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Short Story 5. Does Aline Have to Know?

I love reading and writing. I came to writing late in life and discovered a world where I feel like a fish in the water.


Her First

She found him waiting for her at the corner table of the coffee shop. He smiled and waved. She braced herself for the confrontation as she walked purposefully toward him. His relaxed demeanor while sitting at the table bothered her because of her own tension.

He stood up when she came closer and moved the chair for her to sit. His gentlemanly manner annoyed her. Does he think we’re on a date?

“Thanks for agreeing to meet with me here. I want to know why you registered to my online course under a different name?” said Frank.

“I didn't want a special treatment”, said Lola.

“What made you think I’d treat you differently?”

“Because I'm Aline’s sister and we belong to the same writing group.”

“Is that the only reason?”

“Yes, that’s the only reason. What other reason could there be?”

“I thought that perhaps you remembered me.”

“What do you mean?”

“Do you remember the first time we met?”

“Yes, it was at Mabel's house for the monthly writing meeting.”

“Try again. Go back in memory.”

“Are you saying we met before that day?”

“Lola, I was your first.”

“My first what?”

He looked at her in such a way that she moved back in her chair away from him.

He continued, “Spring of 1991 up in the mountains of Lily Band. We were there, a small group of young men and women, to spend the whole week in a silent spiritual retreat. That was the first time we met. We all went for a walk after dinner and ended up in the living room.

“You and I sat close on a couch and stayed late chatting after everyone left. Somehow, we started kissing, then we went into a very small room. Do you remember now, or shall I continue?”

“No!” She gasped as she felt plunged into a current of emotions so intense that she felt her face burn, her heartbeat rapidly, and her breath become shallow. A strong physical sensation in the lower part of her abdomen took her by surprise. She was shocked by how aroused she felt by the memories of that week. Memories of lust, pleasure, and ecstasy. No that can’t be. Not him, oh God not him.

“You do remember me.”

Will They Tell Aline?

Feeling weird and unsure of herself, Lola stood up without saying anything and walked out of the coffee shop wanting to be as far away from him as possible. She walked the streets aimlessly until she felt someone grab her arm. She looked back and saw that he had followed her from the coffee shop.

“We need to talk about this. Your sister is important to me and I don't want a weird vibe between us. Let's walk to the park. You see that bench under the shading tree, we’ll sit on that bench and talk.”

She let him lead her by the arm to the bench. They sat in silence.

After a few minutes, she asked him, “Does Aline know?”

“No, I didn't tell her because at first, I didn’t remember you. It's only at your writing party that I remembered.”

“What made you remember?”

“You read your draft manuscript in a poetic way. I was relaxed, listening to your voice when something triggered my memory. I ran out of the room to collect myself before coming back for the rest of the evening.”

“So that's why you left the basement.”

“I felt confused. I love your sister very much and don't want anything to jeopardize my relationship with her, but the memory of that week was so strong at that moment, I had to remind myself of what is important in my life. Do you remember now?”

“Yes, I remember.”

“We were young and free.”

“Yes, we were. Are you going to tell my sister?”

“I don't know. It happened such a long time ago. Does she really need to know?”

“No she doesn't, but what if she finds out? Would she feel hurt if she thought we kept it from her?”

“I guess you're right. Now, tell me the real reason you've registered last week for my two-day online course under a different name”, his voice sounded offended.

“Are you now or have you ever been married?”

“Yes, I got married when I was young. It was a short marriage and I’ve been divorced for a long time.”

“Don’t you think it appropriate to tell Aline? That’s the real reason I registered under a different name. I wanted to know more about you so I can protect my sister. She is deeply in love with you and blinded by her feelings. I heard about other stuff too.”

“What other stuff?”

“The way you let your followers worship you, your lavish lifestyle, and your affairs with so many women.”

“First of all, I’ve never had an affair with a married woman. Whoever I was with was single and consented to the relationship. All this was before I met Aline. She is important to me and I’ve made a lot of changes in my life to make our relationship a success. Since we’re talking about secrets, why do you hide that you’re an eclectic witch?”

“I was into witchcraft when I was younger, but I stepped away from it all years ago.”

“And you actually think that your nature and the essence of who you are have changed? Do you know that was what attracted me to you so strongly that week?”

“Let's not bring the memory back.”

“I agree. I promise never to bring this up again, but I want you to reconsider and admit that you miss using your witch power.”

“Whether I go back to using my witch power or not, I’ll never be part of your movement.”

“I wasn't trying to convince you to join the movement. I just think it's such a waste, all that power not to be put to use. Aline told me once about the strength and reach of your power.”

“What about yours? I felt your psychic power.”

“I don't hide it, but I don't control people with it. Like Aline, I want to use it wisely.”

“Are you going to tell her?”

“I think I should.”

“I agree.”

Lola left the park and walked alone to the bus stop. Tears ran down her cheeks, but she did not bother wiping them. Will she be able to mend her relationship with Aline after Frank tells her?


Liliane Najm (author) from Toronto, Canada on July 14, 2020:


manatita44 from london on July 14, 2020:

You walk that road with meandering beauty. Great story!