By Laura McHale Holland
She worried as she walked the buckled pavement past broken storefront windows, dangling fire escapes and leaning Victorians. She worried, but not about the safety of her husband and children, nor the condition of her home. The crew that pried the doors off the streetcar holding her and a slew of screaming passengers said the epicenter was 100 miles away; local damage had been minimal, all things considered.
She worried about the kiss. The kiss from a stranger who drew her close as the streetcar erupted in turmoil. As the car shook and shrieked like a pig headed for slaughter, the man who had been quietly texting in the seat beside her gave her a Rhett Butler kiss. And when she thought she was losing everything in the world she holds dear, she kissed him back. She kissed him back with all the fire of Scarlet O’Hara.
She knew as soon as the rumbling died down and the streetcar stopped rocking, when she and the stranger disentangled and averted their eyes, she knew she could never tell her husband about the kiss. And she worried the secret would plague her marriage like antibiotic resistant bacteria eating through tender flesh.