Interviews, second round, the company flew me in. I'm professional and pretty in pale blue suit, navy pumps. Two preschoolers at home, their father gone - another story - I'm desperate for a good job. Friends are babysitting. I'm feeling lucky.
Gorgeous man's chatting me up. Short but tall enough. Dark, curly hair. My age. Single - the only unmarried forty-year-old left on earth! He's worked for them before, hoping for a managerial position this time. Asks me to dinner.
Evening, my room, prepping. Haven't dated in a coon's age - can't afford babysitters, no time. I pencil on new eyebrows, wipe them off, they look wacko. Lubricate contact lenses, wait, watch television, the news, then a documentary about HIV - you can't be too careful. He calls - meet him there. Thought he'd stand me up.
Dinner - pasta - I stare into his deep brown eyes, and I know - he's THE ONE! After, we stroll, arms locked, bodies hot and electric. He kisses me. I'm dying! More!
I want to take you to my room and kiss you right, he purrs.
My kids. HIV. My stomach ache. No, I whisper reluctantly.
I was hired. The children and I moved. I told my new colleagues about HIM. Sounds like so-and-so from several years ago, they said. But HE was married, had kids.
Christmas. We were on the plane, seated. Down the aisle HE strode, with pregnant wife and four kids.
He said hello.