I almost killed a married man

As I was driving through the drizzle of wind blowing my Toyota, I texted Laura, “I almost killed a married man tonight.” My friend replied, “What a shame.” I smiled knowing what she meant. Even though I was maneuvering life’s learning curve, I hit the brakes that night to realize I was naive after living as a divorcee for eight years.

There was no white space on his ring finger where a wedding ring could be. I left it really easy. I didn’t want blood on my bitten nails. That’s how I felt stupid for becoming “the other woman” this afternoon.

I let a man think that all I deserved was a couple of candy he rushed to the Hess station to buy and later found out, while we kissed like teens in the back seat of the car, that he was related to a woman he called “Grumble” and she was probably still married to.

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On my way home from the small rural community I lived in, I threw Hershey bars out the window toward oncoming traffic. Despite my heavy addiction to chocolate, I needed to cleanse myself of its smell left in all the wrappers. I had to remind the naive that I was more valuable than a gas station for a gift from a man who was a husband to a wife.

Maybe he deserved this. I was always making the wrong choices, turning left when I should have gone well.

When I lived in the town of Hudson Valley, I allowed myself to be abused so frequently by men that I considered becoming a member of the Lonely Hearts Club.

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