Monday, 12 April 2021

Career Widow

 

by Dawn DeBraal

cold tea

 

 

“It’s the last refrigerator we’ll ever need. ” Unfortunately, before the Bargain Barn warranty ran out on the refrigerator, Felix’s warranty ran out. He was my third husband. I resented the fact that I had some kind of defective gene radar that picked out husbands with multi-morbidity conditions. Was I a magnet to ill health?

Barbara Benning made me go to Bingo after months of mourning. I was known as the widow with bad luck. We were in the middle of a match when Ken sat down next to me.

I looked around; there were several empty seats around us. Why had he chosen me?

“B-3,” the caller said.

“Hi.”

“Sh-h-h,” several people looked angry. I held my finger up as if I were a librarian. Ken nodded that he understood. He needed to be serious about the game. I mean, we had one hundred senior citizens who paid five dollars per card to play. First place was two hundred and fifty dollars.

Ken played through the last call. Barbara properly introduced us.

“Do you come here often?” What a pickup line. I told him no that Barbara dragged me out of the house tonight, but after winning twenty dollars with the investment of five, I could be coaxed into coming back.

“How about you come next week, we’ll sit together.” The almost imperceptible wink. I was a little shocked, and I have to admit my heart did a little flutter.

I showed up the following week, minus Barbara. She had other plans. Ken met up with me, and we played the night on our cards. In between games, we exchanged stories. Ken was a widow, his wife Anne died six months before. We had that in common. His eye went up when I told him my third husband died; this time, it was a bum ticker. Cancer and a brain aneurysm took the other two.

“Should I be afraid?” He laughed, I fired back

“Only if you marry me.”

“I have been warned.” We continued to meet weekly at Bingo, which branched out into dinner before the games and a nightcap at each other’s houses. Ken was bright and sensitive. He was a wonderful man, and I couldn’t believe I was falling for him.

He popped the question while I was distracted.

“What?” I asked him, not believing he asked me.

“You heard me, Alvira. Do me the honor of being my wife.” I was flattered and couldn’t go to sleep. A week later, I gave him my response.

“Are you healthy?”

“As a horse.”

“Alright, I’ll marry you.”

A few short weeks later, we were married. A month later, I woke to my fourth dead husband. Barbara was shocked.

“Wow, you think after he attempted suicide last year, he would have taken care of himself better.”

“What?”

“Yes, he botched his suicide attempt. He asked me to introduce the two of you at Bingo.”

“Suicide?”

“He read about your situation, then he begged me to introduce you to him.”

 

About the author

Dawn DeBraal lives in rural Wisconsin with two rescue dogs and a stray cat. She was happy to discover that her love of telling a good story can also be put into written for. She has published over 300 stories, poems and drabbles. 

 

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