They were both in their mid to late 30s at the time, and they were not a romantic couple. Oh no, absolutely not. In fact, the word going around the underground is that Nancy played for the other team, but such things weren't shared very openly back then.
I was in my early 20s and working as a quality inspector for a polymer supplier before I finished college. Jon was a long-time employee of the place and knew everything there was to know about inspection instruments, gauges, scopes, etc. He could inspect parts with his eyes closed! (Okay, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration...).
Nancy was our boss. And a major thorn in Jon's side.
See, Nancy was hired from an external job search not all that long before I started working there. Jon had been with the company for several years and was clearly a QC specialist. It didn't take long for me to figure out that Jon resented Nancy for being hired to the position he felt was rightfully his.
Now lemme just say, Jon would've been a bad QC manager. I mean, I liked him, we got along great and even hung out outside of work sometimes. But he's a good example of how a specialist isn't always the best leader. I'm sure management realized this and that's why he was not offered the position, but I doubt they told him.
So there was always this tension in the lab between Jon and Nancy. The other inspectors - Greg, Rosalind, and I - didn't get caught up in the drama as none one of us had ladder-climbing aspirations at that company. But Jon just couldn't let it go.
Nancy too, I'm sure, always felt under his scrutiny. Whenever Jon was not around for whatever reason, her mood was always much more relaxed.
So there we were at work one bright Friday morning. I remember it was a Friday because we typically worked four 10-hour days and had Fridays thru Sundays off. So Friday was our weekend, but we sometimes had to pull a few hours of overtime, such as that particular Friday.
The mood was relaxed and a bit goofy as it could often be. Jon had brought donuts, so we were enjoying those before digging into our work. Nancy wasn't there as these were extra hours, but she'd told us she would stop by and check in.
Eventually, she showed up, clearly shaken up by something. She explained how she'd been in "a little fender bender" the evening before. It was her fault, and she'd taken full responsibility.
Nancy typically wore her hair parted on one side and swept away from her forehead. That morning, she still had the part, but let her bangs fall a bit. At a certain angle, we could see a bandage on her forehead.
She summarized her ordeal to us, making light of any physical harm to her. I could tell she was leaving out some details, but she clearly felt bad about what had happened.
As soon as she left the room, Jon spoke up.
"Didja see her forehead?!"
"I think she's got stitches!"
"She must've really hit her head hard!"
Listening to and watching Jon, my concern turned to not just Nancy, but now also to Jon. HE was clearly shaken up about what happened to Nancy - his "nemesis". The guy really cared.
Several months later, Jon took a vacation - a trip to California to visit an old flame. Long story short, it was a "cold" California for Jon. He gave us a somewhat curt rundown of events on his first day back, then immersed himself in work.
As soon as he left the room, Nancy spoke up.
"Sounds like [what's her face] was just leading him on"
"B*tch better hope I never run into her..."
SHE was clearly shaken up about what happened to Jon - her "nemesis". She really cared.
For the most part, Jon and Nancy carried on as I'd always known. He being condescending toward her and bristling when she would refer to us as "my people". She dropping little reminders that he was, in fact, one of "her people".
But I knew.
Those two loved each other.
Linking up again with Mama Kat for the prompt:
4. Write a blog post inspired by the word: heart.