Childhood Friend by Orson Bonous

He recognized her in an instant. “Diora, hi.” he said.

“Rufus! Oh my god. How long has it been?” Diora replied.

Rufus felt his heart pounding in his chest. “Too long.”

She developed at an early age as far as her physique was concerned. She was always a swan in his eyes. They embraced – it’s a moment he never dreamed would happen. The world seemed to stop as other customers in the store passed by. Once the two broke contact the very first thing Diora saw was the glimmer of reflected light from Rufus’ ring, the ring he craftily tried to conceal.

He said, “You know, I used to have the biggest crush on you when we were little.”

Diora stood fascinated and hung on his every word. They discussed many things. Then when he told her of his marriage to Juliette, his tone and facial expression changed from gladness to something dour. Rufus shared his life’s story, recounting how being married was not what he imagined it would be.

As Diora listened she considered stealing him. She saw a green light and she spoke about a recent break-up she had been through.

“Any kids?” Rufus asked.

“No. Not one”.

A whole slew of naughty thoughts plagued his mind – the things he could do with Diora, the very thoughts he let reside in him.

He said, “Yeah, I’m living in Long Island City now and there are many places we can go to for lunch.”

“We should do that sometime.” Diora replied.

Rufus held back his excitement. “Let me get your number.”

So it began. Rufus got together with Diora in Manhattan and minutes gradually became hours. By the end of their lunch date they lingered a bit in bidding farewell.

“I had a great time.” said Diora as she kissed Rufus on the cheek.

“As did I,” he replied.

They stared deeply into each other’s eyes, and then he just went for it – a kiss on her lips that set both of them ablaze.

Juliette had been undergoing tremendous amounts of stress at her office and it got to the point that when at home with Rufus, she was too exhausted to talk about her day – much less have sex. This had been so for months. Her colleague, David noticed that something was the matter and wanted to comfort her. That very day their close was a success, and to celebrate Juliette and David went out for drinks in the city. The two financial analysts drove in David’s car. When Juliette happened to stare out the window during their drive in the heart of the Financial District, she recognized Rufus with some lady leaving Club Quarters, a hotel she knew well. This stayed in her mind. Juliette and David spent a great deal of time talking over drinks until dusk. When she arrived home Rufus was fast asleep. It was quite late and his cell phone was on the night table next to his side of the bed. Juliette picked up his cell and checked his messages. She never needed to do this until now, and she was shocked at what she read. Quietly, she set the cell phone back on the night table.

So that slut I saw him with is Diora, Juliette thought to herself. A thousand and one ways to get back at Rufus had entered her cerebrum.

The next morning Juliette told Rufus that she had been thinking of having an affair with David. Rufus couldn’t believe his ears! She explained that ever since she was paired-up to work with David, things had begun to change. Even late nights at the office seemed better as long as he was with her. She valued his ability to share and offer helpful words of encouragement when she felt she was at her breaking point. Then there were the casual touches and his hugs – yes, hugs. She recalled how she felt so safe in his arms, and so desired.

After a moment of digesting what Juliette just said, he finally responds, “An affair?”

“Or a threesome.” she added.

“Argh. I don’t want you having sex with some other guy. I’d rather a threesome if I had a choice.”

“I bet you would.” Juliette murmured.

“Say that again?” Rufus clearly becomes agitated.

“Why wouldn’t you want a threesome? You’re a man.”

“A married man.” he replied.

“Don’t let that stop you!” Juliette retorted, “I know Diora wouldn’t mind!”

Suddenly a stunned Rufus was left not knowing what to say. “Have you been going through my phone?” he asked.

“So you don’t deny that you know Diora?” she asked firmly, “Who is she?”

Rufus took a deep breath. He had no way around this.

“Diora is a childhood friend.” he replied somberly.

“I read that she was so grateful for the time I saw you with her in the city.” Juliette responded.

It all came crashing down on him like a ton of boulders.

“You went into Manhattan? Why were you there?” he asked.

“It doesn’t matter. So do I get to do David behind your back or do I do him and you in a three–”

“It’s called a train.” Rufus interrupted, “Two girls and a guy make up a threesome.”

As he headed for the door he added, “You’re not doing this… unless I’m there.”

After having hung out much later that night at a club, Juliette led David home where Rufus sat waiting with a loaded Smith & Wesson revolver.

Days later, as Diora read about the murder-suicide in the paper tears streamed down her face. She wiped them away and took a letter from the table which she wrote with the intention of sending it to Rufus and lit it on fire using a match. The burnt remains fell into the kitchen sink.

She then says, “Good bye, Rufus. Your child will never know about who you were, but I will because despite your many flaws I loved you.”


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