Kelly’s eyes darted to the clock above the desk when she heard the key sliding into the lock and cursed herself for having lost track of time. She scrambled to get all her notes jammed into her folder before Todd, her fiancé walked into the room. She was just putting the last scrap of paper into the folder when Todd entered.
“What’s that?” Todd asked seeing Kelly’s expression and the way she was clutching the folder to her chest.
“Nothing really,” she said rather nonchalantly, hoping her casual manner would dismiss the subject then and there.
“It’s more than that. You’re working on another story aren’t you?” he said, his eyes shifting to the folder.
Kelly felt her fingers tighten on the folder and wished she had better control of her emotions. She cast him a slight smile. “Not really a story, just an idea for a story if I can sort it all out.”
“What’s it about?”
“I’m not really sure yet. Like I said it’s just an idea.”
“Have you written any of it yet?” he asked, his eyes still lingering on the folder.
She knew if she said no he wouldn’t believe her because of the way she had gripped the folder so tightly, a sure sign it was a work in progress. At the same time, however, she didn’t dare tell him it was near completion; not because she was ashamed of it, but because he would hound her to read it and that was one thing she couldn’t allow……ever.
“Yes, I’ve written a few pages but as I told you, it’s just rough ideas and nothing really coherent to base a story on yet.”
“Oh, okay,” he said and turned to walk into the kitchen.
Kelly breathed a sigh of relief.
Todd turned to her. When I get myself a sandwich I’ll come back and read what you’ve written and tell you what I think.”
“No!” she snapped too harshly before she could stop herself and knew deep inside that that was the biggest mistake she could have made.
Todd faced her and tilted his head to the side. “What’s going on Kelly? You’ve never stopped me from reading your material before. What are you hiding?”
“I’m not hiding anything,” she lied. “It’s just that…..well it’s just that I don’t want to jinx the story if, and I stress, “if”, there is a story there. Nor do I want any of my ideas influenced by something you might say.”
“It’s never bothered you before. In fact, some of the things I’ve suggested in the past opened up more ideas and made your stories a little better. You said so yourself.”
“Not this one,” she replied and got up from the desk.
Todd shook his head in disbelief of what he was hearing. “Are you having an affair and writing a journal or a story based upon your exploits? Is that why you don’t want me to see it?”
Kelly spun on her heels. “Oh don’t be so damn ridiculous. No, I am not having an affair and this is not anything like that. Why do people always jump to conclusions of cheating and secret rendezvous? It’s just a story about ----------”
He walked slowly towards her. “A story about what?”
“It’s just an idea. I told you that.”
“You admitted it was a story a minute ago.”
“It….it slipped out that way. I’m so used to saying story I wasn’t even aware I had said it.”
Todd studied her for a long moment. “All right Kelly, have it your way, but I want you to know that I’m aware that you’re lying to me. For whatever reason, I haven’t a clue, but I know you are not being truthful with me.” He turned and stormed out of the room.
Kelly’s eyes brimmed with tears knowing that what she had just done would surely put the trust in their relationship in jeopardy. The only thing she could hope for was that in time the wounds would heal and they would be happy forever. She glanced down at the folder still clutched in her fingers and let the tears flow.
It felt like her heart was being ripped apart. On the one hand if she didn’t let Todd read what she had written, he would be deeply hurt and possibly never forgive her or trust her again and their relationship would be destroyed. On the other hand, if she did let him read it, their relationship would definitely be destroyed forever. What to do?
March 20, 2014