“She is married to another man”

“She is what???”

“She is someone else’s wife,” said Max as his head dropped down in embarrassment.

His mom couldn’t believe her ears. She was bewildered with the fact that her son, whose marriage had collapsed due to infidelity was about to walk into the same trap.

“Son, do you realize what you have just told me?”

Max nodded

“No, darling, No my son, you cannot do that. This is wrong on all fronts. To begin with you are born again, you are a man of God. You are the reason why I’m saved in the first place. You have encouraged me and walked with me through the bleakest moments of my life. I know that you fear God and so for the Love of your creator, please don’t go down this path. This is a family unit. The man is married and they have 3 kids together, you cannot be the source of discord. Tafia cheated on you and she showed no remorse and finally walked away. Your kids are in a broken family, do you want to do the same thing to some other children to live through that, knowing that their mother committed adultery with another man?”

She went on and on for about an hour and admonished her son about the morality of this whole thing and how choices have consequences. Max, sat there silently and absorbed it all in. He did not refute nor try to justify himself because he knew that he was on the wrong and that if he went ahead with this then he would be sinning against God.

“I have heard you mum, you are right. I will end this”, He stood up and gave his mum a hug. His mum held onto him tightly and prayed over him as both of them cried. He went to his house feeling lost, dry and heavy. He knew that he needed to do the right thing and not follow the beckoning of his feelings. He just needed to make up his mind and do it. He needed the guts to deny himself what he wanted.

That evening, Borris and his wife Melanie went for dinner and they had a great time. He took her to a new diner and he was exceptionally sweet and they had great conversation. At one point during dessert, Borris almost took a selfie of them to send to Max his friend just to tell him that he was out with his wife having dinner and that he was thinking about him, but on second thoughts, he opted not to do it considering what Max dealing with, it would have been very insensitive. 

After they got home, both of them refreshed and sat in bed to chat lazily while texting. Little did they know that both of them were actually texting the same person. 

“Just thinking about you brother, I’m praying for you, have a goodnight and God bless you!”, said Borris. 

Max replied, “Oh men, thanks a lot brother, I really appreciate that, it means a lot to me. I’m really thinking about what we talked about today. Have a great night!”

At that very instant, Melanie sent a text to Max, “Hey, I’m so sorry I missed your call. I had a crazy day with a busy schedule but I will make it up to you ….”

She almost said, “I love you”, but she refrained.

As soon as Max saw the text from her, the lost butterfly in him began fluttering, he mellowed out and forgot his inner resolve to call it off. The last five words made him come alive with excitement. This is the man who 30 minutes ago was crying with his mom while assuring her that he would break off this thing.

“It’s ok Mel, I understand, thanks for getting back to me, I was worried really about you. I’m glad you are okay”

“Goodnight Max, I will see you tomorrow”


“Yeah I promise”

“Okay Goodnight :)”

“Goodnight again :)”

The smiley faces ended their chat and Borris noticed that his wife’s face was beaming.

“You seem excited, who is that?”, he asked

“Who, me?”, she was shocked and didn’t even realize that she was smiling while texting her muffin.

Borris nodded

“Ah, it’s nothing, Casey and I just having some girl talk, forget it”

“Okay”, he kissed her on the lips and said, “I love you honey”

“Love you too”, she replied and they cuddled to sleep.

She slid into dreamland thinking about Max and she smiled to herself in the dark.

The nice aroma of pancakes coming from the kitchen is what awakened her the next morning which was on the eve of Valentine’s day. She glanced at her watch and then dashed to the kitchen and found her husband making pancakes. He had woken up earlier than usual, gotten the kids ready for school and now all they were waiting for was just breakfast.

Melanie couldn’t believe it, this was unlike him and even though the whole kitchen was a mess and the pancakes looked like the continental drift of Gondwanaland, she didn’t mind it at all. This side of Borris was really a good one. She secretly wondered whether her hubby was putting on a show because Valentine’s day was the next day and so this was a fake love gesture but not really an effort to make it up to her. Does this lovey-dovey behaviour got anything to do with a cover up of sorts? She wondered. 

