible for you to love another woman, because you truly loved her. She even showed me messages you would send her. They looked like she was right – like you had something eternal about her in you.”
“That fool. So you believed her?”
“I don’t know what to believe, she knows you more than me, obviously.”
I held Florence’s soft and wet cheeks with my hands. “Look here Florie. That stupid woman is jealous, because she heard about the wedding celebration we shall have. She doesn’t know that we got married sometime ago. In her mind she thinks she is messing up a coming wedding. Just forget everything she said. Yes, I loved her as she said. But that was before I met you. When I met you, I found a friend I can die for. You didn’t only come with beauty. You gave me beauty, intelligence, a golden personality and respect. You are so special to me…I have never met a special woman like you, baby. You…”
“You are charming me,” Florence said, smiling with glassy eyes and wet cheeks.
I smiled and wiped tears from her face with my hand. Then I kissed her passionately.
“James. You have never met a special woman like her before. Huh? What was I to you? This fool is special.” Molly said, crying, coming from the guest’s bedroom. She had a pistol drawn, aiming at us.
I jumped off the couch with my hands up – making sure Florence was well hidden behind me. “Molly. What do you want here? You married your rich man. What do you want from me now? Or you want to give my lung back?”
“James, I can’t believe you even kiss her so passionately. You never kissed me like that. You never enjoyed kissing me like that.”
“Molly. I think you are crazy. Seriously. I don’t love you anymore. Never will. I can’t be in love with someone who left me and went to sleep with another man. You can’t come back to me. I don’t need you in my life. You moved on, I have also moved on. What’s the problem now? After all, you are the one who started the game.”
Tears ran down her cheeks continuously. Both her hands were shaking on the gun. At first she wanted to shoot Florence, but now she wanted to shoot us both. “James. You say, you say you love her, and you – you will never love me? Is that what you are saying, James? How can you do this to me? I texted you. I told you, I told… five million pounds…I…”
Daisy, the cat, broke a vase as she jumped from the dining table to the floor. Molly quickly looked at the dining room behind her. I jumped and slapped the gun. A shot was fired. It shot the television screen. I slapped her. She fell on the coffee table, breaking it to pieces. And she didn’t move anymore.
I looked at Florence, terrified I killed her. I quickly checked her and she was still breathing normally. I was relieved she had fainted. I called 999. Then Florence and I laid her on the couch. I couldn’t believe what had happened. It was like a movie scene.
I hugged Florence tightly and she melted in my arms. Her whole body was quaking and her heart beat very hard – harder than mine. She was extremely terrified and confused as I. I also couldn’t understand what Molly was doing in my house. She had to continue enjoying life with her rich man and leave me alone with my great woman. I didn’t love her anymore. She had to get that simple and obvious truth. She blew it. It’s over. At times they are no second chances.
I hope you enjoyed the inspirational story that was designed to inspire you to face life. It’s based on a true story by the way. If you haven’t already, subscribe so you can get inspirational stories through your inbox. Don’t forget to leave a comment below.
Photo Credit: Aubrey Morandarte.