“Perhaps they are not the stars in the sky, but rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy” – Inuit Proverb

It was almost 7:00PM when I got home and Lynda was anxiously waiting for me to get home.  I should have called her during the day but I was so busy, I totally forgot.  When I got home the first question she asked, how it went.  At the same time she was looking at the bag that I was holding.  When I gave the bag to her and started going to get changed, she said why you spent so much money on that junk you know that I don’t use much cosmetics.  I said I didn’t spend any money, that’s was a gift for you from Mrs. Benda and I couldn’t dare telling her that you are not a heavy cosmetic user.  While I am getting changed, please open the bag and check it out. 

The time I came back, Lynda had our supper on the table as well as she had lined up all the items from the bag in the living room which included all kind of lipsticks, Mascaras, Foundations, Creams, and Lotions.  As soon as she saw me, she said do you know there must be at least $500 worth cosmetics in the living room.  I said I am sorry babe, I had no idea, I just started working for a company which distributes cosmetics in Canada and I didn’t even know anything about cosmetics.  Worse yet, my wife doesn’t even like to use cosmetics. She said I am not being unappreciative but I can only use certain things but what am I going to do with the rest.  I said give it to your mom or friends, I don’t care but cannot tell Mrs. Benda that you don’t use cosmetics, It’s my final answer.  By the way, I said she would like to meet with you. She said I would love to meet her, too as she seemed to be a nice person.

Now that kids were in the new school in Pickering. Adam was in Kindergarten and attending a full day school and if I am not mistaken, Maxine was in grade 8. They were enjoying school and making friends. Lynda was volunteering her time again as she always liked to work with the kids. It appeared as everything was going reasonably well.  My job was keeping me busy at the same time I was learning to work for a small company and Lynda told me one night that she would like to go to London to see her aging uncle and aunty plus all other cousins.  She said ideally, I like everybody to go but you just started a new job, therefore, I am thinking probably I should take Adam with me.  What do you think? I said it sounds like a plan as Adam can afford to miss a couple of weeks but Maxine needed to be in the school for sure.  She said I am going to look into it right away, I said go for it.

My initial observations that I had made about the work at Eletex was not a problem but recognizing the fact that there is a need for making some changes to our processes and procedures in the interest of productivity and efficiency.  I didn’t’ expect any interference from Mrs. Benda and working on that little project was keeping me in the office longer than I had planned for.  Lynda clearly understood my situation and said in a couple of weeks Adam and I will be gone for a little while which also meant that you will have to be home around the time Maxine gets home.  I said that’s no problem as I had already mentioned to Mrs. Brenda.

The following Monday I was working on something in the office, around 10:00AM, Mrs. Benda entered my office and said to me.  Did you know that I don’t live too far from here?  Last three nights when I got back home late, I noticed that your car was still parked here.  I said I was just working on something to better organize ourselves.  She said, that’s fine but you drive an old car and the winter’s coming and if you ran into any car troubles, you would not be able to come back to work the next morning.  I said that’s only one scenario.  She said what’s the other scenario?  I said there’s a possibility that nothing will happen to my car, I will be here every single morning and we will be a happy big family.  She said, you are a dreamer and she opened her purse and took out a chain of keys and gave them to me.  I said what are these keys for?  She said it’s a leased car for you.  The company not only will pay for the lease of the car but also pay all other related expenses including the gas.  I said it’s getting little bit too much for me to grasp.  I said you’re already paying me a good salary and I don’t expect more from you.  She said Mir; I am not doing this for you.  I am doing it for myself to ensure that you come to work regularly and punctually every single day.  This is a kind of insurance for me.  I said I cannot win with you Mrs. Benda, can I at least say thank you?  She said I will let you do that.  She said don’t forget, I told you to take Lynda and kids out for supper on your expense account.  I said I didn’t even know that I had an expense account.  She said now you do.

I didn’t work late that day.  I came out to see my company car.  It was a beautiful black Buick totally loaded with a tape deck and bunch of cassettes.  I checked out those cassettes and found one for Tom Jones who used to be Lynda’s favourite singer.  I put the tape on and started listening to nice songs while driving home.  As soon as I turned into our driveway, Lynda came out and thought somebody else is coming to visit us.  As soon as she saw me she said what you are doing in that expensive car. She said the answer is “NO”, we cannot afford car like that period.  We just bought a house, remember. I said go get the kids we are going out for supper.  She said what I am going to do with the supper that I just cooked.  I said we will have it tomorrow. I said by the way our car is parked at the office we need to find a way to get it towed one of these days but we got this car as a company car for now.

When we all were in the car, I just turned the tape on and she started singing along loudly with Tom Jones.  We went to a nice restaurant and had a nice meal on Mrs. Benda’s expense and tried to explain to Lynda what happened with Mrs. Brenda. Lynda said what’s going on.  Is she after you or what?  I said I don’t think so.  I said, I wasn’t going to tell you this but I guess now I have to.  She said common tell me, what is it? 

I said today I was in Mrs. Brenda’s office, discussing how we can deal with the budgeting process and what kind of changes will have to be made.  All of a sudden Joe entered the office.  She shouted at him and said, Joe how many times I have to tell not to enter my office when I am in discussion with Mir.  She said believe me, he’s not interested in me, he already has a beautiful wife and he’s absolutely in love with her.  What Mir and I do, we discuss our financial situations and he is planning to make some major changes. Joe do you understand what am I saying here.  I said you should have seen poor Joe’s face.  He turned around and said alright, sorry for disturbing your financial discussions and he went back to his office.  When I came out from her office, Joe rushed to see me and said I am sorry Mir I didn’t mean anything.  Don’t worry Joe, everything just fine, I said.       

Our Story – Chapter 23