“Good morning!” I cheer down the phone. “Got another new client. A one-off which might become recurring. Copywriting for a finance blog. 150 euros per article. It’s a start. What about you? How are your projects going?”
“Hi Fiona. I am frustrated. My projects are all on hold. Waiting for a document that may never come, it seems. If it doesn’t I will need to make some changes again and try and do something here or go to the UK and look for work in sales. Exciting, don’t you think?” Dorothy will never cease to surprise me with her optimism.
“Poop.” I say in dismay, for I’m not so much a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type of gal. “What can we do to get your document?”
“Wait.” Dorothy say nonchalantly. “It should be here on Friday.”
“Can’t you get your projects to work even from here? Skype and stuff?” I am pulsing for alternatives. “Waiting is useless. We need to harass someone.”
“No. I need to be there.” Dorothy informs me.
“Marry Diego!” I think that should solve all her travel Visa problems.
“Maybe you should marry Wim.” Dorothy teases me right back.
“What would you do here or in the UK?” I ask her as the prospect of keeping my BFF near is very appealing to me. “Nooooooo! Can’t marry Wim. We’re not compatible. What about the coaching stuff?”
“Yes he could irritate you endlessly.” Dorothy won’t relent on teasing me.
“What about the e-books we talked about? Sell them via my blog.” I offer up more ideas. “Together we could make a best seller. I would not like being married to Wim. He’s too harsh for me.”
“I will write and send it to you for corrections and additions.” Dorothy builds further on my suggestion.
“When?” I ask impatiently. “You haven’t written anything yet?”
“I will teach you to be a relationship coach for people who have lost their mojo.” Dorothy builds further on yet another suggestion.
“Did you like the coaching pdf?” I ask her as I’m already revving to get going doing stuff right here and now. “Lovely!”
“It was ok.” Dorothy doesn’t sound impressed.
“I thought it was bloody brilliant.” I cheer. “You could do better though.”
“Yes I understand. Usual stuff nothing new or brilliant. Best you wait for my book that you will rewrite in French and have printed as co author.”
“Hmmm.” I’m already dreaming off into a future resembling that of JK Rowling.
“You will add you experience to the book.” Dorothy continues.
“Oh my!” I exclaim as I return from my short daydream. “Interesting though.”
“But I will send you a few e-books.” Dorothy lets me know.
“So my name next to yours?” Something about this disturbs me and thrills me at the same time.
“Yes.” Dorothy replies shortly.
“Will need a stage name.” I see for myself if this approach calms my inner turmoil, but it doesn’t. Will need to check myself why this idea gets me going as it does.
“Remember I can’t write well and English will need editing.” Dorothy goes on in a humble tone.
“You do write well and you know it.” I tell her firmly. “You’re fantastic at writing.”
“No. Use your name. If people buy them you can speak and coach in three languages.” Dorothy thinks practicalities. “Plus I will certify you as a master coach.”
“And you?” I am getting more excited by the minute at this new perspective on my career. “How does this help you?”
“I will be in Cuba, I guess.” Dorothy sighs.
“I thought you can’t get back?” I have lost the plot line for a moment. “I’d love to be a coach.”
“I will worry about that later.” Dorothy knows how to be successful. Worry is not part of the agenda. “I hope to get the document on Friday.”
“You will.” I prophesize with false confidence.
“If so I can apply for my Visa Monday or Tuesday next week.” Dorothy thinks out loud.
“What are you doing for Christmas?” I have been meaning to ask her for some time now.
“Coming to you for dinner why? Are you cancelling my invite?” Dorothy seems to be half teasing me and half inviting herself. Not sure which. “What are you doing for Christmas?”
“Christmas Eve with Wim and all 5 kids.” I go over our plans. “Christmas Day just me and kids. All by myself again. My mother asked me what I was doing but didn’t invite me. I think she gets off on knowing I’ll be lonely.”
“Oh well if I am still here I will come visit.” Dorothy lies blatantly.
“It will be fun though. We’ll watch movies and eat too much chocolate.” I’m already dreaming up the perfect Christmas Day with my lovely littles in our beautiful cosy home. “You won’t. You’ll just stand me up.”
“Let’s see what happens. Can I bring Joti?” Dorothy is always in for a good gamble on fate.
“No thanks.” I snap back.
“Suzi?” Dorothy tries another tactic.
“No thank you.” I reply all haughtily. “No more of all that nonsense.”
“What happened between you? It seemed you were close.” Dorothy is out for gossip.
“Who?” I am winning time and hopelessly avoiding the question.
“You and Suzi.” Dorothy insists.
“With Jo? I don’t know. I asked you what was up.” I remind her. “Suzi… We’ve never really been close. I just like her. I don’t like how things have turned with Jo.”
“Jo I don’t know. But between you and Suzi. Was she using you?” Dorothy is pushing me to open up about my tears the other day.
“And I think I recently realized that Suzi never wanted my friendship. She didn’t reciprocate.” I start talking about my issues hesitantly. “No she wasn’t using me. But I was caught in between her and Jo. Suzi just doesn’t want to be friends. I get that now. She’s still a lovely person though.”
“Oh well you need to find problem-free friends.” Dorothy replies as if what I’m feeling is completely childish.
“Yes.” I nod. But then I realize that’s wrong. “Nobody is problem free.”
“Ok true. What I mean is non-dependant.” Dorothy corrects herself.
“Suzi never depended on me.” I explore and reject Dorothy’s suggestion. “I don’t want anyone to depend on me.”
“Yes I think she did.” Dorothy sounds firm and sure of herself.
“Huh?” I wonder what she’s talking about. “Suzi? No. Suzi just wants Felize as a friend.”
“You see no one does something for nothing. We all do things because we get something.” Dorothy is trying to get me to see another one of her visions again. “Yes Felize is a parasite in my humble opinion.”
“This time a few years ago I popped into Suzi’s not realizing it was her birthday and she had invited her friends. Annick, Diane and the whole bunch… I was not one of them.”
“She did the same this year and didn’t invite Joti either.” Dorothy informs me what I already expected after I didn’t receive an invite the so manieth year in row. “And you don’t feel used? Suzi is a racist.”
“I do feel used!” I shout out and I feel it in my stomach to be true and liberating to finally say it. “That is the definition of using people. Call them to complain, don’t invite them to activities.”
“I used to find it strange that Suzi referred to you as ‘that girl’.” Dorothy is going to start telling me things I’ll find even more upsetting.
“It’s called using.” I state firmly. “I don’t need to know. I’m feeling bad enough as it is.”
“Oh sorry.” Dorothy interjects, but I know she is pleased with herself for having achieved what she aimed at.
“Don’t go bad mouthing her.” I warn her.
“Nothing to feel bad about.” Dorothy comforts me.
“There is.” I insist. “I feel lonely. And I am feeling used and rejected.”
“I understand.” Dorothy sympathizes.
“I cried all through my yoga session on Monday.” I tell her again. “I take it you still want to defend Joti?”
“Why?” Dorothy enquires surprised.
“A few things you mentioned.” I point out accusingly.
“I can step back if needed.” Dorothy tries to calm me.
“Invite Joti over… she did the same to Joti…” I repeat the instances where Dorothy tried to make Jo look sympathetic in the entire story. “Oh so you’re leaving me too?”
“No silly. I can step back from defending Joti if you need to talk. I will listen.” Dorothy presses upon my bleeding heart.
“Yes don’t defend Joti. She hurt just as bad if not worse.” I crash mentally.
* Disclaimer : Any resemblance between the fictional characters in this story and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle by chance more than by choice.