Submitted by Ashley:
I work in an office with a few other satellite offices around town. Ben worked at one of these other offices and he came to mine one day with a small group from his office for a meeting.
We both missed the first half of the meeting because we were so wrapped up in conversation with each other. He seemed like a terrific guy and he had a great smile. We made plans to meet up that weekend.
He called me a little less than an hour before our date to ask if we could postpone for the next day. I had plans for most of the next day, so, a little put out, I offered to reschedule for the following weekend.
We chatted by phone a couple of days that week, and by the time the weekend rolled around, I was ready to forget all about his last-minute rescheduling.
He wasn't, though. He showed up with four dozen (yes, 48) long-stemmed roses. He apologized over and over, and, while I think it was kind of over the top, I gave him a great big hug. Everything seemed fine.
At the restaurant, we talked about this and that, and we began discussing our jobs.
As it turns out, he hated working where he did. He hated it so much, that at one point during dinner, he pounded the table, and flecks of spit flew out of his mouth. I'm sure it was probably more than he meant to do, but it gave me the first inklings of discomfort.
At one point, he said, "And I'm pretty sure that my boss is cheating on his wife."
"How do you know?" I asked him.
"I saw him with another woman. Well, I saw another woman going into his house."
"You were at his house?"
"Yeah. Across the street from it. I followed him home."
Hoping to make light of a rapidly discomforting conversation, I joked, "Is that why you canceled on me last weekend?"
He stared at me.
He stammered, "Did I... did... how would you know that?"
Uh oh. Me and my big mouth. I said, "I was just joking around. I didn't really imagine that you..."
"Did he put you up to this? I wouldn't put it past him."
I shook my head. "No. Ben, I–"
He put his fork down over his barely-began dinner and waved over the waiter. "Check please," he said, "I'll take mine to go."
Ben then took out a wad of cash, slammed it on the table, and stood up. He turned to me and said, "I hope this was worth it. Now I know," and left me there.
I finished my dinner and went home.
The next day at work, I told my boss what had happened, and Ben was fired. I still wonder if it was the right thing to do.
Submitted by Ashley: