Burn, Baby, Burn

Instead of watching the fireworks with family and friends, I was sitting in a dive bar chain smoking and drowning my sorrows in Long Island Iced Teas.

I dragged my friend, Judy, along with me.

Everyone knows misery loves an audience and a designated driver.

It had been a year to the day since the last time I saw Sam.

A year since he {literally} dumped me at Super America.

A year of pushing people away.

A year of honing my self defense mechanisms – a sense of humor and a high tolerance for alcohol.

In my typical self-deprecating manner, I was rehashing the entire “relationship” with Judy.

{Yes, I meant to put quotation marks around relationship. Just like Sam meant to sleep with every stripper in a 30 mile radius of Fort Bragg.}

I noticed two guys walk in but I didn’t have on my man trolling jeans or my red lipstick. Therefore the patented Ms. Wasteland flirtation treatment was repressed for the night.

Judy and I continued our banter as the guys ambled up to the bar.

I pulled yet another cigarette from the crumpled pack and fumbled in my purse for a lighter.

From behind me I heard, “Let me get that for you.”

Now in my head this next part played out like a scene from a Lifetime movie.

I’m sure the reality was less than stellar.

{Come to think of it, so are Lifetime movies but that’s a whole ‘notha Oprah.}

I whirled around on my barstool and tossed my hair over one shoulder.

“Since when do you smoke, Sam?”

It was the Fourth of July.

And I would see fireworks before the night was over.

And they would burn me.

Again and again.