“Drink from your own well, my son—be faithful and true to your wife” – Proverbs 5:15
In all the years he had been married to Ashley, never once had he looked at another woman until that moment when he saw her leaning against the wall in the subway. She was stunning and looked like a fashion model. Other people were staring at her too but she seemed oblivious to them.
Although, his gut was warning him not to, he walked over to where she was and stood there, waiting for the train. He had his head turned away from her as he looked down the tracks but he could feel her eyes on him. Unable to resist, he glanced over his shoulder. Their eyes met. She smiled at him. He had two choices, smile back or turn away. He smiled back. That was his mistake. Leaving her position against the wall, she sauntered over to him, her gaze traveling slowly and deliberately over his tall frame. He felt his body respond and his heart began to pound. He turned around so that he was fully facing her, his eyes practically undressing her as she stood in front of him.
“Do you have the time?” she asked, her head cocked to one side, her eyes riveted to his face which felt hot.
He glanced at his watch. “It’s a quarter to six,” he replied. This close she was even more stunning. Every instinct urged him to run but he stood there staring at her.
She smiled. “Thank you.”
“Do you work around here?” he asked. “I’ve never seen you before today.”
“Yes, I work around here. I was on my way to the Mall to pick up a few items. I’ve never seen you before either. I would have remembered.” Her eyes slipped over him again. “You’re a fine looking man. Too bad you’re married.”
He swallowed hard. “Does that make a difference?” he asked.
“It might to your wife.”
“She doesn’t have to know.”
“She doesn’t have to know what?”
“That you and I are talking to each other.”
“Is that what we’re doing?” She laughed. “What’s your name?”
“Well, Silas, do you want to buy me a Café Latte? There’s a really great coffee bar near Bryant Park. We can go there and figure out if talking is all that we want to do.”
Every nerve was screaming that he should say no and walk away but when the train thundered into the station, they got on together. She stood in front of him, holding on to the overhead metal bar. The car was crowded so he was standing really close to her. He could smell her perfume. It suited her. Her body was inches from his and a couple of times, he bumped against her when the train stopped abruptly. He couldn’t hide his reaction to her even if he wanted to. By the time they got to the 42nd street subway, he knew that he was in big trouble.
They walked to Culture Espresso. It was a pleasant afternoon, mild and sunny. While he went to buy the Café Latte for her and a Mocha for himself, she went to find a table. She found one by the window and was sitting with her back against the wall. He sat down opposite her and set the Café Latte down in front of her. “Thank you,” she said.
“You’re welcome,” he replied. “You haven’t told me your name.”
“Aretha,” she said, holding out her hand.
He clasped it and blinked when heat coursed through his body at the feel of her slender fingers in his. When he released her hand, he took a sip of his Mocha, his eyes trained on her. This is madness, he thought. He should be on his way home, not sitting here in a coffee bar with her. For all he knew she could be in a relationship. “Do you have a boyfriend?” he asked.
She shook her head. “No. I’m single, unlike you.”
He withdrew his left hand from the table and placed it on his thigh. “Does my being married bother you?”
“Well, I’ve never been with a married man. It complicates things.”
“So, after we finish our coffees, we part ways?”
“I didn’t say that. Married or not, I want to do more than talk to you, if you know what I’m saying. I live five minutes from here. When we’re done here, we can go there. It’s up to you. You can walk away or you can come back to my place.”
Silas’s mind was reeling. This was temptation in its purest and potent form. Now he had an idea of how Joseph felt when he faced Potiphar’s wife or King David when he saw Bathsheba. His mind was telling him to do what Joseph did and run but his body was telling him to do what David did. He had a while to decide what he was going to do.
“So, what type of work do you do?” Aretha asked, breaking the silence. “From the way you’re dressed, you look corporate. Are you?”
“I’m a Software Engineering Manager.”
“You look a bit young to be a Manager. How old are you?”
“Hmmm. I’m forty. So, do you like your job?”
“Yes, I like it very much. And it doesn’t hurt that it pays very well. What about you, what is your line of work?”
“I’m a Chief Executive.”
“When I first saw you, I thought you were a model.”
She laughed. “I’m flattered.”
“You’re a very stunning woman, Aretha.”
“Thank you. And you’re a very handsome man. I’m not surprised that you’re already taken.”
“It didn’t stop you from approaching me in the subway.”
“I couldn’t resist.”
He slowly removed his cell from his pocket and dialed the number. He listened to it ring out and then the answering machine kick in. “Ashley, something has come up so I’ll be late getting home this evening. See you later.” He ended the call and slipped the phone back into his pocket. He looked at Aretha.
“Are you sure about this?” she asked.
Aretha finished her Latte and got up. “Let’s go, then.”
He drained his glass and rose to his feet. He followed her out of the coffee bar. The sun was beginning to set. They didn’t say much as they walked to her place. He was trying to ignore the Bible verses that popped into his head. He was about to cheat on Ashley, something he never once imagined he would ever do but he couldn’t seem to help himself. He wanted Aretha. She aroused such a passion in him. It was raw and powerful. It gripped him like a vice, leading him down a path he never thought he would end up on.
He still had time to back out. With every temptation, there was always the way of escape. Yet, he found himself walking right towards it with both eyes open. He was throwing wisdom and caution to the winds. His desire for her was luring him straight into a trap. Maybe it was true that the only way to get rid of temptation was to yield to it. Maybe all he needed was this one time with Aretha to get this “thing” for her out of his system and afterwards, they would part ways and never see each other again.
As soon as they got to Aretha’s place and she had locked the door behind them, he reached for her. His mouth found hers and he devoured it like a mad man, driven by a hunger that couldn’t be held in check. She kissed him back wildly. In a matter of minutes, they were naked and making love on the rug in front of the hearth.
Unfortunately, their encounter that afternoon wasn’t their last. It was the beginning of a long and torrid affair.
“Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” – Matthew 26:41
Sources: CNBC; Culture Expresso; Latte Art Guide; Eater New York; Brainy Quote