Happiness and Nemesis

(business short story)

I will take revenge; I will pay them back”
Romans 12:19

Michael drank his morning coffee and watched the stock updates. Balls of fume were still smoking from the ashtray, wrapping a photo of his wife and children on the table. The son looks like him, but the daughter is a small copy of Mila. “I am happy, my company beats all the competitors, my wife is bella donna and our children look cutie…Yeah, I’m happy,” thought the businessman.

The secretary entered the office and whispered a few words. Michael scowled and pushed the coffee aside, “These beggars again…Let her come in, please.” A woman in black slipped quietly into the office. Michael looked with disgust at her unpretentious jacket, black scarf and trembling hands. The guest began to speak, “My husband… you must know him… he worked here… He died, the car drove at him. We were left alone…,” the woman sobbed, and Michael frowned impatiently. “My daughter is ill, placed in the urgent surgery… If you could help… my husband respected you. Only for treatment, and then I would give the money back. My little one… God will thank you, mister,” woman said and tears rolled down her pale face. Michael looked at the photo of the family and laptop screen. Yes, he is happy…

“I am very sorry for your husband, but we are not a charity. You received social insurance, and I can’t help you anymore. I also have a family that I have to take care of. Sorry!” said Michael and smiled a “friendly” business shark smirk. “But the Lord…” the woman began to object, but Michael interrupted, “I don’t believe in God, I believe in myself, missis. I’m sorry.” The woman stood for a moment and left in silence. Michael sighed with relief and sipped his coffee…

A few days later, Michael lingered in the office. The working day was coming to an end when the phone rang sharply. “Mister? We are very sorry, but your wife got into an accident. She was with the children… The car overturned and crashed into pieces. Sorry…,” said someone on the other side. As if in a dream, Michael watched as the phone fell out of his hands and tumbled down to the ground. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw how the company’s statistics slowly started sliding down on the screen… It seemed to Michael that the world was narrowing to his office, and in the middle of this world stood a smiling photo of his family. And the weeping eyes of a woman in black… God…? Oh, God punished him… His happiness was ruined in a sec; the time of Nemesis came…

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