1. a total desertion of or departure from one’s religion, principles, party, cause, etc.

There are few occasions when it seems appropriate to hide along the bottom shelf of the cereal aisle in Target, pretending as if your favorite brand of granola is somehow stuck all the way in the back behind the identical boxes you’ve shoved aside.

Terrorists running lose in Target? I’d gladly hide among boxes of overpriced cereal, but this was worse.


I winced. Today would’ve been the day I would’ve gladly climbed onto the shelf just to avoid the man in front of me. And it had nothing to do with the petite woman whose hand he was holding.

I plastered a smile on my face.

“Hey Ben…” I said, trying to be pleasant.

“I thought that was you, but I wasn’t sure until you looked up,” he said, grinning widely.

Mentally I kicked myself for missing the obvious. If someone calls your name and you don’t respond then they probably presume they’re mistaken or you’ve somehow lost your hearing. Either way, they’ll leave you alone.

I grinned and nodded while trying to think of ways to leave.

Ben came about during my short stint of apostasy in which I decided it was close minded of me to say no to blind dates and only go out with mature men who had full-time jobs and ambition. It was a cocktail for disaster that almost cost me my job.

We hadn’t seen each other in 10 months and it never occurred to me that we’d cross paths again.

“So,” he said, “are you still working at that super oppressive place?”

He turned to the young woman at his right. She looked 18.

“Marie was working for these really crazy people who were always  uptight and stressing her about stuff that won’t matter in hundreds of years,” he said with a laugh.

His eyes were bloodshot and his clothes reeked; I could tell he was off.

“Hi, I’m Marie,” I said to the young woman. “And yes, I still work at a law firm helping resolve custody battles so children can be raised in safe environments. If you ever need a restraining order I can give you my card?”

“I’m Kessie,” she said. “Ben and I are going to adopt a cat soon and we want to make sure he has a good home, too.”

I nodded and stepped backwards feeling as if time had stalled.

“Marie used to work on the weekends, too,” he said with disgust.  My temper flared.

“Yeah, I unintentionally adopted a grown man who thought having a job was too stressful,” I explained a little louder than I had intended. “He ate everything.”

“Still stressed, Marie?” He was all innocence now. “I tried to help you relax, remember?”

“You could’ve gotten me fired,” I screamed.

I calmed myself.

“Okay, this was unfortunate, but I’ll be going now,” I said, backing away. “And Kessie, the offer for the restraining order still stands.”

She released a bubbly laugh.

I sighed and shook my head. Women fall away every day.






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