That very night, I lay in bed and called my friends to tell them what happened. They couldn’t understand what had possessed her to say such things and so out of the blue. To them, they always perceived her as a very shy, sensitive and kind person who wouldn’t even hurt a fly. ‘It doesn’t make sense at all, there’s gotta be something about her that isn’t quite right’, said one of my friends, Jake. Another friend suggested that I make up with her to keep her sweet and then move out and give her a taste of her own medicine. But I couldn’t do it. I just knew I had to act quickly before it got worse. I felt that unsafe I even pushed the bedside table against the door, and tried to sleep a little later into the night but it was a struggle.
In the morning, I had heard Veronica get up for work. Her parents had left for work a lot earlier so I was alone with her. She was starting one of her early shifts – which must have been around 10am. I heard her head into the bathroom and turn on the shower. She liked to sing in the shower and without being rude, she didn’t exactly have the best singing voice. But it was what happened after she started singing which was even more disturbing…
I heard a loud chuckle and then her yell out, ‘ Katie’s fucking dead Mum! Katie’s mum died from cancer. Haha! She has got no dad and now no fucking Mum!’ Followed by a sinister giggle at the end. I think she must have done that deliberately so I could hear – bearing in mind that my room was right next to the bathroom. My heart must have skipped a few beats hearing that and I could feel my blood boiling with such rage. I was ready to fight back.
After she had finally left, I called my manager, Joe, and explained the situation. He had been very supportive since mum died, and knew that I had a tough time previous with the loss of my Dad. Despite the long shifts and pressure working in the store, he tried his best to make my shifts more flexible and so I could have more of a work/life balance. ‘I’m very anxious, Joe’, I said nervously. ‘She’s acting hostile and saying these awful things. It makes me feel so sick to my stomach. There’s something about her that isn’t right and now I don’t feel safe in her house.. I don’t know what to do!’ I explained my living situation and that it was difficult trying to find a place, and this was the only option until I found something more affordable and suitable.
‘It sounds pretty much like signs of jealousy, Katie. I don’t understand what she’s got to be jealous about and it’s clearly not normal behaviour. The only way we are going to resolve it, is if we try and get both of you together and see what exactly is going on from her own point of view. Just so we can get an idea what is provoking this jealous behaviour. Is that okay with you?’
‘I guess..’ I let out a heavy sigh. I thanked him and then hung up. I got on with the rest of my day just relaxing in my room and talking to my friends. I heard her parents come back around 6pm so I just had to tell them what she had said earlier in the shower. They were so appalled and upset. ‘What’s become of my daughter?’ Sara broke down in tears. Graham was even more quieter than he usually was. ‘ I don’t know..’ I replied. ‘I just know that there’s something not quite right with her. She really needs help. This can’t go on.’ They knew I was right but it seemed that they didn’t really know how to handle her.
I called my friend and decided to meet up and go somewhere for a few hours just to avoid her as long as possible.
Joe decided to get Veronica in on the day we were both in, which happened to be the next day. I was absolutely dreading it. The plan was to stand next to him until he called her name on the tannoy to come out to our meeting area and talk to us alone.
The day came soon enough. He led me to our meeting area where a lot of the stock was loaded up in huge crates; some containing glass bottles and tins. I was really nervous and Joe could sense it but assured me to leave it with him and it will be alright.
He asked the colleague working near the tannoy to ask Veronica to come over. She came over soon enough and she seemed quite wary and wouldn’t make eye contact. Joe got me to stand behind him just in case something got out of hand. Her behaviour was a bit unpredictable.
‘So..’ he began. ‘ Veronica, What seems to be the problem between you and Katie? I’m trying to understand the issue here. I know there’s some tension going on so just tell me what’s going through your mind’.
She started getting agitated. ‘ Well she’s living in my house and we’ve fallen out. She won’t make up with me so she can’t live with me if she won’t make up..’ Joe then responded calmly. ‘ I understand that you said some things to her which you know were very hurtful and she’s under a lot of stress. Why did you say it to her? ‘
Veronica stuttered. ‘ I don’t know.. I guess I said the wrong things..’
‘ But Veronica,’ I then interjected. How can anyone say those things? It’s so selfish and cruel. I don’t understand how you don’t know this!’ Joe then asked the big question. ‘Are you jealous of Katie?’
Suddenly, her mood shifted. ‘YES! I AM!’ she shouted.
‘Why, Veronica?’ He asked with a very concerned tone. ‘My mum was doing all these things for her and she was always coming round my house and I got fed up with it!’
‘Wow!’ I shook my head in disbelief. ‘ If I was so much of an issue, why didn’t you just say?!’ I snapped back. Now I really wanted to give her a piece of my mind.
She got so agitated and frustrated that she completely flipped and went out of control. She grabbed hold of my chest and pushed me against the crates. She began hitting me. I fought back and tried to push her off me but she was very strong. Joe immediately stepped into action and managed to pull her off. He was absolutely livid and ordered her upstairs to the head office. She was suspended on the spot and got sent home immediately.
‘Are you alright?’ He asked me gently. I nodded trying to hold back tears. ‘ I don’t know what came over her’, my voice was shaking. Luckily, I wasn’t hurt as I could have easily knocked over the crates and really injured myself.
Some other colleagues who had overheard the commotion came over curiously and asked what happened. ‘ Don’t worry, Katie’, one of them said smiling. ‘It’s over now. I don’t think she’s going to come back’. They assured me to take my time if I needed to take a break for a little while, or if I needed to make any phone calls. So I left and called Sara while she was at work. It really wasn’t what she wanted to hear and she was so embarrassed and upset. ‘We’ll make sure she gets the help she needs. I can’t believe this!’
Obviously, I couldn’t go back to the house until things had calmed down. I called one of my other friends, Robbie. It was such a difficult situation but I was desperate for a place to stay for a few nights. Robbie’s mum was hesitant when he told her about it because she had never met me, but was very understanding and agreed to let me stay. So Sara once again took her out for a few hours and let me go back to grab some of my clothes. I dashed in and out as quickly as possible.
I suppose you could say it was Karma. I never really believed it. But whatever it was, Veronica finally got her comeuppance. To avoid being fired, she decided to resign and left the company for good.