The idea of the social contract is that people have an agreement to form a society and be governed by the laws of that society. Another piece of this, though, is that people within the society agree to certain things between themselves. One of these things is how to deal with areas in which we have little or no expertise. Lawyers, doctors, scientists, or any profession which requires a high degree of study and specific knowledge fall into this category. We give them money and they provide us with the benefit of their knowledge.
That’s how it is supposed to work, anyway.
There are people, despicable people, who decide that their job is not to fulfill their side of the social contract. They decide that their job is to get as much money as possible out of those poor schmoes stupid enough to come to them, generally more than those people can afford, just because those people are desperate.
This one took everything. We had a contract, but he decided that he would charge us for a whole lot of little things that weren’t specified. They weren’t specifically excluded, either, though, so when I went to another one of his profession to ask, I was told that it was legal. Not ethical, but legal.
We needed him, my wife and I. We needed his help and he cleaned us out, took our money to the bank, strung us along, and eventually said he couldn’t help us. He’d listed a bunch of possibilities to start with, but when it came down to actually doing something, he never did. I’d lay bets he laughed all the way to the bank. He took another pair of suckers, convinced us he was a good guy, that he knew what he was doing, and then he took our hope and smashed it.
My wife is dead now. She killed herself when the last little bit of hope was extinguished. We had a future, even with this last hope gone, but she could not live without some hope in that arena. Maybe she wasn’t imaginative enough. I don’t know. All I know is that this person left us with nothing to try again, no way of making it better. We were bankrupt by the time he was done with us and we had nothing to show for it. Our savings, our house, everything, was gone, all in pursuit of the false hope he was selling.
I’m writing this letter because it’s time to make sure that he doesn’t take anything from anyone else ever again. I’m sure he has hurt people before, and if I don’t do something, he’ll hurt others. Maybe this makes me despicable, too, but I have nothing to lose. He goes down, then I do, and it’s over. No one will miss me, I think. No family anymore, nothing left to hand out. The only thing I will leave is the lack of a person who takes advantage of people like us.
I used to be a sniper. I can be one again. This man, this awful creature, this poor excuse for a human being, took everything from me. I’m just returning the favor.
You should really check out Michael’s piece this week – he did an amazing job with the prompt I gave him.
For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Bran macFeabhail challenged me with “Write about something despicable. ” and I challenged Michael with “You’ve been keeping a bottle of champagne for five years, waiting to celebrate something specific. Tell the story leading up to finally getting to drink the champagne.”