She was a lady in the crowd, undistinguished in all matters but one: on her right shoulder, underneath her blouse which was white, I could see a black bra strap. I thought it odd that a woman with a white blouse should wear a black bra, but after that brief moment of enquiry my mind passed on to other matters.
Suddenly there in front of me, and how she got there I don’t know, was the same woman, but now staring intently into my eyes, ” You felt it too. You felt the magic didn’t you ?” I stared at her, puzzled and slightly unnerved ,but also, and this is the secret part of it, surprised and quietly intoxicated by this urgent and exclusive attention. I’m a man who lives a largely unassuming life; a trusted part of the domestic furniture, and had been in what I considered to be a contented marriage for the past twenty-eight years.
Why it was that she effectively unsettled me, I can never explain it, but under her stare, and in a moment of profound emotional disorientation, I presume, I lost all sense of who I was. For a second I became a student again, living in, and exploring the moment: I almost watched myself as I leaned in to kiss her lips. I was part of the moment, and yet a bewildered observer at the same time: our lips met, only for that second: the kiss seemed chaste but not quite so, I think you understand: I was as shocked as you must be reading this: I backed away immediately: she glowed with an unnerving triumph.
“We will be together for eternity” she said, her eyes blazing with excitement. I nodded at her, too polite to apologies or give an explanation, although I felt the panic rising within me. “Follow me” she said, and I did for a little until, seeing an opportunity, I swerved to the right and vanished into the crowd. panic controlled my every step. On the journey home my mind was full of the incident and guilt and the memory of how her soft hand had pressed against my chest and then slid under my jacket and across it.
I had never done anything like this before and always looked with horror on those who did: I swore to myself that I would never act like that again .Why I had allowed such emotions to escape me, and where they had come from, was something I will never be able to explain but there it is: the hard facts I still cannot escape.
At last I got to the familiar front door. I put my key in the lock and walked through the hall into the front room and met the eyes of my wife and saw the lady from the gallery standing there beside her. ” This lady says you kissed her” said my wife, ” Is that the truth? ” I thought to lie but after 28 years the truth is always written in the look, and she could read mine easily. ” I want you out of here” she said. “I want you out of here now and out of my life, ” What can I say, guilt, it seems, robs us of initiative, and as this strange women moved over to my side, I turned around and left .