“Men are a dreadful bore.” My sister, Ellie, used to say. She spent most of her good years attending luxurious balls, drinking herself half to death and smoking her beautifully carved pipe. Ma told me to stay away from her. She was a disgrace to our family.

“Men will waltz into your life.” She told me. “They will utter sweet nothings. They will make you drink the elixir of love. But don’t be fooled, little sister. They tire quickly. Soon you will be nothing but a memory.”

And when I frowned she took my face into her hands and kissed my cheeks. “No man can love you more than Ma. No man can love you more than I do. Do not stay long enough for your heart to break. Think of men as toys. When one breaks or displays a flaw, go get you a new one. The way they play with us, is the same way we’ll play with them. Don’t ever forget this.”

And I never did.


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