Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Oops (01/14/10)
TITLE: Caught in the Act
By Patricia Protzman
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Last February I attended a teacher’s seminar for a few days in a diminutive southern town thirty miles from my home. The meeting ended after lunch and I drove back to the motel to pick up my suitcase and check out. As I opened the car door I saw a young couple come out of their room and stand outside. The sight made my stomach turn.
I recognized them as members of our church. Both were married, but not to each other. They embraced, kissed, and the man got into his car and drove away. The woman covered her face with her hands, staggered toward the parking lot, and leaned on a car. Her entire body shook. I decided to speak to her.
I shut my car door, walked over to her and said, “Hi, Kathy, are you alright?”
Blood-shot eyes met mine and she gasped, “Oh, No! Linda, why are you here?”
“Teachers meetings, this is where I’ve stayed since Wednesday. I haven’t checked out yet, let’s go to my room where it’s private. Okay?”
Kathy wiped her swollen eyes with the sleeve of her coat and whispered, “Yes.”
I unlocked the door and we went inside, removed our coats, and settled into seats at a table. Sunrays streamed through the window blinds, fingers of light played with Kathy’s copper-colored hair.
I wondered how to open the conversation, but Kathy beat me to it.
“Linda, I’m so ashamed, I’m sorry you caught us together but I’m also glad. I hate what I’ve been doing” She whined as she fumbled in her purse.
“I grabbed a few tissues from the bathroom, handed them to her and asked,” Do you want to tell me what happened? I want to help if I can.”
“One evening two months ago while typing minutes from a Deacon’s meeting Mark came into the office. He said everyone had left and he stayed to turn out lights and lock doors. We discussed church, our kids, and exchanged information about our marital problems. I found Mark sympathetic and a comfort.”
“He said he didn’t receive much attention from his wife, Sandy; they never spoke more than a few words, she seemed all wrapped up with their two little boys. He still loved her, but their marriage stood at the crosswords of nowhere.”
“I told him Jim’s career demanded he travel most of the time; we saw each other two or three days a week. Linda, I’m home alone with the girls most of the time except when mom visits. Conversation is limited, you know, with four and seven year olds.”
I nodded and said “go on.”
“He asked me to have a snack with him and I agreed. I called mom, who stayed with the girls when I had to be away and lied to her. I told her I needed to finish typing up the minutes and catch up on other paperwork. It might take two or three hours.”
“Linda, I know you won’t believe me, but I didn’t want to go with him after I said yes, but I couldn’t tell him no, I felt paralyzed.”
“You tumbled into Satan’s trap, Kathy. I’m sorry you didn’t recognize it. Temptation, enticement, desire, sin, and death are paths to infidelity. To prevent it we need to put limits in place to keeps us from situations where temptation can occur.”
“You’ll never know how sorry I am, Linda.”
“We went to a fast food place and parked in the back of the parking lot. Before long, Mark kissed me. What alarmed me is I kissed him back. He drove to this motel and we committed adultery. We’ve been here several more times.” Kathy hung her head, little pools of tears danced on the table in front of her as the table shook with her sobs.
“I’m sorry, Kathy,” I said as she turned and slumped on my shoulder.
“Do you love your husband? I asked.”
“Yes, I do,” she sniffled, “I want to keep our family together, but I’m afraid George may want to divorce me after he finds out what I did.”
“You need to speak with our pastor. He will counsel you on what to do next.”
“Let’s pray, Kathy. I’ll begin and you can take over.”
“Yes, I need to ask the Lord’s forgiveness.” She said, as she bowed her head and Linda prayed.
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