In the meantime, check out this CTG Writers Group entry for
“Benny! Can you explain to me what this means?” Caroline said in loud accusatory tones. Benjamin Kneadmore , heavy in the throes of slumber, continued to lay motionless as his afternoon nap was being rudely interrupted by Caroline’s incessant jabbing to his shoulder.
“What…,” he said before fading out only to feel the pointed finger impugning his relaxed deltoid. “What!” he then blurted between cracked vocals as he scurried to ascertain just what the problem was now. Lifting his eyes like a well sprung pull shade, he turned from the pillow and began taking in the image of Caroline, his wife of a few good years, standing with her left arm attached to her hip and her right hand displaying his cell phone. He knew at that moment that he didn’t need to see her face to tell this wasn’t going to be pretty.
“This!” she continued. “Can you explain to me the meaning of these text messages from Naomi?”
“What are you talking about?” Benny said reaching for the phone while making sure his puzzled facial expression was firmly in tact. While glancing at the messages he yawned and wondered, “I thought I deleted all of those.”
Reading his expression, she followed with, “I bet you thought you erased them all, but there they were waiting to be found. I’ve had this sinking feeling that you’ve been messing around and I wish you would just tell me the truth!”
“Not this subject again,” Benny said as he rolled his eyes, an act to ensure that his body language didn’t betray him. Mr. Kneadmore had managed to keep Naomi a secret for months. She was an administrative assistant in his office, someone he innocently took a liking to during their time of working on the Philadelphia Commons Acquisition Project. What started out as lunch and a little relationship advice had spilled over into something quite different. The text messages were harmless. Benny knew she didn’t have anything there. However, Mr. Kneadmore’s and Naomi’s history was another matter altogether. Now that Caroline was on to him, Benny didn’t know how far she would go before she came upon the truth.
“Is there something going on between the two of you?” Caroline inquired further.
Mr. Kneadmore didn’t respond. He just gave off a blank stare as his mind was drawn to the thoughts of Naomi. In those split seconds, images of Naomi filled his conscious. Benny thought about how he never intended to go after this woman. How one day out of nowhere she just took up residence. Now, presented with Caroline’s question, Benny’s first thought was to lie. He could likely get away with it, but to be honest, he wanted to put an end to the speculation. Go back to the way things used to be between him and Caroline. Over the course of time things had grown unsettled between them. Every other week or so he was denying any wrong doing that her intuition warned her of otherwise. A time during which he realized he needed to distance himself from Naomi or risk losing Caroline. Mr. Kneadmore wanted peace. He didn’t like the riotous volatility that had resulted from his inattentiveness of Caroline. She could tell something was awry, so she had taken him to task on everything from working late to the reasoning behind his change of hairstyle. He repeatedly denied wrong doing, but Caroline would not cease until she got to the bottom of the matter. With that in mind, Benjamin wondered, what if it came out later? Would Caroline leave him for having lied? Maybe he’d just tell her what she wanted to hear and get it over with. Tell her the absolute dirty truth. If Caroline was going to ever hear of it, their relationship would fare better if the admission came from him.
Benjamin stared beyond Caroline as his thoughts darted fiercely through his mind. Benny loved Caroline something awful; Mr. Kneadmore had just momentarily lost his way. She could understand that couldn’t she? With the moment upon him and no time to prepare, Benny didn’t know which way he wanted to turn. “Answer me!” Caroline finally demanded, “Is there something going on between you and this Naomi woman?” Just as he was about to speak, his cell rang. He looked at the number. It was Naomi.
Hypothetically speaking if you found yourself in this predicament, what would you do? Feel free to answer from either characters perspective.
Benjamin spoke of loving Caroline. Do you think it is possible to truly love someone and engage in an act of deception? Does love make concessions for those actions?
From a woman’s perspective, do men fair better if they just tell the truth about indiscretions. Why or why not?
About the host:
Rich Fitzgerald is the author of the short story "One to Remember" featured in Love and Redemption (Bloggers' Delight Vol. 1), a collection of short stories by authors who blog. To read excerpts or to order a copy of the title, visit i-Lit. The book is also available on Amazon.