At this point, I moved into a room from a Craig’s List ad and really had nothing except the clothes on my back. I was pretty lost to say the least, but thankful for the chance to start over. How, though? I was living among strangers and my cash flow sucked. How do people start over after a decade of set living? And this nightmare I left wasn’t truly over. I still had a divorce to get through with someone who wasn’t reasonable or stable to start with.

I had went back to school to be a Medical Assistant to reclaim some of the compassion and self worth combat and years of abuse took from me. To graduate, I had to extern at my local hospital or its attached clinic. I knew a few folks and for the first time in years, I was in a position to go after something I was hungry for. I started working, for free for the education, in a family medicine department. I was pretty gun shy working around so many women. Years of being beaten down by one will do that.

Work started promptly at 7 am, but they didn’t turn on the office phones until 8. In an effort to stay in good graces and keep this externship, I needed to have a point of contact if my car gave me problems. The chick at the front desk seemed pretty nice, so I explained that I had to be able to call in, if needed, before work. She agreed and gave me her cell number, just in case I needed it. She was Kristen.

She was attractive, but I was pretty far from that sort of thing, for sure. As the weeks rolled on, I graduated and the clinic seemed pretty impressed with what they saw, so they hired me. I spent my lunches during that time in the staff break room and it was a lot of girl talk. That talk was usually broken up by Kristen who had some story about a date that went wrong that weekend that she had to do something extreme to get rid of some guy in some humorous manner, etc, etc, etc.

She was funny as hell. I thought maybe she might have been a bit shallow, but maybe that was just a response to some empty parts in her life. She was never, ever angry. That really caught me. We worked in a form of customer service and she never got angry. She was just a nice soul, if perhaps a ridiculous bullshitter.

She played up the shit-showy, single life like a champ. It was one story after another about some guy she got to kick to the curb. “One and done!” she’d say. Yeah, this chick seemed like a hot mess without a doubt, but there was some fun about her that I liked being around. Everyone enjoyed her energy. Even in her bullshit, she was never malicious. Ever. And knowing a chick who I thought might have had her own issues and was still good to people, that was super refreshing…

Rory Andes