I’m sure you thought you were doing the right thing, breaking into my home and taking my TV. The fact that you had broken the law didn’t seem to bother you.
It mattered to me.
I know we were behind with the rent, but it was only a few weeks.
I guess you thought you would encourage me to pay up by taking my TV, by creating some leverage. You left a note for me and my pregnant wife to find, your demand making my blood boil.
I called and tried asking nicely for you to return it, you made your point. But no, not until you had your money. Then my politeness turned to anger, into a rage at the injustice I felt we had suffered.
I went to the police, but they said it was a civil matter and not for them. So, we had to stomach the loss of the TV for five days, when I was then able to pay up.
I remember taking the money to your wife’s office. A solicitor of all places, you couldn’t make it up.
You and your big-armed mate returned the TV. My rage burned at what you did. But, I kept my tongue, how I don’t know. The venom I was holding for you was hard to live with. I couldn’t let it go.
My anger blinded me then, and it lingered for a long time. I remember passing you in supermarket isle some 15 years after the incident. We had long since split as landlord and tenant. I would say you recognised me, offering me a smile as a way of saying hello.
The minute I realised it was you, the anger returned. The blood surging around my body increasing my rage. I didn’t say anything, I wasn’t going to give you the time of day. I couldn’t for fear of what I would say. I glanced at you and walked on by, continuing my shopping.
My anger wasn’t for you
It took me a long time to get over you taking my TV. Far too long in hindsight. A moment of honest reflection put me in your shoes. I was pondering all the pain in my life, in particular, the anger.
With a growing sense of realisation, the steps you took made sense, after all, I was the one who hadn’t paid the rent. I was causing you pain, but my anger hid that thought. My anger wasn’t for you, it was for me.
If I hadn’t got behind with the rent, none of this would have happened. I can see how it was my fault. In truth, I could see it then, but I was too pig-headed, too arrogant to admit it. My frustration was with myself for creating the situation in the first place.
Thanks for the lesson
So, somewhat belatedly, I want to say thank you. The lesson was one I shouldn’t have needed to learn in the first place, but that’s for another time. Treat others as you wish to be treated. This was the lesson you were giving me, but I couldn’t see it. You were right to do what you did, I should have seen it.
As I have become older and maybe a little wiser I can look back with a different perspective. I won’t ever it forget it, but can I forgive you for it?