She wanted to ask him this question, but she knew that it would dampen the mood and his efforts. 

With groggy eyes and her flip flops, she walked over to him, held him by the waist from behind and kissed him on his neck and said,

“Thanks honey, you did all this?”

“Oh yes I did, I’m sorry for the smoke and all mess that I have created in here”

“It doesn’t matter, I appreciate the effort that you have put in and I’m sure the kids are thrilled to see daddy in the kitchen with an apron!”

That’s how her day started and as soon as he left with the boys, she sent a good morning text to Max as was her usual routine and then she called Casey”

“Hey hun, you got a minute?”, Mel asked

“Of course I do, for you, anytime”

“Now, Borris has been acting strangely”

“Okay, what did he do?”

“He was home early, I found him in the house. I can’t remember the last time that ever happened. He usually comes home between 8 and 10pm.”

“Was he sick?”

“No, he had lunch with a buddy of his and then he went to a florist and bought me flowers!!”

“Ahaa, your Borris, bought you flowers and it’s not your birthday?

“Can you imagine?”

“Tell me more gurlfrien’ “

“Then he went on to appreciate me and what I do in the house. I thought he never noticed and then he took me out for dinner…as in we dressed up and went to a new French diner that offers an excellent menu.”


“…and then we had a great conversation. It was so nice”

“Borris is no longer boring”

“As if that’s not enough, this morning, he woke up before me and prepared the kids and then he made breakfast for all of us and then dropped them to school!”


“So, I’m left here thinking, why the sudden shift? Why is he being so nice? Why is he going out of his way to do all this? Do you think he is cheating on me?”

“I don’t know, this is strange, I agree with you. For a man to drastically become Mr. Romantic when all these years he has been on perpetual monotone? Something doesn’t add up”

“Or maybe, he is doing all this just because tomorrow is Valentine’s day?”

“It’s possible…or maybe he is really changing to become a better man”

“Hmmm let’s wait and see, but this now gets even more confusing. What do I do?”

“Only you can make that decision. You know what you want and you should decide on what’s best for you”, said Casey.

This was really getting harder and harder for Melanie, she was in a pathetic tailspin and she didn’t know how to stop it. She was not in control and neither was she in charge and that made her feel bad. The desire to go and be with Maxwell versus the will to remain committed to her vows, which one was stronger? She couldn’t answer that question, maybe she should just ‘wait it out’ as her friend had suggested, but for how long would she hover between two worlds?

Her phone beeped and she could see a text message had just come in. It was Max.

“Hey, Good Morning, can I see you today?”

She called back

“Hi Max?”

“Hi Mel?”

“I’m so sorry about yesterday, I know I should have called back but….”

“Hey, it’s okay….you told me that you had a crazy day and I totally understand. So it’s fine. All I wanted to know is if you are available today. I would really like to see you?”

“You really wanna see me?”, she asked coyly

“Yes, I do, I really really would like to see you”, said Max as he deepened his voice in a suggestive manner.

Mel’s stomach fluttered, she tried to swallow some saliva but there was drought in her mouth.

“Yes, Max just tell me the time and place and I will be there”

“Are you sure?”
“Yes Max, I’m certain”

“Even if it’s now, I will drop everything to come see you”

“Can we meet in 30 minutes, usual place?”

“That’s fine with me”

“See you then”

“See you soon, bye”

Over 100 things started running through Mel’s mind because she didn’t know where to start. This was the same feeling she had the previous day when she dropped her phone in the toilet bowl and proceeded to flash it. She took a deep breath, reached for a glass and got some water to drink and after about 2 minutes, she was able to think clearly. The ‘Max effect’ had just bit her like a bug and she was now on autopilot. She didn’t care about the dirty dishes, the laundry or the chores. She wanted to see this guy and she was going to meet him. 

She showered in record time. Choosing an outfit was the more challenging part because she wanted to appear attractive, but not too suggestive. So she kept on trying one outfit after another for a cool 20 minutes and that’s before doing her hair and applying makeup. She had to come back to the house 3 times because she kept forgetting her car keys, then her handbag and lastly her phone. She wanted to tell her girlfriend, but then that would mean getting into a long back and forth conversation and she was already late and didn’t want to keep her muffin waiting.

