I was at work and I had a relationship with a superior – he was actually the company’s owner. While at work, however, our treatment of each other was strictly professional, and I knew that I owed my position in the company to my own professional merits and not to any personal preference from the part of the boss, which just happened to be my boyfriend.
One day we were in a restaurant where the other company’s workers usually had lunch, and my boss-boyfriend and I were there together. I went to get some salad: lettuce and tomatoes, and I noticed there was something wrong with it. It looked very solid, and as if by magic, tiny forks and knives appeared in it, perfect miniatures of pointy and sharp metal silverware hidden in the middle of my salad. It was very strange and disturbing, because nobody else found these tiny and dangerous silverware items on their plates – it seemed to be only me. At the moment I thought it was probably just a joke, and I started to try and separate the tiny forks and knives from the rest of the salad, so that I could eat my lettuce and tomato. I managed to do it quite well and thought it was safe to eat it; but at the first touch of the salad in my mouth, I felt a horrible taste of pure vinegar and a burning sensation in my mouth – and again, only my salad seemed to be so altered. I reached the conclusion that someone was sabotaging my salad to seriously hurt me.
Seriously hurt me because – and my boss-boyfriend had also noticed – I had almost put the salad in my mouth without looking at it, for the forks and knives were so small and hard to see. Actually, I only saw those tiny killing instruments because the plate was at a strange angle and my boyfriend messed with my food, stirring it as if searching for something suspicious. That is, if I had, as was the intention of my ill-wisher, eaten that salad without delays, I would certainly have choked and died in a terrible way, with the tiny forks and knives perforating my throat. There was no doubt in my mind that the consequences would have been extreme and brutally lethal.
Shocked, but still incapable of believing in such a crude and obvious murder attempt, I turned myself to my boyfriend. He was very serious and worried, and to my deep relief and eternal gratefulness, he seemed to be taking the sabotage of the salad (and murder attempt) seriously. He didn’t find it funny, nor did he find my reaction exaggerated in any way: he saw first-hand how I had almost swallowed those tiny deadly instruments, which would certainly have killed me; he saw that only my portion of the salad was altered, which suggested that someone must have had the specific intention of hurting ME and nobody else, because his salad was ok. He didn’t doubt me either when I said the salad tasted funny, but he decided to taste it himself to see if it was really dangerous. It tasted so acid and sour that, if ingested in large quantities, it would have caused some damage to my esophagus and stomach.
Fantastic and bizarre though my salad sabotage may be, there was no moment where I was afraid of not being heard or believed, or that my boyfriend would laugh at me or said I was exaggerating, or that he would somehow ignore my distress with the whole situation. I asked him to take me away from there. We searched for another restaurant on that same street, but as far away as possible from the one we had previously been in. However, I had lost my appetite, and so had he. Even though we weren’t hungry anymore, we stopped and got out of the car to stretch our legs while he thought about what to do – it was probably some coworker who was jealous of me and my relationship with the boss that had done it, and he was going to find it out. I could only think of the horror of having narrowly avoided a gruesome, painful and bizarre death cause by the tiny forks and knives, or of even having had ulcers or some other consequence from that acid salad dressing that would affect my health seriously and permanently. It was in this moment that I felt so helpless, so forlorn, unprotected and defenseless because of what had happened to me, that I searched for the strong embrace of my companion. And this embrace was the best thing I had ever felt in my life: it conveyed, with his touch, all the love, affection and protection a person can give another, but especially, all the love, affection and protection a woman could want from a man – it was a pure and divine sensation, a feeling of complete security, as if nothing bad could happen to me while that embrace lasted, and I felt like I always wanted to feel and never had before. The embrace felt like a safety net, a seatbelt, and at the same time made me feel free as if flying like a bird, without any connection to the earth; but in case my wings got tired, I could just fall, because the embrace would be there to catch me, protect me and take care of me, no matter what happened.