I Almost Killed A Married Man

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I Almost Killed A Married Man
Heartbreak

As I was driving through a windswept rain pelting my Toyota, I texted Laura, “I almost killed a married man tonight.” My friend shot back, “What a shame.” I grinned knowing what she meant. Although I was maneuvering a learning curve in life, I slammed on my brakes that night understanding I was still being naïve after living as a divorcee for eight years.

There was no white space on his ring finger where a wedding band might’ve been. I let him off real easy. I didn’t want blood all over my bitten fingernails. That is how stupid I felt for becoming yet another “The Other Woman” for an afternoon.

I let a man think all I was worth was the two candy bars he rushed into a Hess station to purchase and then later found out, while we were kissing like teenagers in the back seat of a car, that he was wedded to a woman he called a “nag” and was probably still married to her.

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On the way home from the small upstate community that I used to live in, I threw the Hershey bars out the window into oncoming traffic. Although a severe chocoholic, I needed to cleanse myself of his scent left all over the wrappers. I had to remind gullible me I was worth more than a gas station hop for a gift from a man who was a husband with a wife.

Maybe I deserved this. I always made the wrong choices, going left when I should’ve gone right.

Living in that Hudson Valley town, I had allowed myself to be so repeatedly hurt by men that I thought of becoming a member of the Lonely Hearts Club. It got to the point all this Hebrew school teacher wanted for Christmas was not mistletoe and stockings carefully hung by the mantle with care but garlic to ward away the heartbreak. As I blared the radio’s lovesick music, I screamed out loud how my beagle’s kisses after she licked her private parts would’ve been better than thinking about his tongue all over my lips.

My lover, Peter, owned an auto body shop where I went to get a glass window replaced.

After locking the keys in the car, the police suggested it would be cheaper for me to smash the window than to call a locksmith. They even showed me how to do it. Loverboy and I hit it off real well from the start.

He offered me some cold McDonald’s french fries he had sitting on his desk for hours; I said I preferred Snickers. A pretty young girl walked in. In his forties, Peter said she wouldn’t be interested in him because he didn’t have money, but wanted to know if Pretty Girl was more my type.

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Several months after a series of flats, I drove around without a spare tire. The donut on the front passenger side blew out on a major highway late one night. I couldn’t afford to replace it. Peter gave me a good deal on the window situation. So I figured I'd try him for a tire.  

As we flirted, the cost went down. He was friendly, teasing me about my predicament and would have the wheel at a good price the next day. The mood of the conversation left me curious as to whether this was going to be more than just picking up an auto part. Later while driving, I was so excited I don’t remember if I went over a bridge.

A long drive, 40 miles. I kept checking my appearance, straightening my mini skirt, wishing my teeth looked whiter.

I couldn’t comb my hair, the brush fell in a puddle of dog pee as I was running out to my car in my boots. I decided to stop for gum. Fifteen minutes before I got to the shop, Peter called to say the part never arrived. Since I was close by, he asked if I could come by anyway, he’d make it up to me. It was late afternoon, and instead of possible dinner out, he asked if I could follow him to drop off a car so he could get a ride back. I should’ve just done laundry.

Peter looked at me as if I was dessert for the shrimp scampi I was never to get. He eyed my outfit and said I was killing him. I thought maybe this guy had the potential to grow into the relationship I had been searching for, someone to love me back as much as I would love him.

When he handed me the king size bars, I placed the dark and milk versions in my bag. For some people, chocolate is an aphrodisiac. For me, it is a sedative and I wanted to stay excited by a good looking man’s attention. Peter even complimented me on my driving. No one ever did. I started to wonder about his intentions. I was hoping stalling wasn’t among them. If I knew he had a wife at home, I would’ve slammed the brakes.

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Outside the shop, we sat in my Corolla. As we teased each other about how he should make up not having the tire, I kept thinking to myself, “Just kiss me all ready.” We talked about his shop, me, whatever came to mind. Baiting each other, Peter wasn’t leaving and I wouldn’t throw him back to his shop. No man had kissed me in over two years. I wondered if I remembered how to. Does a woman turn her head a certain way? Do both people close their eyes while smooching?

My body sparked, my face burned when he brushed my hair behind my ears with his fingers and complimented me on my earrings.

He said he was just a mechanic and could not figure out if they were real diamonds. I responded, "You don’t ask a woman that question." Peter leaned toward me. His broad shoulders enveloped my body as his kisses went from tentative and playful to very quickly with all his strength around my lips and ears. I ran my fingers through his hair and around his back, yet managed to keep his hands from under my hood.

I don’t know why while I thought I finally had a man who wanted to be with me as much as I wanted to be with him that I suddenly said, “You better not be married. I’ll kill ya if you’re married.” But I’m relieved I said that through all the kisses.

Peter stopped, pulled away and said, “I thought I told you that I am the last time we saw each other.” In the dark, I screamed, “Get out. Go away.” He said, “My wife is a nag; she's the worst.” Instead of my hunger being taken care of, it sounded like he was the one in heat without a way to relieve himself. I wondered how many other women heard those words. I yelled, “Goodbye,” and thought that was pretty nice of me to do.

With the defroster on and the music wailing away with breakup songs, I drove away alone.

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Midway back towards my home in the woods, I ignored a call from him, rolled down my window and threw what he thought an hour was worth with me was worth: those two candy bars.

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