They Can Fix Anything Except A Broken Heart (Flash Fiction Continued)

This is the 2nd half of the story. The first half is here.

When Patel first took over from Mahaul, it was quite a difficult situation. Mahaul is a wonderful engineer and I can’t help admiring his unbelievable skills. Not only that, he likes to teach people about cars and he’s a great teacher. However, people like me have no talent for machines and his expert knowledge couldn’t get into my machine-impervious ears. Mahaul has it all–he is handsome, he is intelligent, he is good mannered not only in a sociable way but also with sensitivity and kindness mingled together. He could have worked as an engineer in a big company, but I think he is too independent for that. He loves cars and loves the work he does. Also he truly enjoys helping people solve problems and telling people about cars.

The slowdown during the pandemic was too much for Mahaul to bear. So he sold the shop to his disciple Patel. When Patel first became the owner, Mahaul started to come in for only four hours in the morning and leave by noon time. One day last year, I came in to get an oil change in the afternoon and witnessed Patel’s helplessness without Mahaul’s guidance. Several customers surrounded Patel with questions and Patel didn’t know what to do. “I haven’t had my lunch yet.” He said in a despairing tone as if he’s asking for mercy. I felt really bad, not only about Patel’s day without lunch, but also about the future of the auto shop. The place is not going to last long in this way. The customers will go elsewhere and the auto shop, after surviving the devastating financial blow from the pandemic, will have to close within a year or two. That was my diagnose and forecast.

And I am so happy that my forecast is wrong. Obviously Patel has taken the steps or the risks to advertising in local newspapers to enlarge his client base. The result is that he is getting a lot of businesses from new clients. Mahaul, who might have had a plan to go working for somebody else, is persuaded to come back to work full time.

And this just makes me admire Mahaul even more. I have witnessed many small business owners who will never work for his or her former employees for fear of “losing face” as a former boss. However Mahaul has no such hubris. He has such adorable qualities that many people will never have. He is happily working for Patel now, with no hint of “boss pride” in him.

Mahaul and Patel are the wonderful people who are good to themselves and good to each other. Their cooperation, lasting for more than a decade already, is going to continue with their sweetness of temper, gentleness of manner, keenness in business, expertise in skills. They would survive any whims of fate, any vicissitude of life.

And they are the kind of normal people I should gravitate towards. They are the people who will keep me sane and help me mentally defend myself against narcissists. Yes, narcissists would torture themselves and torture people around them. It doesn’t matter if it is a family environment, a workplace, a project, a condo or co-op board, a school or whatever, a narcissist can turn it toxic and intolerable. A narcissist will make all the selfish decisions to make a cooperation onerous and arduous for others; make people want to have another conversation with normal people in order to recuperate from a narcissistic conversation; make easy time impossible to enjoy and make hard time impossible to endure. Eventually, most narcissists would implode. If we are not careful, we might get unwittingly attracted into their orbit and live to regret it…

9 thoughts on “They Can Fix Anything Except A Broken Heart (Flash Fiction Continued)

    1. Thank you so much. That’s such a wonderful comment. And it is a true story that I thought they can’t last long, but they actually find their way to cope and survive the downturn caused by the pandemic. I just can’t praise them enough for their cooperation and their business acumen. And Mahul is such a nice man. He can survive anything since he is such a beautiful person…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, we all struggle to make things work and I have witnessed people being so creative in their approach towards business. It really makes me feel so good about the immigrant experience, which is challenging at times and which is also rewarding…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Good lesson at the end there. It’s important to surround yourself with good people. But the problem is when we spend our life growing up around narcissists we always get pulled towards them even as adults.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true. Tell you what, I often have to go against what I am familiar with and comfortable with, which is another thing–how to go against being comfortable and still expect to be not uncomfortable. LOL. It feels like a mind game.

      Liked by 1 person

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