So many times, I wanted to pick up my phone and call him or text him perhaps; as long as I did something, I felt that it would count. I fought that temptation for quite a long time. He had become my addiction without intending to and even without realizing it, I was developing some sort of feelings for him. These feelings excited me, well perhaps for a second before I sank back to my reality. Loving him or even liking him would be a taboo or better yet a grave mistake. He was one of those mistakes that stare you in the eye and wait for you to commit them. Well I was determined to stay out of his vision or better yet I intended to have some self control in this matter.
My strategy was to pray and to remind myself of the things I would loose if I entertained him. My husband would hate me, if not kill me and let’s not talk about the society. I froze at the thought of this. They would gossip about me and judge me to my last hair. I would become a public ridicule. My mind was in shambles. These very thoughts brought fear to my spine, I could feel anxiety well rested in my tummy. I remembered God and chanted a prayer. I can’t say for sure how many times I did this but It was a lot.

It was as if the thoughts of danger that would involve this stranger excited me and frightened me in equal measure. Perhaps it was my weakness; to attract trouble, I had somehow managed to find trouble even without looking for it. The more I told myself to not think of him, the more I thought of him. The more I stayed away from him, the more I yearned for him. Whenever I looked at my phone I felt like dialing his number, to hear his voice; as they say the voice is only but a bread crumb to an appetite.

He had become close to me unexpectedly. The times we bumped into each other we had short conversations, meaningful ones. Those conversations that shifts your mood for the day. He was enchanting, knowledgeable, sort of in touch with his feelings, something I didn’t know would attract me to him. He was confident in his manner, perhaps too confident. We both understood our boundaries. He was single well, or so I thought. Sometimes we would sit somewhere and talk, then just hold hands and look at each other.

I questioned a lot of things, wondered about some expectations from the people around us. I couldn’t quite understand why God would send this temptation along my way knowing that I was already married with two children. I guess I never would understand. I was happy in my marriage; my husband adored me especially after I gave birth to our two children. He took good care of me and was always there when I needed him. We were doing fine, financially. We lived in a rented house in a good neighbourhood in a small town. Our children went to good Schools and they lacked nothing. It was all by the grace of God.

I lacked nothing, well until I set my eyes on this stranger. He looked fine. His well built physique and his perfectly tailored suits, you would think they were made specifically for his body. His muscles were inviting, tempting in fact; very tempting and the bulge on his trouser only made my lips twitch in utter desire. I would have devoured him like a hyena, a very hungry hyena. I initially brushed these desires and emotions off, managing to convince myself that it was just a mere crush on the guy. After all, ain’t a lady allowed to crush on a handsome young man. The next time I saw him, I confirmed that I was in trouble. He approached me. I was surprised if not flattered or maybe quite amazed by the fact that I had liked him a lot when I first saw him and here he was making some lovely confessions. What were the odds.

Well I loved the things he said but I was not that kind of a woman or maybe I was trying not to be. I did not plan on acting on anything or leading him on, not if I knew too well that following that path would destroy a lot of lives. I kept staring at his eyes though, there was something about the way he looked at me, as if he was looking right through me. His eyes evoked some desire inside of me which made me want to be young again, to be free to live and explore life; to surrender myself to him and let him be my master. He made me weak, foolish maybe, I laughed at almost everything he said, I must have been very anxious.

We didn’t exchange numbers that day, I still intended to follow my principles religiously but by pure coincidence, we bumped into each other a few weeks later. He scooped me in a hug, a tight one, one that awakened all the emotions I had initially felt, one that made me nervous and shy. He didn’t want to let go, I didn’t either. In his arms I felt at home, comfortable, protected; I found a sense of belonging. It was obvious that we had missed each other, or maybe I was way in over my head but the anticipation in his eyes confirmed how much he had longed for me. I had longed for him too. I was surprised at the realization of this. Since I had met him, things had changed. I could drift into thoughts of him when I was talking to my husband I could think of him and smile even in front of other people. I had prayed to God to let me bump into him. I had craved for him deeply.

I had been to his house; briefly or at least for three hours. I once made him dinner. Well, I couldn’t stay long enough to eat it but I hoped he loved it. I had prepared that meal with a lot of love. See, it was hard to say no to him. Severally I battled with these feelings that were suffocating me, I wanted so much to act on them but I couldn’t. I had taken him to my house a couple of times when my husband was away and my children were off to church with the nanny. Well, we never did anything adulterous, at least my conscious wouldn’t let me. I kissed him though, a number of times and I loved it.

My husband’s transfer was confirmed a few weeks later. I was numb when I received the news. I knew I had prayed to God asking him to handle this stranger for me, but I had not asked to be relocated to another town. I guess this is one incident where saying ‘departure is such sweet sorrow’ would perfectly apply. It was perfect that my husband’s promotion had been finally actualized and I couldn’t ask for more. I knew it was something we had talked and fantasized about but on the other hand I couldn’t bare the thought of never seeing my stranger again. I knew it was what was right and something we really needed but somehow I was finding it hard to come to terms with what was soon to be my reality. I didn’t know whether to tell my stranger or not, maybe it was better if I left without a trace: maybe I’d change my number, my email address, block him on Facebook then change my name, maybe I’d delete my Instagram account too. The thought was too tempting I almost applauded.

I spent that last week of March packing up, taking walks in all my favourite places, enjoying the clean fresh air around. I would miss this town, it’s people, it’s ways: it had all become a part of me. When the weekend came I was ready to say goodbye, to my town, to the skeletons in my closets from this place…..to it all. I was ready, to move on to the next chapter, to witness the unfolding, to create new memories, to embrace new environments, new opportunities and to love my husband more each day…..

A year later and a lot has changed. I for one have changed. I’m expecting my third child, the doctor said it would be a boy. My family is tight, love is blossoming more each day. We are now familiar with how things work in this new town.I’m glad I got away from my stranger, it is better this way. I haven’t spoken to him since we moved, I prefer not to. Even when he reaches out, I never pick his calls. It’s better that way. At least I never gave myself the opportunity to find out what it could have been, I’m glad I didn’t because now I’m sure that my heart is right here with me and that my stranger will always be familiar to some of my senses but not entirely to my heart. My husband will always have my heart but him, he will remain a familiar stranger to me and my heart.

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