It was in a small conference when I first met Cherry. At 27, she was 13 years younger than me and in her prime. She approached me to say that she enjoyed my presentation. I could sense there was some level of infatuation on her part but the thought of us meeting every so often in professional circles kept me from taking advantage of the interest she showed. It was a few months later when she asked me if I could do a presentation in a workshop of her students. I knew she was 7 hours away by bus and that they couldn’t really afford to fully compensate me for the travel and work I’ll be doing but I felt obliged to help them out.
So I traveled seven hours to get to their town. I went there the evening before the presentation so I would be ready early the next morning. They met me at the bus terminal and promptly drove me to the hotel and left me there for the night. I was kind of hoping to get a message from her saying something like ‘Would you like to have dinner with me?’ but nothing came.
The next morning, I sent her a text message saying ‘I’m ready to go. I’m just in my room rehearsing my presentation’ knowing that they (her drive and colleague) were coming to pick me up. I thought I should let them know that they just needed to call me once they were at the hotel. The next thing I knew, there was a knock on the door. I opened it and it was her. Since I still had to pack my laptop, I let her in, leaving her to close the door. When she did, my head was racing as I tried to collect my thoughts in the bathroom after I excused myself to ‘brush my teeth’. Should I take that as an indication that I could explore intimacy with her? I decided that I could not take the chance. Still, as I was opening the hotel room door, I was thinking of just turning around and taking her right there and then. I didn’t.
I did the presentation in the morning and, after lunch, she took me to the town central market to have a look at some of the local produce. I didn’t really notice them as I was following her around the market, with my attention fixed to her petite, curvy figure. I was fantasizing about being in bed with her but, once again, prudence prevailed. I left town late that afternoon and, all the while I was on the bus on my way back home, I kept wondering what could have happened if I had gathered the courage to grab hold of her when we were in my hotel room.
She sent me a message thanking me for the effort and I thought that was it. But we continued exchanging messages after that, this time less formal and more personal. I learned that she was married and that she had a young child. But her relationship with her husband wasn’t that good. It came to the point that we found out that we found each other attractive and that we felt the same way when she walked into my hotel room. We talked about meeting up but it wasn’t easy given the distance. To make it fair, we decided to meet in a town halfway in between our respective cities. But a day before the scheduled meet, she messaged me to say that her child was sick and so she couldn’t go. I suspected that she had a change of heart but I just said it was OK. But I realized that she was telling the truth when, a week after, she told me that she had decided to travel all the way to my city – seven hours away – saying: ‘Don’t worry. You will have me.’ And so I did. And I made sure that it was worth the seven hours of travel for her.