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You Carelessly Left

The Computer On!


Mario V. Farina

Copyright 2018 Mario V. Farina

Smashwords Edition

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Mario V. Farina

Email: mario@mariofarinacom

My name is William Bradford. I'm 26, an attorney in the small town of Allenville. I created an agency two years ago called William Bradford, Attorney-at-law. I've had only one employee since I began whose name is Wilma Meadows.

This story is about Wilma as much as it's about me. She was just out of college when, with some trepidation, I hired her as a Legal Assistant. I didn't know whether I'd have enough money to pay her weekly salary. I had no clients, and no prospects. However, I desperately wanted to be involved with the law, and this is the reason I had taken seven years of schooling at a prestigious law school.

Wilma was three years younger than I, incredibly intelligent, and very attractive! She was reliable, and seemed exceedingly interested in helping me succeed. We became close, and I did not hesitate in sharing personal concerns with her. She, too, would reveal her problems with me and share how she was planning to solve them. Basically, though, our relationship was strictly confined to a business basis.

I had not married, nor dated to any great degree. For reasons that I can't fully explain, I wanted more in a spouse than merely someone to live with. I fully realized the person who agreed to become my wife, would need to be a saint. I'd be extremely difficult to live with. She would need to have interests similar to mine, speak impeccable English, be mentally gifted, and highly motivated. Some of the women I had dated had had some of these qualities, but I had disqualified them for flimsy reasons. At present, I realized my attitude in interacting with women had been highly arrogant.

Wilma, too, was dating on a casual basis. She would accept an initial date, but there would seldom be a second with the same person. She admitted to being somewhat choosy. In conversations with her, I would accept what she said without attempting to burrow further into her affairs. Our relationship was scrupulously as employer and employee, I would tell myself, she had a right to live her own life without interference from me. However, I could not keep myself from pleasantly ruminating about her much of the time.

At first, there was very little happening in the office, but gradually, we were able to acquire clients, and I began spending a great deal of time in the courtroom. During this time, Wilma would run the office, doing an exceedingly fine job; one that I had not fully expected. From time to time, she would dig into cases that I was working on, and make valuable suggestions. I was pleased with her contributions. I felt she had a superior mind for the law.

The work she and I did in the office kept our personal life from blooming; however, during quiet times, we would go across the street to a small restaurant having the odd name, Breadboard Daily. We'd have coffee or a small lunch. Eventually, our conversations became slightly more personal; however, our relationship remained an all-business one.

During the second year that Wilma and I had worked together, I began dating a woman named Helen Quigly. Helen was about my age, blonde with long hair that almost reached her waist. She was shapely and exceptionally beautiful. I became bewitched. The fact is, I became so enamored with this woman, I succumbed to ignoring my duties as an attorney. She and I began seeing each other every day, and even staying overnight at each other's apartments. Wilma seemed mildly annoyed with what I was doing, but did not comment. Nevertheless, she attended to the agency's business details, and attended to the many tasks I was disregarding. I was even missing court appearances, which I understood was an unforgivable transgression for an attorney. Unfortunately, Wilma had no authority to appear in my place.

There came a time when Helen tearfully told me she was falling behind in her debts, and needed someone to help bring her back to an even keel. It was clear she meant the word, someone, to be me. I asked how much was needed to keep her from sinking, and she mentioned a figure that stunned me. Nevertheless, I went to the bank the next day and withdrew $5000 from my savings account. Helen told me she would treat this money as a loan, but I knew it would turn into a gift. Which it did!

Wilma knew what was happening because I told her over coffee at Breadboard Daily. She displayed a moderate amount of dismay, but did not make any suggestions. This was all right with me since I didn't want any. The business continued to stumble along until a couple of weeks later when Helen told me her car was giving trouble, and she needed a new one; otherwise, we wouldn't be able to see each other as much as we had. She commented that electric cars were becoming popular, and sure to save owners a good deal of money. If only she could come up with a few thousand dollars, she said, she could make a down payment on one. I sensed there was a message for me in what she was saying, and promised I'd see what I could do.

I shared my concerns with Wilma about what Helen had told me. Wilma said she'd make a simple statement, then say no more. I said, "please do!"

"The sooner you drop her, the better it will be for you and your agency," she said.

I knew she was right. I phoned Helen and told her our relationship had ended. She put on a histrionic performance over the phone that would have done credit to an award-winning actress. I waited patiently until she had finished, then said, "goodbye." I never communicated with her again.

Wilma had helped save the agency from failure. Business picked up, and, before long, we were doing well again. I began thinking of employing a receptionist.

One day, soon afterward, Wilma told me about something occurring in her life that concerned me greatly. She had begun dating a wealthy fifty-five-year-old, who was showing a great deal of romantic interest in her. He was married, but stated this relationship with his wife had become fragile. She did not understand him, he said. He had requested a divorce. His wife was resisting, but "everything was beginning to work out!" In the meantime, he offered Wilma an apartment he would rent for her. He wanted her to dedicate herself to him until the divorce happened; then he would marry her.

I told Wilma I had heard this kind of story before, and requested I make one statement, then allow her to make her own decision about what she should do. "Please do," she said.

"Wilma, you need to break up with this person at once! He has no intentions of divorcing his wife. He wants a cheap relationship with you, while maintaining the comfort of a stable relationship with his wife!"

A few days later, Wilma told me that she had stopped seeing the old gent. She said it would take a few days to get over the affair, but asserted she could handle it. This happened as she had stated.

On a Friday a few days later, I was preparing to go home with a briefcase full of legal documents I intended to work on during the weekend, when my mind was suddenly accosted with a perception that compelled me to immediately sit at the office computer. I was alone; Wilma had left a few minutes earlier. I began typing:

Wilma, when first we met, my feeling for you was merely as an employee. This sentiment gradually changed, and I began thinking of you as someone special. With the passage of time, I began to feel a warmness in my heart for you which was like a spark of flame that gradually became stronger. This flame became a sense of caring, that grew to affection, then love. My love for you is one that grows stronger with each passing day. I'm asking you to marry me!

To felt compelled to tell Wilma about this sudden realization. I left the office and drove home. There, I phoned her and suggested that, though the next day was Saturday, we meet at Breadboard Daily for breakfast. She readily agreed to do so.

There, we began with coffee. While waiting for eggs and bacon, she said, "Bill, I went to the office first thing this morning to check the emails."

"Thanks for doing that," I said. "Anything important?"

"No, all routine," she replied. "I see you had an epiphany!"

"An eppif of what?" I asked.

"Epiphany, a sudden understanding of a major truth!"

"That's exactly what I want to talk to you about!" I said.

"I already know, darling," she responded. "I feel the same as you do!"

"You mean . . . ?" I stammered.

"Yes, I love you too! My answer is yes!"

"Darling, how did you know what I was planning to say?"

"You were careless with the computer," she said smiling broadly. "You had typed a sort of revelation that was still on the screen of the computer. You didn't save your declaration, nor close it. It's still there. Dear one, what you said was so sweet, so poetic, and so acceptable!"

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