The New M.E. Generation











Just when I was getting used to the idea that this guy was away and that our friendship has experienced a change that would be put to the test over the next year, I get a totally unexpected call from him in the middle of the week.

People that know me know you never call me at work unless you have an immediate need to speak to me, or it means something really bad has happened.

And with this guy it was the same. So his call meant the second and I felt a bad vibe about it. First thing that came to mind was his mom.

“‘¿Todo bien?'” (Is all fine?) is what he would say and now I’m copying him. What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I just say things my own way? It’s ridiculous how much he’s engrained in me. “Something happened to your mom?” continued I.

“No my mom’s fine. I’m the one who’s not. Listen, I’m getting out of here. I already submitted my letter of resignation and will fly out in a couple of days,” said he.

“What? Why? Didn’t you just get there about a month ago? What happened? Are you sure about what you’re doing?”

“It’s a long story, but all I will say is that this is a toxic environment. It’s like in one of those mystery movies where you land at what you thought would be an oasis, and then you discover all the hidden horrors nobody told you about.

I made my decision quickly and there’s no turning back. I need to get out of here and the sooner the better. Got my ticket, I’m all packed up, and that’s it. Don’t want to be here no more,” continued he.

I was listening to him and couldn’t grasp what was happening. It’s like I was talking to a complete stranger. This was definitely not the guy I used to know. It could have been the most difficult situation for him, but he would always manage to turn things around and make them work.

That’s what I used to admire about him; he would overcome anything and come out victorious, even stronger as a person.

Now all I’m hearing is how bad everything is, how angry and bitter he has become, how life sucks and is being ungrateful to him, that the world and people have turned against him.

There was never a battle he wouldn’t win and no aftershock that would affect him for long. He would brush off the results of the experience and move on, and be more than ready for whatever else came his way.

He swallowed his pride on anything and kept his emotions under control. He would share them with you, but without putting too much emphasis into them.

Now he sounded like a spoiled child who ‘I want this and I want it now!’ type of attitude. A brat who closes his eyes and cover the ears when you try making any sense into him; someone who raises his voice and stumps the feet at the floor when things don’t go their way or others won’t comply with him.

I don’t know what ‘bit’ him on that location he’s at, but the high temperature on his voice was at boiling point. He may be shouting ‘toxic environment’, but there’s a lot more underlying drama in this low-budget movie that this spectator (me) has yet to see.

Worst part is, the first installment is not over yet and the sequel is about to start. What rating should this get? I’ll give it a ‘B’ as in ‘Bad’, really bad.

Advertisements


I made the call and about 4 rings later, got his voicemail, not with his voice, but those who are automated (‘You have reached the mailbox of…).

I’ve always hated those, so impersonal and robotic. Besides, he’s a guy and the voice is that of a woman. Why aren’t there other alternatives that might ‘personalize’ it somehow?

So, in my usual manner, I left Ivan the same message I always do. “Hi, Ivan, it’s me, Emma. Just calling to say hello and know how things are going with you. Hope all is well. Call me if you can.”

He called me back about 3 days later while I was at work. That’s what usually happened; he would either never return my call, or do so at a day and time it would be difficult for me to give him my undivided attention, forcing the call to conclude quickly.

I know he’s always busy and returning my call it’s done in-between the little free time he has. But the real reason he would do it this way is because he’s not much of a talker, especially with me. He knows I will tell him the truth about his existence and, when I do, I’m not nice.

But this time around, I was the one who needed to be listened to. It was almost the end of the year and this one had been particularly difficult.

On top of that, I was still without a guy, would have been my 20-year anniversary, as well as my late father’s birthday.

At work, things were complicated as well. My boss was giving me a hard time and the other assistant couldn’t take the heat from her either.

Every day that I would walk through the door, this person would have a long face and would immediately start bitching about the boss.

Everything just piled up and I was reaching my breaking point. I didn’t know what to do. Beyond feeling that life was unfair to me, I felt time kept going by and I was stuck in the same place as always. That moment of great change hasn’t happened and was wondering if it would ever do.

“Hey, Ivan, how are you?”

“Fine, sweetie; how are you? Sorry I’m calling you at work.”

“It’s all right; I can talk for a few.” Lucky me, my boss wasn’t in the office. “Actually, no, I’m not that well.”

“What’s going on? Talk to me.”

“Question is, what has not happened to me.”

And just like that, this need to cry out all my emotions suddenly overwhelmed me.

No turning back now. Have to let it all out.



et cetera