I may have stolen someone else’s idea.
Well I do feel guilty about it but I had to do it; I had no choice.
It all started about a month ago. I was in my office working on my theory; I was figuring out how energy, mass and the speed of light relate together. However, I couldn’t figure this problem out; it had been subconsciously eating me up every day. My sleepless nights were worsening every day.
That day I had gotten kicked out of my job; they said that I wasn’t coming into work often and that I was always late; well they weren’t wrong but now I have no source of income and we have a major loan to pay. It is eating me up every single hour.
There's a certain level of tiredness that equates to insanity; for me it's when I'd like to temporarily dislocate my spirit from my body, as if I could ask God to take me out for just a short while, let my soul go wherever souls go to be zen. There are days the tiredness comes in both forms, physical and mental. My body needs to rest yet my mind needs it to move, to burn the anxiety right out. I’m a fairly brave person, I am, but sometimes I just don't want to feel the process of recovery all over again. I know I'll wake up feeling okay in the morning; it's simply a level of worn-out-ness that hurts.
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see my wife cooking like she always is. Her apron was tied around her waist and I could hear the sizzling sound of her sauce pan; it was like melody to my ears. She was only 30 and her face was wrinkled however it still managed to mesmerise me.
The stress had really gotten to her. I felt really bad for her; women weren’t allowed to have jobs they were made to stay at home to cook and clean. I could see the determination in her eyes; she really wanted to go out and work like men. When she found out that I had gotten fired she didn’t moan or groan; she simply just told me that it was okay.
I feel like I’m a very lucky guy.
Next minute I knew she was stood next to me examining my work. Her slender finger brushed against the page; her eyes darted across my desk. Unexpectedly, she took a pen and started writing frantically. From time to time she glanced up and gave me a smile.
“What are you doing?” I asked. I tried to look but she wouldn’t let me see.
“You’ll see” she replied. A small smile appeared at the corner of her lip; it made me smile.
I glanced over her shoulder to see what she was doing. Then I realised; she was trying to form the equation. I couldn’t understand it but then it all came to me.
How could she do it?
Why couldn’t I do it?
When I looked up I could see her wide smile; it filled up her small face. I could see the sweat trickling down her forehead they were like pearls. I was astonished. She went away and looked as beautiful as ever. I could see her cheeks go red and surprisingly she looked much younger.
I stared at the page, I had been doing this for over a year now and she just came in and did it. I was flabbergasted. I wanted to go and publish the theory but whose name would I give. If I said Mary Jackson no one would believe it; they would tell me to put it in the bin.
What should I do?
As I walked up to the post office my heart was thumping in my chest; I couldn’t control myself the overwhelming pain was unbearable. I couldn’t comprehend the surrounding noise; the guilt was crushing me inside out I couldn’t contain myself. I could see the look on Marys face; the look of anguish and hatred was impossible to get out of my mind.
As I posted the letter I couldn’t do it but I had to; we needed this money and I needed to do something with my life. Reluctantly, I posted the theory and ran back home; I had to tell her what happened. As I went inside she looked at me in a funny manner; her smile had gotten bigger than before. I couldn’t do it; I ran into my office and collapsed onto my chair and buried my face into my work.
I have to tell her.
She came into my office and poured my tea and went off in the happiest mood which I had ever seen. I couldn’t tell her.
The next morning when I woke up I saw her; she looked disappointed and was holding up a letter. I knew that she had read it and guilt penetrated into my body. Despair pervaded into the ambience overthrowing the happiness and joy. My heart was beating frantically in my chest and my head was spinning out of control.
“Dear Mr Jackson” she read out. I didn’t want to listen but I had to. “I am pleased to inform you that your theory has been approved by the science sector. We will be sending you another letter very soon about your accomplishment. Very well done.” as she read tears were dripping out of her eyes.
I started to walk towards her but suddenly she put her hand out to stop me. She was always the suffer-in-silence type and she would deal with her pain her own way. She ran to our room and I could hear the muffled cries; I didn’t know what to do.
After an hour I went into our room and sat beside her. I couldn’t get my words out. Her eyes met mine and we just stared into each other’s eyes for a while trying to read each other’s feelings.
“Why didn’t you tell me” she whispered. Trying to break our silence.
“I didn’t want to hurt you” I replied. I couldn’t look at her it was too painful. “I had to do it; they wouldn’t approve if it was your name written on it”
She nodded and put her head on my shoulders and we just sat there in silence trying to contemplate on our lives.
Thinking about that time makes me sick. Now I have to go on stage and give my speech for something that I didn’t even do. My chest felt heavy and my legs became numb.
As I walked up onto the stage I could see her in the crowd. Her dainty smile was captivating; I could stare at it all day. She waved and I waved back. She didn’t look upset or angry; in fact she looked pretty content. It felt good to see her there.
From that moment I realised that....
Behind every successful man there is a woman.