Many years ago I saw the movie Waitress in the theater with some friends. When we left, one of my friends said she just couldn’t get behind the love story because it involved adultery.
“What did you think?” she asked me.
I reflected on the degree to which I was rooting for the two adulterous leads to find happily ever after. “You know, I’m fine with adultery, as long as it’s a plot point,” I replied.
My new story, Game Changer, which was just published by East Coast Literary Review,* explores some of the temptations of adultery, especially the lure of alternate paths. What happens when you’re in a committed relationship but you share a spark with someone else? What does it mean if you’re considering risking everything on a glimmer of an uncertain possibility?
The temptations of alternate paths aren’t limited to romantic partners, of course. Game Changer grows out of some experiences on sabbatical, when I thought long and hard about alternate career & life paths. On many days I fantasized about jumping ship and writing full time…even though I had no stream of steady income. I made a choice (for now) to maintain the path I’d selected years ago, one that provides stability for those depending on me and my income, and one that does its best to support my writing life.
Perhaps it all comes down to choice, even when we’re swept up in the emotional highs of new loves – romantic or otherwise. Those highs can be amazing. They can also be devastating. If we’re receptive, they can lead us to ask new questions or down new avenues of discernment. But in my experience they need to be balanced by responsibilities and cold, hard reason.
This is the intersection where my protagonist stands. I’m not sure what she chooses. All I know for certain is that this blog post is longer than the story itself (it’s a 250 flash piece). For whatever that’s worth.
*East Coast Literary Review is published quarterly; click here for ordering information.