A short story; fiction
“Don’t look too deep into those angel eyes”. She knew this ABBA song very well and she agreed with this statement. But she still did it. She looked much too deep into … a married man’s eyes. Into a happily married man’s eyes.
Could a happily married man be classified as an angel? She definitely thought that of him back then. And not only because of his very blue eyes. And in spite of his black mustache not matching his hair.
It happened at a conference. She was alone there, representing her department. And she was bored walking alone around the exhibition hall during a break between the sessions. She saw some interestingly looking diagrams and put some stupid, as it came out, questions to the man at the booth. They both chuckled at her questions, especially as she realized that the answer was written in big letters above the diagrams.
A small talk ignited. Then they happened to sit side by side at lunch. And when another exhibitor suggested driving those to their hotels who hadn’t had a car with them, she found herself sitting with the blue-eyed mustached angel in the same car. They discussed the importance of years spent in research for the quality of the research. He said something. She turned to face him to say that she totally agreed and looked him in the eye. But longer than she should have done. Much, much longer than it would have been safe. For the whole nanosecond longer. Long enough for her heart to make a leap.
It would probably not be that important if he wouldn’t have been trapped by her eyes. They were dangerously green and much too big to escape them.
Unbeknownst to them they started saying everything that could interest the other. They were so genuinely interested in each other, that they didn’t quite noticed how they were getting their hearts entangled in one another.
He told her about his wonderful wife and his five children. She told him where she came from and about her family.
They agreed to meet for breakfast next day in her hotel.
In the morning, she put on her best clothes she had with her and she was almost ten minutes too early when she stepped into the elevator that headed down. She was so pleasantly excited and couldn’t wait to see him. She was picturing him happily smiling at her.
And then she heard a voice. A voice in hear head. “What on earth are you doing? He is married! He has five children! Five! He definitely sounds like a happily married man! And now you meet him alone for breakfast! Why don’t you have breakfast at the conference premises as on the other days? Is it a date? Is it?!”
But it was too late. The elevator’s door opened and there he was. Also too early. Also with a troubled face and pacing there and back in front of the elevator and stopping to look at her as soon as she looked at him.
They went into the breakfast room without exchanging as little as a “hello”.
After having their meals set in front of them and after a few timid sips and bites, he started the heavy talk:
“I talked to my wife yesterday on the phone and told her about my day and about you. I should have sounded quite excited about you because after a while she said: ‘Be careful, you sound like someone falling in love’.” After a little pause, he added: “She is right; you’ve ignited a sparkle of a feeling similar to one when I first started dating my wife.”
She couldn’t say anything. She was shocked. She was overwhelmed. And she was a tiny bit happy. No. She was very happy to have fallen for a man who has fallen for her.
But she shouldn’t have. She knew it. As in confirmation of her thoughts he said: “I love my wife and I will never leave her and my children. You should know that. But after that look yesterday I feel that if we part, then I will betray you.”
She could not look at him. She felt as someone accused of causing irreparable injury. And she knew that she was both innocent and guilty.
Then he said: “Let’s skip the conference today and go into the city”. She nodded. They had a pizza together, chatted away avoiding mentioning in any way him not being free. They held hands.
And then they came back to her hotel. He stepped into the elevator with her and accompanied her to her room. She didn’t stop him when he entered the room. She didn’t stop him when he kissed her. It was a bitter-sweet kiss. And before he said it she knew the exact words: “I want you so much! If you want it, I will sleep with you. This one time.”
But before they were destroyed by this fire, a helpful hand in form of her own voice came and saved them both: “No. That must never happen. Please, go.”
He kissed her again, more gently this time and by that more painfully so. He looked the last time into her eyes and left.
It was still quite early in the afternoon. So she pulled the curtains closed, set on her bed, hugged a pillow, tasted her own lips and remembered the touch of his tongue on hers.
And then she cried for many hours until she has fallen asleep. But it was not a heavy sleep as she expected. In the morning she knew that she has barely escaped a dangerous trap.