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Flash Forward 7 years


Maggie was headed to a real date. She was nervous because though she had gone out with men from dating sites that hopelessly crashed, burned, and annoyed her, this guy was real. He was flesh and blood. He was a hardworking big, bear of a man. She wasn’t attracted to him physically at first, but that would change.

Michael got out of his Jeep at the best restaurant the small town possessed. It was where everyone who was anyone dined. He was out to impress Maggie, so he was pulling out all of the stops. She drove up next to his Jeep and parked her Miata, the car that she had named Prozac because it basically served the same purpose…only better.

They were seated at a table in the middle of the crowded room. Local gawkers were taking mental notes for their gossip stream the next day. Michael was taking out Maggie, the two-time loser, whose first husband would rather be gay than be with her, and the second whose actions had so shocked her that her personality had changed literally overnight. Everyone looked at the big red-headed, bear of a man with pity. What the heck was he doing with her. The only answer that made sense was that he was ignorant of her past. Or maybe he was just going to use her like all of the others had.

She wasn’t bad looking and though she could use to lose a few pounds, particularly the beer-gut, she showed all of the signs of being depressed. She was an easy score. Maggie was very nervous about the potential of a stable life with a good man. She had carefully observed his behavior around her, and he seem to be very caring.  And as far as business was concerned, he displayed a rare integrity and loyalty to the company. She admired him for that.

“I have been wanting to ask you out since I first saw you at the Safety Meeting in October.” Michael confessed, making him seem somewhat vulnerable in her eyes.

“You were in that meeting?” Maggie asked honestly not realizing he was there. She really hadn’t noticed him until he started bringing unnecessary samples to the lab for testing. She ran them without question thinking she just didn’t really understand the process as well as she thought. Now, however, it all started to make sense.

“That day, I decided I was going to ask you out. I already knew you were single. That kind of news travels fast. There were guys who actually bet on who would be able to lay you first. Don’t get a big head though, they do that with every new hire.” He said matter-of-factly.

In her mind, Maggie thought, wow, does this guy really know what he just said? Then she thought about the experience she’d already had with a married man there. Because of safety, some men didn’t wear wedding bands. A particularly handsome man had engaged her in conversation soon after she was hired. He was successful, smart and really nice. She was thrilled with the attention. As a bonus, he had construction experience and he volunteered to help her fix her house. It was falling apart around her due to being a dual income residence where there was now only one income.

He was the proverbial Knight in Shining Armor. Excited with the prospect, Maggie talked to friends that she knew were related to the people he boasted about working construction jobs for.  Her excitement fizzled quickly when she found out the truth.  She cancelled his visit to her home just hours before it occurred. He was married. She was upset, but not surprised. She was shocked when she found out he had not even considered that she wouldn't be okay with it.

She had been pegged as a whore from the minute she walked onto the property. It was a crushing blow to her ego. But Michael never seemed to look at her in the same way as the others. She felt maybe she could trust him. She wanted so badly to be able to trust him. Her loneliness was becoming unbearable.

After the meal and a lot of small talk, Maggie and Michael slowly walked back to the parking lot. As they approached his vehicle, she thought fit him perfectly. Its shape mimicked his human form. It was both rugged and cute at the same time. Michael stretched his arms out wide indicating he was about to hug her. She craved his body on hers, so she reciprocated with vigor. “I’ll see you at work tomorrow.” He said with his slight lisp.

“Absolutely.” She replied sounding more businesslike and less personable than she wanted. He watched her climb down into her small car, start it, and drive away.

Unfortunately for her, Michael knew Maggie was not the one, but she would be a good distraction until that woman came along.

Submitted: September 10, 2019

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