Eleven Miles

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Remastered Edition


Confession #9

Shell Out

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As I said before, I just wanted to spend a pleasant day on the lake. I had no intention of meeting some uncultured stranger along the shoreline. Maybe those girls who never bruise want attention, but I wasn’t interested. I couldn’t take another round of heartbreak, or regret, or anything of the type. Yet something inside of me forced a smile when Richard jogged up to the shore to greet me.

I think I was just surprised. Most of the guys I’d met before Richard had found me on a park bench while I was shedding tears or wiping my nose after they’d dried. There might have been a few exceptions—okay, many where the desperate horndog saw me at a grocery store and thought I’d make for a good rockin’. But most of them introduced themselves when they could play upon my vulnerability, as if that would validate their own sense of manliness. Richard, unlike the rest, wasn’t looking for me. He just wanted to get onto my Jet Ski.

I’ll admit his intrusion shocked me. When he ran up and asked me about my personal watercraft, I assumed he was acting interested only to get in good with me. So I was cold toward him. But when he kept babbling about the Jet Ski and how he’d never seen anything so amazing, I suddenly felt jealous. His disinterest in me should’ve relieved me, considering the problems I’d dealt with before that day, but it left me grumpy.

I suppose there was no good reason to feel that way. A guy was interested in a part of me that didn’t involve screwing with my heart, and that should’ve made me happy. It didn’t, though. To my own surprise, I wanted to be the more important body on that shoreline. At one point, I even jutted my hip toward him to catch his eyes. But they never wavered from the watercraft.

After about twenty minutes, I decided that maybe his lust for my Jet Ski would end if I’d just let him ride it. It turned out I had made the right decision. Maybe my internal vengeance against my exes was kicking in, but I laughed as I watched the beginner wipe out every other minute. Seeing the waves mix with that splash of falling orange—it was like an artist’s masterpiece coming to life—but on the set of Benny Hill. Once he finally brought it back to the shoreline, it took all my strength to stifle my laughter. The water dripping over his goofy smile was priceless. Fortunately, I kept my composure. And sure enough, he started talking about the ride with full passion—okay, he raved over it—the second his feet touched dry land. That’s when I invited him to dinner. I had to know I was exciting, too.

A sensible woman would’ve remained cautious throughout the entire encounter, both initially and thereafter. I knew the pains I’d felt before—pains that resurfaced time and again. But I managed to forget every occurrence. A new guy would show up, often under the same conditions, and I’d fall into the same trap. It had gotten so bad that I had to move out of my apartment just to escape the madness.