by Mistake (Poison & Wine #1) - Sigal Ehrlich

How can someone really resist this? My soup coated, oily lips stretch into an animated smile as I click on the email.

It’s been a while, man. I met Heather the other day and she gave me your new contact. Getting hacked is a huge bummer.

Heard you guys were seeing each other. Who would have thought, ah? Took you only about a decade to get your head out of your ass and realize that the Flamingo was your destiny, after all? She said that you’re leaving in a few days. Africa, man. I’m playing with the idea too. We might end up “serving” together again. Safe travels and keep in touch, you little shit.

Ps. Look what I found the other day, the good ol’ days.

I let out a little chuckle after reading the content. Feels a bit nosy, inappropriate and much stalker-ish reading a message that was intended for someone else, but well, it did land in my inbox. But then again, given I’m already invested I might as well have a peek at the attachment, get a sense of how the “good ol’ days” looked. I unload another spoonful of soup into my mouth, waiting for the image to upload.

Oh hi.

I give the photo a thorough scan, the tipping of my lips comes as a reflex. It’s an image of two guys in their late twenties, at a guess. They’re posing in the casual photo-bro-hug stance. Both fit and tall. Both sporting a white t-shirt with “Modern Day Slave” in black letters boasted on the front. The guy on the right is of the tall, dark, and handsome variety; the one on the left looks like the boy next door who’s grown into a fine-looking gentleman. They couldn’t look more different, yet both are more than easy on the eye, and that’s an understatement.

I’m not sure who this Flamingo person is, but respect, sister, for knowing these two. Not to mention dating one of them.

Okay then. The right thing to do as per common curtesy and monthly challenge protocol, is to let Mr. . . I narrow my eyes at the screen and frown. Who doesn’t sign their emails? Ok, time to let anonymous know that his email missed its destination.

Hi there, anonymous person who doesn’t sign his emails,

There must have been some mix-up and I got this email. By mistake, FYI. And I guess we don’t want Little Shit to miss this message, do we?

Beautiful day,


“The distance between your dreams and reality is called action.”

I shoot off the email, put the bowl in the dishwasher, and fill up the bath. After four advanced Pilates classes in a row, and aerobics, my muscles could really use some bath-soaking indulgence.

Tolkien and Hippies

Sonofabitch! I jerk back to check who just slapped me on the back. I dart Ronan, a fellow resident, a frown as I shrug on a shirt.

“You’re going for a run now? You kidding me? Go home, get some sleep, man.” Ronan shakes his head, eyeing me as I tie my worn-out running shoes. He slides his hands into his white coat pockets. “It’s been what? A thirty hour shift? It’s unhealthy. Go home and rest.” He tugs at his stethoscope, “Doctor’s orders.”

I hang my own stethoscope in the locker. “Well, this doctor says you’ve got to live a little.” I close the locker and head to refill my water bottle. Ronan follows me to the water fountain. I throw him a side glance. “You know what’s unhealthy? A work, sleep, work cycle.” “I managed to grab some sleep in-between,” I tell him, holding the bottle under the fountain. The cold spreads as the bottle fills up, sending a chill down the tips of my fingers.

He gives me an objecting smile-grimace hybrid, knowing full-well what my so-called sleep really means. A couple of sleep cycles of somewhere between twenty minutes to an hour, if you’re lucky. I could go home and rest like my colleague suggests and practically let my life, at least for the foreseeable future, pass me by as I grind myself to the bones. But I believe that sports and entertainment aren’t any less crucial for a healthy life/mind.

Peeling off a granola bar wrapper with a crackling sound, Ronan says, “Daphne asked about you again. At least give it a try, she’s cute. Hell, she’s much more than cute. I’d totally hit that.”

Securing the lid on my bottle, I raise my eyes to him. “She seems like a nice person, but I told you, I don’t want to