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Trust Never After

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Máire Wirkkala woke with a start. As anguish tore through her heart, she jumped from the upholstered chair in her bedroom. She must have dozed off after she placed the last item in her bag and dropped into the armchair to rest. Eight days of packing had taken its toll. She slammed her suitcase closed and stretched out next to it on the bed. Her arm swung over her eyes. Would the vision ever leave her mind? Fatigue gripped her body as she pulled herself upright again, keeping tears at bay.


She hated to go home, but what else could she do? She couldn’t pay bills without a job, and jobs were tight in Minneapolis—even for someone with a finance degree. Plus, she no longer had a roommate to share expenses. But it wasn’t so much her predicament which plagued her. It was—stop! She would not think about it again.


Máire stood and turned to face the window, which looked out from her second-floor apartment to the street in front of the building. The rain had stopped, but the wet pavement matched her cheeks. She grabbed a tissue from the box on her nightstand and dried her face.


As she gazed out, the rain clouds moved on and streaks of coral from the setting sun appeared across the blue sky. How long had she been asleep? She shook her head to clear the heartbreaking vision seeping its way back into her thoughts. Get over it. She was a failure, and that was that. What had she done wrong? Or not done? No. I did the right thing.


Now she’d have to start her career all over in the town where she’d grown up. Mum and Da had been so sweet and understanding about everything. If it hadn’t been for their insistence that she come home and regroup, where might she have wound up?


Her life was in shambles. Would it ever get better? Turning on her heel, Máire marched out of the box-filled room and into the bathroom. Her overnight bag sat on the hamper, the room otherwise devoid of Máire’s personal items.


Tears continued to stream. She dried them with the paper towels she’d placed on the sink and peered into the mirror. “How could I have made such a mess of my life? Well, it’s over now.” It was time to pick up the pieces and start anew. But how could she get over—? She’d never trust any man again.


She shuffled to her bedroom, closed the door, and fell onto the bed. When would this pain stop? She rolled onto her side and curled her legs into a fetal position.

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