Here it is, my new and improved story. I still think the first chapter is terrible, but it is what it is. Thanks for reading!

My mother's teeth gleamed in the light, her smile becoming more wolf-like by the second. She had just announced her fourth engagement- in as many years- over Thanksgiving dinner. Her soon-to-be husband beamed at me from across the small wooden table, chattering excitedly about the new life they'd have, while the wine sloshed to and fro in their glasses. I barely raised my eyes, extending my congratulations through a mouthful of food. None of it surprised me anymore; I pitied the new suitor more than anything. I could easily predict what would happen: they'd have a huge announcement with friends and family, set a date, start planning, then in the week or two heading up to the wedding, my mother would pick a fight, and the happy couple would break up for good. It was exhausting to watch.

This was what I had to relate love to: a woman whose multiple engagements sent her successfully down the aisle only once before, to my father, who's crippling debt and alcoholism met a ten ton truck, sending him to an early grave. My mother found solace in countless arms, bars, and shopping trips, and I vowed never to be like her.

I had dated around, but I wasn't sold on the idea of "the one," though, if it did exist, none of my past conquests were it. My school friends graduated from playing dress up and reading fairy tales, to marriage, bearing children and living in nice houses with sprawling backyards; donning aprons and oven mitts, while I preferred a pen and ink, the occasional martini, and the companionship of my dog, Moose.

A smart, vivacious girl like me should've had men lining up, everyone said. Family members were shocked I wasn't going to school for an MRS degree, that I wanted more for myself than to be a stay-at-home mother whose only job was to wait hand and foot on her children and husband.

I never wanted that. I never believed in love.

I never believed in love, until I met him.