Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A Story with a Happy Ending

I met "Martin" about three years ago in a public relations class during my second semester of college when I was still dealing with self-esteem issues relating to being a really old woman in college.
Martin was the very last person to arrive for the fully-booked class, and the only empty seat was in front of me, so I could not NOT take notice of him.

But the reason I remember meeting Martin that day was because everyone in the class had to introduce themselves.  And when I mentioned that I had worked in radio and declared that it was kind of like having public relations experience, Martin turned around, pointed to himself then to me, and said, "You and me, we're partners.  Group project?  You and me."

Someone thought I was valuable? Someone wanted to work with me? Someone chose me?
I immediately wanted to be his friend.

A few weeks later, Martin started missing classes. I overheard another classmate mention that Martin hadn't been showing up in another class either; the rumor was that Martin's girlfriend was pregnant, and he had to drop out of college.

But, just last year in another public relations class, I found Martin once again occupying the seat in front of me. We didn't talk much throughout the semester. (I can tell you from experience that in college, you pay very little attention to classmates sitting behind you.) I also suspected he had long forgotten about wanting to be my partner in group projects.  However, Martin learned my name and gave me enthusiastic greetings whenever we passed elsewhere on campus.  He was charming, and nice, and as far as I could tell, a darned good student.

During that semester, an off-campus apartment building caught fire leaving most of its tenants homeless for several days.  I ran into Martin later that week.  He told me he lived in that apartment building, and now he and his wife and two-year-old twins were living in a hotel for a few days while repairs were being made.  He said they didn't need anything, but it sure was inconvenient.

Young guy.  Married with twins.  Home burned. Still grateful.

That's when I looked him up on social media and sent him connection requests on every medium. He accepted them all.

Martin graduated this past spring, but I ran into him in the campus library today.  He was walking with someone, and I got the impression he was helping this person find something.  As we passed, Martin held out his hand to me in greeting. As we shook hands, he leaned over and whispered to me, "I'm working in the library, Roses!"  He said it with the same awe that a small child would have told you that Santa Claus had come.
I had enough time to reply, "That's awesome!" and he was gone.

I turned and watched him walk away with the person he was helping.
And I wondered...

My friends, I was vague about the job I applied for in August. I told you it was a position at a library, but I didn't specify that it was at the campus library at the university I attended.
Could it be that I had been in competition with this brilliant fellow student?
I thought about it for a moment, and I quickly found the idea very pleasant and realized that I felt very good about the idea of having lost this job to Martin.  If anyone else was going to get it, I'd want it to be someone just like him.

Oddly enough, I had awkwardly bumped into the campus library director (the person in charge of hiring) just last week and exchanged a quick "Hi how are you" with him.
So, today, when I had a slightly less awkward run-in with the same library director, I asked him, "Did you hire Martin?"
The answer was yes.
I gave the director a sincere smile and congratulated him on the fine choice.
And the moment Martin wasn't busy, I went over and told him how happy I was for him.

I informed him that I had also applied for the same position, and we both conceded that it was an honor to have had such fine competition.

I sit here tonight feeling very happy for Martin.
I feel SO happy for Martin, that I've forgotten that I felt sad not getting that job.

His words, so full of joy and amazement, keep ringing through my mind.
"I'm working at the library, Roses!"
And I can't help but smile.

This is a story with a happy ending.
It's not my happy ending, but it is truly happy nonetheless.


Quinn and Angel brandi said...

Oh, what a beautiful story!! I am an old (yes I am!) library science minor and worked in several. Not as a career, but I enjoyed my time. And I am very proud that one of my nieces went ahead and finished her degree in library science after her many children were born and she wasn't ready for retirement. She was my 16th birthday present from one of my brothers!! And closest to me.

DogsDontPurr said...

I'm so glad this became a positive for you. At the beginning of your post I was afraid it was going to end badly. Also, you are a rare and amazing person to celebrate some else's success at (sort of) the expense of your own. Cheers to you! I wish more people could be like you!!

Roses said...

DogsDontPurr, considering how I sometimes write long meaningful introductions about dead people, I appreciate how you might have feared the worst for Martin. :-)

I appreciate your very kind words.
Thank you.