Writing

Reading Sundays: A SURPRISING CURE (Part 7) a short story by Cynthia Sally Haggard

She shook her head and turned away. For the rest of the conversation, I was talking to the back of her head.

“How did you meet him?”

“At the Women’s Liberal Association in Edinburgh. He was giving a speech. He’s so good with words.” There was a pause as she gazed out of the window for a moment. “Do you know,” she said softly, “I think he’s the most interesting person I’ve ever met.”

She seemed to have forgotten that her husband of eight years was in the room.

“How old is he?”

“About twenty.”

“Miriam! Don’t you worry about what people might think?

She turned to look at me, flashing a dimpled smile. “Of course I’ve considered that. But what he’s doing—what we’re doing is more important than that.”

What could I say? Miriam had always been strong-willed, but she’d become increasingly headstrong and unconventional as the years passed. She never did anything by halves. Her restless energy propelled her to grasp at one enthusiasm after another.

“I do not doubt your purity of motive, my dear, but you must have some idea of where these kinds of sentimental friendships may lead.”

She made an impatient gesture. “Oh you and your respectability! I never should have come back—”

“You’re not going away? Miriam, you’ve only just arrived. You don’t know how much I’ve missed you.”

Her eyes softened as she allowed her gaze to drift over me.

I cleared my throat. I knew that what I was about to say would annoy her, but nevertheless it was my moral duty as her husband to tell her about the consequences of her actions. [To be continued next week.]