Things are not always as they seem. For instance, I once knew a man who’d been convicted of murder. Multiple murders, they claimed. He was quite an interesting guy actually, artistic and intelligent, with a unique sense of humor. I wasn’t sure if he was guilty of the crimes or not, but everyone else seemed to think so. By the time I met him, he’d served his time, been released, and landed a job - same place I worked. We worked together, sometimes just the two of us, usually late into the night.
Everybody told me I was crazy for working alone with him, but I didn’t really see a problem. He seemed to be a nice enough guy. Although... He did have a habit, when giving other workers a directive, of saying, “Do it, or I’ll kill you!”
I think he said it just to see the look on their face. Everyone knew his story and his words served to intimidate them. They did what they were told without arguing or complaining. But me, I don’t respond well to intimidation. And, one night when he used the line, I said, “No, you won’t.”
He looked surprised at first and then asked, “What makes you so sure? There’s nobody else here. There’d be no witnesses.”
I said, “Everybody knows I’m here and that you’re here. If anything happened to me, you’d be the first and only suspect. You just got out of prison; I don’t think you want to go back. Besides, I haven’t done anything to make killing me necessary. There would be no point.”
He laughed. “You’re right.”
We continued working together for another year or so and got along great. He was nice as could be and never “threatened” to kill me again. Still, people thought I was a little nuts for staying at my job. But hey, you can’t really choose your co-workers. And the fact that I’m still here proves that I really had nothing to worry about.
Oh! I almost forgot. Things really aren’t always what they seem. A few years later, I heard the guy had gone back to prison - and for quite a long time. The reason? Killing someone.