Welcome to EFNB 10th Anniversary Week! This entry is a sequel to one posted ten years ago on February 21, 2010.

Her name was Ramona Dempsey, and she was from the gulf coast–or so she claimed. Close enough that you could see the lights of New Orleans on a clear day, but far enough that oil from Deepwater was still washing up in tarballs. Eventually I started to see some holes in the story, but I think that much, at least, was true.

When we met, she introduced herself as Dempsey, and was with another Ramona. I told them both the story about my previous Ramona, leaving out the police report but leaving in the cigarette burns. They seemed ticked–after all, that’s why I brought it up–and it seemed like Dempsey and I hit it off, especially when she revealed her actual name.

Even then, I should have seen it. The little warning signs and red flags, from things as simple to being constantly asked where I was to bigger stuff like a new name mysteriously appearing on my car’s title. By the time I realized that anything was wrong, I had been so thoroughly cut off from friends and family that I was well and truly trapped. There were even new cigarette burns.

The idea that finally saved me was to pick up the phone and call Ramona. Not Ramona Dempsey, mind, but Ramona McEuen–my previous, and ex, Ramona. Given how thoroughly my phone records were combed, I knew that they would find each other.

I was hoping that they would cancel each other out.

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