A Brief Encounter

Vector illustration, red hed woman with closed Eyes,

Pedro had Ali’s head in a spin! In the throes of guilt, she knew there was only one thing she should do…

Ali wasn’t naturally unfaithful. Far from it. This was completely out of character.

She felt guilty, but…

Could you really call it unfaithful?

She was almost tempted to tell her friends. The three of them had been close since their first day at school. They’d stood by one another through thick, thin and divorce.

But, she hadn’t revealed all; even though she’d just seen him. They may not approve.

“A penny for them,” Lucy had said over coffee. “Something on your mind?”

“Something you wish to share with us?” Mags asked.

“Not really,” Ali replied. “How’s life with you two? Any news on the house sale, Mags?”

She changed the subject, wiping crumbs from around her mouth. Sometimes temptation arises, and not always in the form of cake.

Although cake was always good.

This time it had been temptation in the form of the rather wonderful Pedro, a man with the dress sense of a film star, and a way with words that was as effective as liquid chocolate.

She was far from proud of herself; in fact she was in turmoil. This was silly.

Ali had walked home with a spring in her step after that brief encounter with Pedro. A spring that slowed to a drag by the time she reached the front door.

Not that she’d need to worry too much, she was sure.

It was no surprise that Lucy and Mags could tell something was on her mind, even if they couldn’t put their finger on what.

However, it would take more, far more, for Sean to notice.

Luckily. He wouldn’t see the guilt on her face, and there was no need to calm down the glow on her cheeks before helping him prepare dinner.

“Hey, love, good day?” he said, not turning to greet her as he stirred a concoction on the hob. A very nice smelling concoction.

“Not bad,” she said. “You?”

He proceeded to tell her about office politics while she got cutlery and plates ready.

They had a nice, chilled evening.

It was in bed that guilt flooded in – once Sean had kissed her goodnight, turned over and started to snore gently, completely oblivious.

Three in the morning was the worst time for demons. And these particular demons were mean and to the point.

Unfaithful. Disloyal. Cheating.

None of those were pretty words, were they? Or pretty actions. Not for someone who usually prided herself on her honesty and loyalty.

And she was due to see Pedro tomorrow, for much, much longer.

What on earth was she going to do?

Truly, there was only one option. She was going to have to don her big girl pants and do the right thing.

Any time for a walk-in?”

A couple of weeks later Ali poked her head around the corner of Sarah’s Salon. Sarah was Sean’s twin sister.

“Hey, Ali, long time, no see.” Sarah greeted her with a smile and a nylon cloak. “If we’re quick,” she glanced at the clock. “I’ve got my next appointment at two. I’m busy, having been away, you know.”

Ali sat while Sarah ran her fingers through her hair. They made eye contact in the mirror.

“Good honeymoon?” Ali asked Sarah.

Sarah smiled. She’d been to Australia.

“That’s my line. And yes, very good.”

They were both quiet for a while as Sarah began snipping and shaping Ali’s hair without even needing to ask what she wanted.

“Going anywhere special later?” Sarah asked eventually, as she tweaked the last few hairs into place.

“Just home.”

Ali’s hair looked good. She thought of her gorgeous husband Sean, and his fabulous cooking. Home was special.

She was pleased she’d cancelled her appointment a few weeks ago for a cut and blow dry at Pedro’s salon.

She’d done the right thing. He’d been a smooth talker wielding a mean pair of scissors and a comb when she’d popped in to enquire about a cut and blow dry while Sarah was still away.

But after years of being her hairdresser Sarah knew her needs inside out – and she was a friend too.

Now Sarah was back.

It’s important to be loyal to friends, husbands and hairdressers… isn’t it?

Our My Weekly Favourites series of short fiction from our archives continues on Mondays and Thursdays. Look out for the next one. 

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