Following the lunch with Lesley I left her at the restaurant table with my parting gift and exited onto the street outside. I reflected, as I made my way back to the office, that it had been interesting to see her once again after the hiatus especially after she thought she had managed to get away last time with what she had done. I had to concede she did look well and as ever always managed to place a positive spin on her life so as to provide the appearance of doing well. That was a particular forte of hers. She was quite the mistress of spin and she did it to a lot of people. I mean a lot of people. I walked along the busy street and wondered how soon it would be before I would hear from her after my final masterstroke. I glanced at my ‘phone a couple of times as I walked in case a text or call manifested from her but so far there was nothing. I pictured her sat in the restaurant with the box still in her hands, her carefully manufactured world crumbling after this howitzer from yours truly. I knew she would not react with anger. That was never her style. She always wanted to portray the picture of pleasantness, that outwardly good appearance which masked her far darker nature. She walked the world maintaining that air of being squeaky clean when I knew the truth. After all, you cannot con the master con-artist can you? That was how I worked her out the first time around and I was the only one who had but I did.
I returned to my office and attended to a couple of telephone messages which appeared to be urgent. I was distracted though from my conversations with these clients as I was anticipating the come back from Lesley. I knew it would come. I knew what she was like and I knew she would not be able to resist responding. She always wanted to have the last word. She always wanted to make sure that everybody still loved her, thought highly of her and that her carefully constructed day-to-day appearance remained pristine and intact. My eyes flicked back and forth to my e-mail inbox as I spoke on the ‘phone and then there was a flash of a new e-mail arriving bearing her name. I felt a surge of anticipation and silently urged the client I was speaking to, to hurry up so I could end the call and open the e-mail. Eventually the call ended and I clicked onto the e-mail ready to devour its content.
I had thought you agreeing to meet for lunch was evidence that you had forgiven me and moved on, but I realise now how foolish I am to think you would ever do that. I should have realised that you would still find some way to hurt me even after all this time and you did, no doubt you will be revelling in that victory. You always do like to win. Once again I am sorry for what I did. I thought that since it was not mentioned at lunch then you had consigned it to history but I ought to have known better. I can only repeat that I am sorry. Your brother forgave me, why can’t you? I guess that is why you did what you did, for your brother. I just want you to forgive me and leave me be.That is all I want. Can you not do that, please?
I read the e-mail again and was pleased that she at least had the awareness to realise exactly why she had been treated as she had. I had wondered if she would maintain that she had done nothing wrong. I typed a response.
What you did to my brother was both inexcusable and unforgiveable.
There is your answer.
I sent the e-mail and leant back in my chair. I wondered if she would dare come near my tractor beam again or whether this time she would finally learn?