True Horror of a human Leech latching on to you in Paris-Part 26


My right arm, particularly my wrist, felt the burden of continuous painting—one week of preparation of the walls and painting two coats of the two floors apartment. Three coats of paint were needed to cover the uneven surface because it was semi-transparent cheap paint. Yet Mme HARMONY would email me that her friends praised her for doing most of the work while I was useless. She duly sent me a copy to read. I was dismayed that she needed immigrants to remain useless outwardly so that she could shine as the saint protector of pathetic immigrants. Immigrants were the source of her self-endorsement, after all.

Then suddenly, Mme. HARMONY told me to interrupt the painting and assigned me a new task. She decided to go after Jupiter for compensation and needed a secretary to prepare documents. My printer was made to work till it broke because she was persistent. My wrist did not get as much rest as I needed, but Mme. HARMONY kept threatening that I owed her infinitely for her kindness.   

She did not know that my French reading had improved, but I could read the communication between Mme. HARMONY and JUPITER. I discovered that Jupiter had tried many times to fix the things she complained about in her apartment, but she sabotaged his effort each time. Financial extortion was her true aim. She would have continued to nag him on for compensation she did not deserve if it was not for me. Seeing that Jupiter would not cave in, she turned her attention to my saving, small as it was.  

While the painting was interrupted, Mme. HARMONY had an accident falling off a ladder when her phone rang. This ladder was mine, but Mme HARMONY had insisted on leaving it in her apartment. She made a huge fuss about her fall, telling everyone that she fell from the ladder while fixing up my lousy painting. Had I done my job right, she would not have needed to climb the ladder. By this time, I was under her mind control. I blamed myself and paid her medical bills. There was a flash of sheepishness in her eyes, but she grabbed the money and quickly pushed it down her pocket looking very satisfied. It was only later on that I discovered that Mme. HARMONY would have been reimbursed by French Medicare and Mutuelle (private medical insurance). So she must have gone double-dipping.

Still, I was not angry. Sad and disappointed, but not angry because being a bad judge of character was my fault at my age.  However, Mme HARMONY's greedy hand would reach out to my aged mother too. 

Mirror that reflects your soulAs the restaurant from Hell was closed, I decided to have my mother fly in from Japan for the time being. I should have done so sooner, considering her advanced age. February was not the ideal month for a visit, but I did not want to repeat the same mistake I made with my late father, who missed out on a visit to Paris because of Mr PRIDE. My mother must see Paris; this city is mesmerizing at any time of the year. I anticipated having finished the painting for Mme. HARMONY in January, but she had to go away. I hoped that she would not return while my mother was in Paris. 

Oh, but Mme. HARMONY did. She ordered me to resume painting her apartment because her friends were coming to stay in 2 months. I explained that my mother would be with me for just another ten days. There would be plenty of time before her guest arrived in April. But non, Mme. HARMONY was going away on holiday in March, and she could not fully relax and enjoy it if her apartment was not completed. She was going away with her grandson, and I should know the importance of family. I wrote to her that my mother was my family too, and this would probably be her last chance to see Europe if her pending eye operation was not successful. Mme. HARMONY completely ignored this and still insisted on her demands. 

To her, the family of Immigrants came secondary to her family. I could not abandon my mother, but then she fell ill. She told me to fulfil my promise while she rested. I knew my mother's keen sense of obligation would suffer if I broke any promise, so I sadly went up the stairs to Mme. HARMONY's apartment on the top floor. The hyena looked satisfied that her free aid came. She stayed around for a while to give me tons of instructions and turned off the heater before she left. She told me not to use the heater lest I break it. Needless to say, Mme. HARMONY had no words of sympathy for my mother, who had fallen ill.   

I was applying the third coat of paint on her walls when Mme. HARMONY returned. I had put in another three full days of work at this stage. My arms were feeling sore, which did not stop even during the night. I asked Mme. HARMONY for a break, promising her to do more later, but she pretended not to have understood my French. So I asked to use her toilet, knowing she would refuse. She told me to go downstairs to use mine as usual.  

I was having a moment of rest in my apartment when Mme. HARMONY banged on my door so loudly that it woke my sick mother up. Mme. HARMONY had come to fetch me so that I would resume painting. But she did not forget to use my toilet as well. Economizing on toilet paper was more important than the health of an aged immigrant to Mme HARMONY. What a crass vulgar woman. 

I continued to finish the painting, but the chill air made me numb, body and mind—the amount of labour Mme. HARMONY threw upon me may have done less damage had she allowed me to turn her heater on during the cold winter months. Anyhow, I finally finished the job. The cold water numbed my wrist for the last time. I said 'last' because the tap snapped as I turned it. I realized with horror that I had broken Mme. HARMONY's tap and the mobility of my wrist were gone.