Glancing down at her phone at the words, “I want you” . . . she just had to smile. Was he serious? Truly, those three words were words any woman would long to hear, but at this moment in time they could have been any three words, really. It wasn’t that she wasn’t flattered; any woman would likely be flattered to know that they were desired at least that’s what she thought anyway. Say what you will about egos and such, being desired is still the one thing that seems to get top billing, and yet . . . she could care less. So she simply didn’t respond, not because she wanted to leave it unanswered but because she simply didn’t know what to say.

The days of engaging in irrational behavior, where she would let her guard down and get involved with a married man were things of the past. She had made the decision to respect herself quite awhile ago, in fact she prided herself on helping others to learn the art of treating themselves with self respect, so how could she possibly let her guard down and allow someone who whether he realized it or not, was asking her to step so far down into the bottom of the barrel, the place where self-loathing would ultimately become the normal pass time? She wouldn’t dare.

Funny how life is, when you reach the point of no return and you decide to honor yourself in a way that you were not necessarily raised to do. She should be celebrating with a bottle of the finest champagne because as messed up as her life was at the moment, as crazy as things had become, as much as a failure as she was in the eyes of those who measured success by dollars and cents, she had reached the highest peak at that moment. That moment, being the one where she knew she deserved more . . . so much more, than to be involved with someone who was not free to offer all of himself, not free to give all of himself and wanted nothing more than to have her be a dirty little secret. Yes, she knew she was so much more.

So this Christmas, despite being alone, and not having the things so many cherish at least in any true tangible means, she was perhaps at the greatest place she’d ever been. She was aware that she was a person of value. There is, I would imagine, no finer place on earth she had ever been, and now that she’d made it here there was no turning back.

As she pulled up to the drive, she took a moment to look at her phone again. Just as she picked up the phone, the bell that alerted of an incoming text chimed. “Afraid to answer?” She smiled, and threw her phone into her bag. She had cookies to bake. After all it was Christmas time.