After a long, rather grueling day in the “trenches,” social worker/single mother Karin Larson heads home.  Excerpted from An Accidental Life.


Karin had just completed her last in a series of rather grueling home visits and as she drove away from the final house, she glanced at the clock in her car, noticing the time.  Oh, my God! Already six o’clock and she had vowed to leave on time today!  She accelerated, swinging onto the freeway and muttering to herself.  When will I ever get a life? But with this line of work, there was no such thing as a normal life.

Turning on the radio, she listened with irritation as a crooner sang about lost love and she quickly changed the station several times…  Nothing on!  Finally, in exasperation, she pushed in a cassette, hoping for a little control over her listening pleasure.  This particular tape contained the rather annoyingly self-righteous voice of a motivational speaker, reiterating his message about how to take control of one’s life.

Karin laughed, deciding that the country singer was better.  He would at least be amusing.

She concentrated on the drive.  By now the five o’clock traffic should have diminished.  She could feel her whole body tensing as she drove, while trying to relax the muscles one by one in a futile attempt to just let go of all the anxiety.  She would get home in about half an hour.  There was no point in accelerating, passing, weaving in and out of traffic…Those efforts did nothing to hasten her progress in the long run and only increased her tension.

When she finally pulled up to the curb outside the townhouse, she stared at the car in front…Some kind of sports model, parked right behind Bridget’s VW.  Who could that be?



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