We spoke later that night and again the next day and he asked if he could see me again. We agreed on Monday night football, which as I’ve mentioned I love. I requested a low-key spot where no one would recognize me from Saturday night, but he asked if I would come to his place since he had to work late. Hmm….his place? You mean cause now my defenses are down and I would be unsuspecting of him being a serial killer because he brought me home drunk and was a perfect gentleman? My paranoia was awakened, but not on high alert. There was something much less sinister about jolly guy and much more fun then the rest. He sounded genuine about just wanting to hang out and was probably a little nervous about me having a repeat of the other night and being close to home wouldn’t be such a bad idea. So fine. Monday night came and I was finally feeling better from the weekend extravaganza and around 9 I got in my car and headed up his way. He lived about twenty minutes from me and as I got off the highway it felt like I had driven to out of New Jersey and into some backwoods area and there the paranoia was again. What am I thinking? Dark roads, lots of hills and open space and woods. This would be the perfect spot to disappear and never be seen again. God I hoped he wasn’t a serial killer. Please let this one NOT be a serial killer. I arrived at his house and parked on what looked like a large mound of dirt pretending to be a driveway. I was hoping that was not where he buried the bodies of all the other girls that came to visit. He came to the door with a cute smile and gave me a kiss and a glance up and down and then began to laugh. And then I laughed. And then we went inside. He offered me a glass of wine to which I agreed to only one and thankfully was smart enough to eat dinner beforehand. We watched some of the game, but he wanted to talk. And at that moment, after what I had already put him through and the way I saw him looking at me, I knew I had to tell him what a real mess I was past just the too much to drink episode. So I began. I began my story about being married and divorced a few times, I told my story about being unlucky in love. I told my story of why I couldn’t meet him back in July or August. I told him about what I had been living through with my daughter and my kids and my life for the past few years. I told him about dreads and gingham and friend guy. I told him everything I could possibly think of and let him ask questions. A few times I could see horror flash across his face and at times disappointment. I am sure he was not expecting all the downloaded information I gave him. It was a lot to digest and I knew that. But here was a guy who had driven me an hour home, made sure I was ok and then wanted to see me again and get to know me and not let one bad night ruin the chances of better ones to come. I owed him my story. At the very least I owed him the opportunity to make an informed decision about me. I could see the sparkle in his eye when he looked at me. I knew he was attracted to me, but it was more than that and I didn’t have the heart to wait and spring it on him after he possibly developed feelings for me. Here I was, totally exposed, telling someone I just met all my dirty laundry and watching as the shine left his eyes. I braced myself for him to tell me it was too much and thanks for stopping by but that’s not something I think I can handle. So I said “There you have it, that’s my real life story” And then he smiled and surprised me yet again. He nervously looked down at his watch and then looked up at me and said “Real life stories, make for real life people. I’m looking for something real” He walked me to my car, kissed me goodnight and stood there in the doorway smiling as I drove away. I drove home with a smile bigger than one I had had in a very very long time.