A Dangerous Glance (Short Story)

Dele saw her smile at him across the room. He should have looked away but he didn’t. In a split second, he recognised that she was pretty in a homely way, had a beautiful figure and wore her braids elegantly.

He didn’t know her name but became pleasurably aware of her. However he wasn’t going to do anything about it because he was happily married, content and loved his wife dearly. He had been married for ten years and had never slept with another woman since then.

He left the restaurant and went back to work. As he lay beside his wife later that night, thoughts of her attacked and penetrated his peace. That smile, those braids, the pretty face, the slim figure! He indulged himself and let the thoughts roll. He slept off much later with a happy smile on his face.

Two weeks later, he sat at an empty table at the same restaurant enjoying his lunch. A shadow fell across his meal. “Do you mind if I join you?” she asked in a most sonorous voice. He couldn’t say no. He reveled in their short chat and wished he could prolong the lunch hour.

A month later, they had dinner together. If she had been a hunter, clingy, or demanding in any way, he would have found it easy to resist the attraction. But she was nice, selfless, submissive and pleasant and he often wondered if she was innocent.

During the next 3 months he spent all of his free time with her. It was just like a dream. He loved his wife but he enjoyed her company. An expensive indulgence; but he allowed himself to enjoy it.

Then one day she confronted him. He was responsible for her pregnancy. It was a mistake. She wanted an abortion. Could he please give her some money so she could do it at a professional hospital? He remembered he had always preached that – abortion is a sin against God. What was he going to do??

At that moment, his thoughts were with his wife. He loved her deeply and didn’t want anything to come between them, ever! How would she feel?

The joyful memories of the past 3 months instantly faded away. He held his head in his hands.

He remembered his mother’s favourite proverb – “Don’t smell what you know you shouldn’t eat.”

How he wished that three months ago, he had looked away.

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