It was getting cold. I clutched my unzipped jacket to my throat and hurried into the store. I couldn't believe it. What was I doing? I swallowed hard and my eyes stung. Guilt strangled. I could barely breathe. It was as though I had had a torrid affair leaving a tangle of sheets behind. Weeks before my husband of more than 36 years passed away suddenly. It was clear that the man with the bulging forearms would be used selfishly for my own gain of security. Whispers of love would not reach into this man's heart. It would not be a tale of true love like the relationship with my husband, but one of convenience; an arrangement.
Picking through the Pink Lady apples in the produce section, I plopped them into my bag one by one. I don't need a man. I don't need a man. The current political climate helped me to muster my strength as a female and convince myself that I could manage on my own and acknowledge the fear pulsing through every cell of my being. I was alone in my future. The once blissful life spent walking with my husband hand in hand and picnicking in the warm summer sun cooled by a sea breeze was no more. My world was on shaky ground. Life alone at best was uncertain. I can do this, I thought as I lifted the hatch of my Prius and hoisted the bags of groceries into the car. Slamming the back closed, Wait, I thought with a sudden shift of perception, It is not that I can do this, but that I AM doing this.