Home > culture, escape, liberty, life, orthodox, religion, secular, sex > Better Late – 17

Better Late – 17

Lights were on throughout the marina grounds even though it was mid-afternoon. The heavy storm clouds made the day dark, and gusting wind pushed waves against the pier and splashed them across the wooden platform. Shaynah parked in the visitors’ area beside the small coffee shop and tied a large scarf around her head and under her chin. David had said he’d wait for her in the coffee shop. She dashed from the car to the protection of the coffee shop, undaunted by the surging waves that swept across the pier decking and over her feet, soaking her legs and the bottom of her long, full, tweed skirt. She dashed under the protective marquee over the door and paused to shake the rain from her clothes and drop the kerchief from over her head to drape it on her shoulders.

Shaynah swept into the coffee shop and paused inside the door to look around the simple room. At a counter, too men in work clothes sat on stools chatting with the big-bosomed woman behind the counter while she wiped some glasses. Beside the tradesmen sat David Goodman. He looked up when Shaynah entered, and immediately swivelled his stool around and walked toward her with his hands deliberately down at his sides.

“Mrs. Gnavisch,” he said with his warm, boyish smile. “I’m sorry, but I don’t know what to do. I would normally shake hands, but I know that your religion forbids married women from touching any man who is not her husband.”

“I am not a married woman,” Shaynah said, and held her hand out to him. He took in his warm, dry hand. “I’m a widow,” she said.

“Would you like coffee or… oh… sorry,” David said, “I forgot you can’t take anything not from a kosher kitchen.

“I’d like to have coffee if I may,” she said. “With sugar and cream, please.”

“I thought…” David began.

“My devotion to the religion passed away with my husband,” she said. David ordered two coffees from the woman behind the counter.

“I’m sorry for your loss,” he said.

“Thank you,” Shaynah said, “but you needn’t be.” She blushed at her boldness.

“I’m confused,” David said. The counter woman brought the coffee. Shaynah busied herself putting the sugar and cream into her coffee. While she stirred it, and David sipped his black coffee, Shaynah wondered how much to tell David. She looked up into his handsome, bronzed face with the liquid blue eyes that looked back with such frank clarity. The casual warmth in his voice was even more comforting than it had been on the computer speakers, and she decided that she really had no reason to hide anything from this young man. The thought trickled through her mind that he might be as much as twenty-five years her junior. But what did that matter? She was only looking at a property that he had for sale.

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