The pair used to meet at the parking lot behind a huge mall where there was a blind spot and then decide whether they would hang out there or go for a drive. Max was there early and waited for Melanie who came 15 minutes later than the agreed time. She was so sorry to have kept him waiting.

Max just sat there and looked at Melanie and she seemed appealing and attractive in her dress and everything about her just seemed perfect. 

“So, you wanted to see me”, she began

“Yes, it’s always nice to see you. I had missed being with you”

“You missed being with me…?”, she mirrored his words and then turned to look at him and their eyes met and locked in a magnetic moment.

He nodded and just gazed at her and both of them knew what was coming and none of them was willing to stop it.

It was Mel who parted her lips slightly and then Max leaned forward and their lips touched for the first time. Max kissed her and felt an invisible green tick saying ‘yes go ahead’, he did it even though in his mind he felt like a sheep being led to the slaughter. He could hear the nudging of the Holy Spirit, the still small voice saying to him, “…this is not the way, don’t walk in it….”, he could also hear his mother’s voice at the back of his head saying, “Sonny, don’t do it, don’t break another man’s home!”, but he ignored the voices, he suppressed them and inched even closer to dig deeper into this kiss.

Melanie was at the centre of her kids and her husband as she kissed this studmuffin. She could visualize them crying but she pushed the thoughts away and she just gave herself to Max, this was her moment and she was going to enjoy it. She yielded to it, she surrendered and gave into all her wild imaginations.

“I have wanted to do that from the first day that I saw you”, Max said as he held her face in his palms

“Really, then why didn’t you do it?, she asked him

“You are a married woman and so I knew that it was wrong”

She leaned towards him and kissed him and this time, the way she did it made him realize that she wanted more than just a kiss.

“I….”, he began as he drew back and she nodded in agreement. Both of them were on the same page.

He zoomed out of that spot and drove her to his house and they rushed in and gave themselves to their lustful feelings and had some wild sex. It was good while they were caught up in the heat of passion, but when it ended, both of them felt the sting or remorse and piercing through their hearts. They couldn’t talk about it, the tinge of guilt was staring at them like a reflection in the mirror. They dressed up and Mel started tearing up. Max held her and tried to assure her amid sobs, but it didn’t get home, both of them knew that they had eaten the forbidden fruit. 

The drive to the mall was awkwardly long, the silence spoke a lot of volumes to Max and Mel. Their bodies had spoken a new language before they could even talk and reason out their inappropriate relationship and now they were in this sorry irreversible ‘dream’ that seemed like it was just beginning….

In the meantime, Borris left the office to go and discuss  a new project that was coming up. His construction company had just been contracted to build a warehouse. He met with the manager who walked him behind the building to survey the area of the proposed construction. As they moved around, he saw what he thought was his wife’s car, but then he didn’t give it a second look. He made a mental note to call her after this brief meeting.  A moment later, he saw a familiar vehicle coming towards them and he knew the owner of that car. As it approached them, he could tell that there were two people in the car, a man and a woman. He stopped concentrating on what the store manager was telling him as he focused on the approaching automobile. 

The driver came and parked next to his wife’s car and what followed was a copycat of reality TV. His friend Maxwell came out of the car and moved over to the passenger’s side and like a true gentleman, opened the door and his wife Melanie emerged out of the car. 

He was aghast!

“Max…?”, he said, “Honey…?”, he added

The guilty couple turned in unison to see Borris white in the face.

Max said, “Hey buddy?”

Mel said, “Hi honey?” 

The peccant couple stared at each other and it occurred to them that they had been caught. Their body language betrayed them and Borris could tell that they had been intimate.

A cocktail of shock, rage and disgust attacked him without notice. It was too much for him to process, as the surge of emotions built up in him very fast. He tried to move, but his legs gave in and he passed out, his head hit a small metallic pole and he started bleeding immediately….