The First Meeting

One morning, I was on my way home from jogging around the track field when I saw her. I stopped and leaned against the fence. I just stood there, watching her. She had her head down as she walked, so she didn’t notice me at first. She was wearing an orange headband and a matching top over a knee length denim skirt. She was carrying her jacket. On her feet were a pair of running shoes. She was tall and slender.

Suddenly, she raised her head and looked straight at me. As she came nearer, I could see that she was young, probably in her early twenties. She was very pretty. I knew that I ought to leave but I didn’t move. And when she was almost abreast of me, I smiled and said, “Good Morning.”

She smiled back. “Good Morning.”

“Do you have the time?” I asked.

She glanced at her watch. “It’s seven-fifteen.”

“Do you usually out this early on a Saturday morning?” I asked.

“Not usually but it looked like such a beautiful day that I had to come outside.”

“Do you live around here?”

“Yes,” she said. “I live back that way,” she said, pointing behind her. “What about you?”

“I used to live in this neighborhood but now I live in Manhattan. You look like a model. Are you?”

She laughed. “No, I’m not a model. I’m in my first year in university.”

“Which one?”

“Columbia.”

“What are you studying?”

“Computer Science.”

“That’s great. I think more women should be in that field.” I didn’t say that to impress her. I really meant it.

“Yes, we need more women to be role models for young girls and to spread the word that computing isn’t just for the boys.”

“What’s your name?”

“Rhoda. What’s yours?”

“Darius,” I replied, holding out my hand. “I wish I could stay here and talk to you for a while longer but I have to go. Can I see you again here on another morning?”

“I have a boyfriend,” she replied.

“And I’m married. We don’t have to do anything except talk.”

“Do you have any children?”

I shook my head. “No.” It was true. Vanessa and I both decided that we would wait for a few years before having children.

“How long have you been married?”

“Eight years.”

I saw her glance down at my left hand. “How come you aren’t wearing your ring?” she asked.

“Like Prince William, it’s a personal preference.”

“How does your wife feel about that?”

“She’s fine with it.”

“I don’t think I would be.”

“Rhoda, I would really like to see you again. How about tomorrow evening? We can meet here and then go for a bite somewhere close by.”

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She considered it for a long time. “All right,” she said. “I’ll meet you here at six-thirty but, we have to go somewhere else to eat. I don’t want anyone I know to see us together.”

“All right,”I said. “I’ll see you tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of your day, Rhoda.”

“Thanks, Darius. You too.” She smiled at me before she walked away. I watched her go before I turned and headed to where my car was parked.

Vanessa was awake and in the kitchen when I got home a half hour later. She came out into the foyer as I was hanging my jacket in the closet. “Good morning,” she said as she reached up and kissed me.

“Good morning,” I replied. “Something smells really good.”

“I just finished fixing breakfast. It’s nice and hot. While you go and take a shower, I’ll get it ready.”

I nodded and went to the bathroom to shower. As I stood under the spray, I thought about Rhoda and my heart skipped a beat at the mere thought of seeing her again.

But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart – Matthew 5:28. Committing adultery in the mind is just one step away from acting on it should the circumstances be right.

The prequel for this story is Breaking Up.

Sources: The Conversation; The New York Times;

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