#108wordstories - Woman

“You are beautiful,” said the Uber driver. “Thank you,” I replied and looked out the window into the night, my shoulders stiffening. I slipped my hand into my black leather purse decorated with palm trees, and at the bottom brushed against the nail file that doubles as a knife. As I palmed the cool metal, I felt safer but also sad. The driver seemed lonely, lost, sweet. Perhaps he was extending compassion, hoping to connect with another person. Perhaps he was a serial rapist. I couldn’t know, so I held the knife. Because I’m a woman, because I love myself, I can’t always be kind. And it sucks.