- Fiona (40) worked an additional job as a delivery person to make ends meet during the pandemic.
- She made friends with a kind couple who was always generous with her.
- All was well until the day she made a delivery to the couple's home, only to find that the husband was getting intimate with another woman.
- The man gave her a huge tip, which she believes was to buy her silence.
- Here's Fiona's story as told to Alex Morrissey
I rang the doorbell and forced a smile. It was my first night on the job at a food delivery service where people ordered their meals through an app.
The pay wasn’t great, but I’d been struggling to make ends meet after my husband, and I had split. My income as a receptionist didn’t do any more than paying the rent.
So, I bought a bike off eBay and got started in my spare time.
At first, I was daunted by the thought of entering strangers’ homes, but most just took their meal and skedaddled without so much as a ‘hello’ or ‘thank you!
It suited me: I was only paid per delivery, so time was money.
But when I arrived at a leafy townhouse, I was greeted by a man in his 40s, with a thick mop of black hair and horn-rimmed glasses. He introduced himself as Dario.
“My wife and I never used to get home delivery,” he said as I handed over a brown paper bag containing his meals. “But we’re just so exhausted from work that we allow ourselves to be lazy once a week. First-world problems, right?”
I couldn’t help but like him. We got chatting and, a moment later, his wife came to the door and introduced herself as Julia. She was beautiful and had such a sweet personality.
“So, what’s for dinner?” I asked. Julia explained they were vegetarian and had ordered a pasta bake and Greek salad. I felt a tinge of jealousy. I wished I had their life instead of working my butt off just to cover the bills and pay the rent on my crumby flat.
After saying goodbye, I noticed my phone flash: Dario and Julia had given me a $15 (R219) tip! It was so generous. How could I have ever felt resentment towards them?
I got to know them a bit better over the next few weeks. They always ordered the same meal each Thursday.
Julia even invited me in for a cuppa one night, but I couldn’t afford to slow down.
“You’re lucky to have such a nice husband,” I told her, thinking about what a scumbag mine had turned out to be.
“He’s a real sweetie,” she said with a smile. Two weeks later, I arrived at their door, but no one answered. I knocked again and waited. I swore I heard moaning inside.
Peering through the nearby window, I saw a woman with red hair. Julia was blonde.
Surely not... I looked at the receipt on the delivery bag: two Chicken Pad Thai. So much for being vegetarian! But the address and name were correct.
That moment, Dario appeared looking flustered, the buttons on his shirt undone.
“Thanks, Fiona,” he said, hastily trying to close the door. “Um... say hi to Julia for me,” I said,
a little snidely before getting on my bike.
Afterwards, I saw that Dario had given me a $100 (R1 500) tip.
It was huge, but I was outraged. I was sure it was to ensure I kept my mouth shut.
I’m ashamed to say that I kept the money simply out of necessity.
I still feel guilty about it and could never stomach the thought of returning to Dario and Julia’s home, so I’ve stopped working on Thursdays simply to avoid them.
I just hope Julia finds out about her man’s wicked ways - she deserves much better.
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