Lizbeth

He was a happily married man, a devoted husband and a proud father of two very lovely daughters until he met her…She was his Lolita, although she wasn’t a prepubescent girl like the character in the novel. However, he was old enough to be her father. In fact, she was the same age as Meghan, his younger daughter.

The first time he saw Lizbeth, he was coming out of a café and she literally bumped into him. She had her head down and was texting on her cell. Thankfully, he wasn’t carrying a beverage in his hand. Mortified, she looked up apologized profusely. At first he didn’t say anything. He was mesmerized by her. Her eyes were a lovely shade of blue and her strawberry blond hair framed her exquisite face. She was wearing a light blue top with a navy blue knee length skirt. Her legs were bare and she was wearing dark blue wedge heel sandals. Her dark blue bag hung on her arm.

He saw her eyes flicker over him before they returned to his face. He was glad that he was wearing his new pinstripe grey suit. “I’m so dreadfully sorry,” she said again.

This time, he found his voice. “No harm done.”

“I should know better than to be texting when I’m walking. I’m so relieved that you weren’t carrying a hot beverage or it would have spilled all over your lovely suit.”

“What’s your name?”

“Lizbeth.”

“Do you live or work around here?”

“I don’t live or work around here. I’m on my way to meet a friend.”

“May I buy you lunch some time?”

She looked at him with her head to the one side. “What’s your name?”

“Orson. My mother named me after the actor, Orson Welles.”

“I remember him from Citizen Kane and Jane Eyre.”

“Are you a fan of classic movies?”

“Not really but I have watched some including the two I just mentioned.”

“Will you have lunch with me, Lizbeth? I would like to continue our conversation.”

“Sure. Do you have a business card?”

“Yes.” He took one out of his wallet and gave it to her.

She took it and said, “I’ll be in touch. Goodbye, Orson.”

He watched her walk away and then, he went in the opposite direction to where his office building was. It was too bad that he couldn’t offer her a ride to where she was meeting her friend. It would have given him more time with her. Still, he hoped that she would call him and that they would meet for lunch.

A week went by before she called him. They had lunch at Sarastro. It wasn’t his kind of restaurant but it was where she wanted to go. At first, he was taken aback by it’s decadent setting with each box furnished in rococo, gothic or ottoman and there were drapes and lots of theatre props. Perhaps, it was a good choice as he didn’t expect to see anyone he knew having lunch there. The food was more to his liking, though and while they enjoyed their three-course set menu they were able to listen to performances of the more popular arias from the comfort of one of the boxes which were arranged around the walls.

After lunch, he took her the tube where they had agreed to meet. Before she got out of the car, she promised to call him and then, she gave his a quick peck on the cheek. His skin tingled for a long time where her lips had been. He couldn’t wait to see her again. Again, a week passed before he heard from her and by then, he was out of his mind, wondering if she had a boyfriend and if that was why she took so long to get in touch with him. When he asked her, she told him, “I’ve a busy life. I’m a career woman.”

“Do you have a boyfriend?” he asked.

She shook her head. “I had one but we broke up. What about you? Are you married, divorced or widowed?”

“I’m married with two daughters. One of them is about your age.”

“Twenty-five?”

“Yes. Now that you know that I’m married and have two grown daughters, are you going to stop seeing me?”

“I should stop seeing you because you’re married but I’m not going to.”

He was very relieved to hear that. This time, they went to The White Haus and sat in one of its cosy corners, talking while they enjoyed North Atlantic haddock & chips, mushy peas, tartare sauce followed by Apple tart, rum & raisin ice cream. When they left there, he took her home and she invited him up to her flat. They ended up in bed and it was after eleven when he finally got home. Fortunately, his wife, Alice had left that morning to attend at one of those women’s conferences in Paris. Both of their daughters had their own flats. So, the house was quiet and empty when he let himself in.

He didn’t have to wait to a week before he heard from Lizbeth. He heard from her the next day and thereafter, they began an illicit affair. They saw each other during the week and in the evenings. He told Alice that he was working late. Most times he didn’t get home until after ten or eleven. Sometimes she waited up for him or was already in bed. They only saw each other for breakfast and on the weekends. On a few occasions, he arranged to see Lizbeth Saturday evenings. He told Alice that he was meeting a friend for drinks or to play pool or to watch football matches at the sports bar.

Alice never doubted him. She trusted him. He felt terrible about betraying her trust. She thought he was with his friends but he was with Lizbeth in her flat or in some quirky place where he had no fear of running into any familiar faces.

It was Saturday night and they were in her flat. They had just had Thai food for dinner which had been delivered. And now, they were in her bedroom. They were in there for one reason. He was unbuttoning his shirt, his eyes traveling over her as she lay there on the bed on her stomach, dressed in a black vest and shorts.

“Do you love me?” she asked, looking up at him.

“You know I do,” he muttered thickly. It was an all consuming love which scared him sometimes.

“Enough to leave your wife?”

Without any hesitation, he replied, “Yes.”

She smiled and rolled onto her back.

He discarded his shirt and hurried over to her. She opened her arms wide and he lowered himself on top of her. She wound them around his neck as they kissed passionately.

Source: Time Out

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