Essie showered, ate a breakfast of her own choosing, dressed and headed to work. She spent the 15 minute drive thinking through how she might live her life now that she was free. The thought that she had a choice brought a perverse smile to her face.
The smile was a twisted thing since the face didn’t have practice at such a thing. Then Essie actually turned on her car radio and sang along for a moment until she reached the parking lot outside her building. As she pulled in, two of the ladies from her office stepped away from their own vehicles and walked slowly together, whispering as they glanced repeatedly toward Essie. In a moment of complete abandon, she raised her hand and waved to the pair. She snickered as their eyes widened and they turned away quickly while hurrying into the building.
Slowly, Essie followed them at a distance. She took the stairs while they took the elevator. As she reached the third floor and turned to go to her cubicle, a group of 5 or 6 women were standing with their heads together. They quickly stepped back when they saw her. Of course they were talking about her again. Essie wondered if they ever found anything else to discuss. She wondered if their lives were so empty that all they had to do was tear her apart in one way or another. She had never done anything to any of them. She had barely ever even said three words to any one of them. She felt her temper stirring as she walked past each one of them to hear barely covered snickers.
As Essie slid into her chair and dropped her purse under her desk, she turned to catch several pairs of condescending eyes focused on her. In a fit of anger, Essie stood.
“What? What is the problem with all of you? Why do you think you have to talk about me as though I am not even here? Not one of you has ever even tried to get to know me. You don’t know anything at all about me, but you talk about me behind my back. You laugh at me and make rude, ugly faces at me. Don’t think I don’t know it. You are all vicious bullies! You will get what you deserve some day. I just know it!” Shaking so she could barely stand, Essie grabbed her purse and left the office the same way she had come in.