1.4- Decisions

Aaron arrived home from a long day at work to a message from Alice. ‘Hey, Aaron. Eric, Dad and Vivian have gone out of town for a few days. Was thinking a bit of company would be nice. Would you like to stop by for dinner?’ Aaron reread the text a couple of times. He wasn’t sure it was the best idea to be alone with a married woman he had feelings for. He looked at the time. He didn’t really feel like cooking. And besides, maybe now that Penny is in the picture, his feelings for Alice wouldn’t be a problem. He typed a quick reply and headed over. As he knocked on the door, he started to question whether he should have just stayed home. Alice opened the door, a big grin on her face. “Come in! I hope you like Spaghetti.” Aaron nodded and stepped inside. The place was huge and really modern. Alice led him into the dining room where 3 plates held the steaming pasta. He sighed, relieved. It wasn’t just the two of them. He sat down at the table and heard footsteps running down the stairs. As he turned to see who it was, a little girl with short hair bounced up and sat beside him. “This is Olivia, my daughter.” Alice smiled. Aaron looked at Olivia. This made things more complicated. No matter what feelings he had for Alice, he could not interfere when a child was involved.

After dinner, Aaron helped Alice clean up before they sat and talked for a while. Olivia was a really smart kid and Aaron enjoyed talking to her. Every time he looked at her, though, he felt guilty. He wasn’t sure what he had expected to happen that night, but it definitely wasn’t that. But maybe it was a good thing. Maybe this would be the end of his feelings for Alice. They spent about an hour talking before Alice sent Olivia to bed. “It is getting late. I should probably head off.” Aaron stood up. “I’ll walk you out.” Alice followed him to the door. They made their way, silently, down Alice’s driveway and started up the road. As they walked side by side, Aaron felt the urge to reach out and hold her hand. He shook his head. “You okay?” Alice looked sideways at him. “Yeah, just a bit cold.” He lied.

As they reached his driveway, Aaron couldn’t take it anymore. “Alice… There’s something I need to say.” She looked at him and he rubbed his forehead. “What is it?” She reached out to touch him and he backed away. “I’m sorry. I.. I can’t see you anymore.” She frowned. “I don’t understand.” Aaron looked down. “From the moment I first saw you, I couldn’t get you out of my head. I knew it was wrong, but I couldn’t control it. But now, knowing you have a child… I just can’t see you. It’s too hard.” Alice stood frozen for a moment. Aaron looked up at her and sighed. “I’m sorry.” A few drops of rain fell before it bucketed down. They stood in silence as it fell around them. “Aaron, I… Please don’t do this.” He looked away. “I’m sorry.” He said once more.

“I have to go. You should get out of the rain too.” Aaron lifted his arms above his head, shielding himself from the rain and he walked hastily up his driveway. As he walked away, Alice felt a drop of rain cascading down her cheek. Or maybe it was a tear. She looked back at him, her heart breaking in her chest. She wasn’t happy in her marriage, but until now, she hadn’t felt so alone. Her eyes widened as she realised. The feelings were mutual.

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