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Severed Vows
by Francis Heaney

WALTER MET A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN in the lobby of his office building as he left for his lunch break. She had long, dark hair and wore a black ribbon around her neck. On a whim, he invited her to join him for lunch, and they hit it off splendidly. Soon they were seeing each other every day, and, as one thing led to another, he fell in love with her and asked her to marry him.

"I'd love to marry you, Walter," she said, "but first you must promise me you will never remove this ribbon from my neck."

"Okay," he replied.

They were married in a lavish ceremony and moved into a quaint cottage overlooking the sea. Months passed, and Walter never mentioned the ribbon. The wife asked him, "Walter, aren't you the least bit curious about my ribbon?"

"No, not really. If you want to wear a ribbon, it's no skin off my nose. Hey, want to go catch a movie?"

More time passed, and soon the woman could stand it no more. "Walter! Doesn't it bother you at all that I always wear a goddamn ribbon around my neck?"

"I figure you're just obsessive or something. I know I always have to click my heels together before I tie my shoes, so I've got no right to judge other people's little idiosyncrasies."

"Oh, God, you're so logical! That's exactly what I can't stand about you! I'm leaving you! Goodbye!" And she walked out, slamming the door behind her.

Walter was stunned into silence. Eventually he opened the door and called after her, "Is it because you have a mole?"

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