Real Life

The lucky pancake

Picture: posed by models (Getty)
Years ago I lived with a friend of mine called Rob. He'd been a boyfriend from my teenage years and almost the son my mother never had. He was always invited home and used to do his homework at the kitchen table after school. When I went over to his parents for Sunday lunch his dad always prepared my favourite foods.
After a few years we mutually decided that what we had was more of a friendship than a relationship. We both went off to University but kept in touch when we had time. After Uni we both got jobs in the city so it made sense to share a unit closer to the city. By the time we were in our mid 20's we'd both made the transition from relationship to great friendship.
One day Rob met a French girl called Camille. I was really happy he'd found a girl who he seemed to really like. She was lovely; quite charming and down to earth. Rob and I continued to have a great time as flatmates. I was always happy to have a chat whenever Camille visited.
When he bought his first house he rented a room to me which helped pay the mortgage and it seemed the natural thing to do as we were such great friends. He continued to see Camille who lived out of town. She'd come over and stay for a few weeks at a time.
Over time her friendly carefree demeanor seemed to erode away revealing a more manipulative and calculating character underneath. When Rob wasn't around she'd change her tone with me giving me the clear message that she didn't appreciate me being around.
All of the sweetness and light that she put on around Rob was just showing her to be a wolf in sheep's clothing.
Eventually I broached the issue quite lightly with Rob as it started affecting the relaxed feeling I had whenever I was home. I told Rob how I was feeling and he said he'd talk to her. He didn't want me to feel that I had to move out but he did love her. He understood how uncomfortable it was making me feel.
After he talked to her things got even worse when he wasn't around. She'd slam doors in the kitchen just to make her point that she was really angry. She'd make little remarks which were put downs and started to really eat away at my confidence. How could someone I barely know pull me down like this. The safe haven that I used to call home was now the source of anxiety.
In France they celebrate Shrove Tuesday (pancake day) the day before lent. Camille was being the charming side of her duplicitous character when she suggested we all make crepes together. Crepes are the French version of pancakes. She told us that in France there's a tradition to put the 1st pancake which is flipped up on top of a cupboard in the kitchen for luck. It's supposed to bring the person and the household harmony in their relationships and work. She felt very strongly about this tradition.
I was shocked and couldn't understand what I'd ever done to make her so angry. I had a serious boyfriend so couldn't understand why she felt so threatened by me. I started thinking there must be something seriously wrong with her.
This time I lost it. All the emotions I'd been keeping under wraps, all the tension that had built up from all the put downs, the constant feeling of not being able to relax in my own home finally exploded out of me. I stomped around the house for a while banging doors wherever I went.
Suddenly, I remembered her precious pancake. I stomped off downstairs in a rage, grabbed a chair and found the 'lucky pancake' on top of the cupboard.
Surprisingly it wasn't mouldy or dry even though I'd expected it to be after several months. Venting all of my anger at the pancake I threw it in the bin and covered it with some newspaper to hide the evidence of my crime. I felt so much better and it served her right for being such a cow. Things never got that bad again but the tone still continued whenever she spoke to me on my own. We did try to avoid each other as much as possible when she came to stay. I was much more relaxed as I always had the secret knowledge that I'd thrown away her precious lucky pancake.
It seems that sometime later her luck in relationships did start to fade as Rob started to see the other side of her personality. I often heard them arguing in the bedroom. Rob finally finished it with Camille and I was relieved.
You'd think that was the end but her manipulative and calculating mind turned on Rob who found out that she'd been speaking to their mutual friends telling them that he'd given her the sexually transmitted disease Chlamydia.
Poor Rob, as if that wasn't bad enough she then faxed it through on the company fax machine for anyone in the office to see. In those days there was no email or I guess it would have been worse. His reputation at a top accountancy firm was shaken for sometime afterwards.
It was a lucky escape for him and a welcome relief for me. I did confess to Rob that I'd thrown the lucky pancake in the bin and he just laughed and said I probably did him a favour.
All names have been changed. Picture posed by models. Your say: Have your say about this true confession below...

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