Writing

Reading Sundays: THE NON-AFFAIR (Part 8) a short story by Cynthia Sally Haggard

“That was quite something.” He grinned.

I searched his face, looking for—a morsel of kindness?

“Want my job?”

I stared at the brown leather shoes Mother had got at a Church sale.

“No, no.” My words were sticking to the back of my throat. I coughed. “I wouldn’t be good enough.”

“Hmmm.” He made to pass, and wrong-footed, I fell into an awkward dance with him in the doorway. Just as his hand inadvertently brushed my breasts, I stepped back sharply, banging the back of my head against the door jamb. I ground my teeth so I wouldn’t cry out.

“I’m sorry,” I said.

He shot me a knowing look, and smirked.

“Be my guest,” he said, his baritone rich and inviting, “I’m happy to walk into you. Anytime.”

I fled.

***

“I came about my law-school application.” I had to rise in my seat to lean far enough across his desk to hand him another copy of the form.

“Ah, yes.” He glanced at it briefly, then looked up. “I can’t do it.”

“But—” This didn’t seem real. “I thought—”

His long fingers gently traced a pattern on that desk. “I can’t do it.” A dullish red hue broke out across his cheeks.

“But if you don’t, I won’t get into law school.”

“Caroline, please don’t exaggerate. There must be plenty of others who could perform this service for you.”

“I don’t understand.” My throat shut, so I had to swallow to open it. “I thought—”

“No.” He looked directly at me, his light-brown eyes as opaque as shiny coins in a too-bright sun. [To be continued.]