The Ruse

As he stood there open-mouthed, his wife gave the other woman, in this order: her final installment, a thank you and goodbye as the other woman handed over the baby and the diaper bag.

*** One Year and Two Months Earlier.

The oomph of the temptation was a wonderful distraction she, until today, had only dreamt of; flummoxed, she faltered, slightly dazed, no, actually stupefied, by his charm. He, all the while, nodded in agreement but was breathless at the ease with which they came together!

He gave no thought at all to his wonderstruck wife at home. -

The door to the hotel room opened quickly, and they fell into each other's arms without speaking as much as a word. Their attraction was intense and inventive. They took time with each other and hardly spoke. The man was happy and had no idea their afternoon was hardly as spontaneous as he believed. It was the perfect time of the month for her, and she had taken the prescribed hormone enhancer to ensure success. Why not have fun while trying to get pregnant, she thought, several times during the afternoon? The poor guy was a bit starved for vigorous, healthy sex.

The man and the woman left her hotel room and returned to the conference as though nothing had occurred between them. They knew enough to gather the literature for the lecture they had missed and decided to have dinner together.

The conference took place every year. They finished dessert, brought up the topic of next year’s discussion, and decided it would be great to meet again.

The allure of their lovemaking stayed with them. It didn’t take long for the two to fall back into their own separate daily routines. They both often thought of their day together and were looking forward to spending time together again.

*** One Year and Two Months Later/Current Day.

His wife, their 14-month-old baby (well known to his wife who had hired the surrogate and remained in contact for the entire pregnancy and birth and life of the child so far), and a very pale-faced husband decided to leave the conference early. This was the day he had been waiting for all year. He knew it would be the last time he would see the other woman. He was confused and baffled, not knowing how cunning his wife could be. She, his own wife, had hired this woman, a younger, more attractive version of herself, to seduce him and become pregnant. His blood began to boil. They had agreed they would not have children. His wife had deceived him royally. This would be the last time he would see the woman he had thought of so often. He and his wife would be raising a child that was biologically his together. His wife had planned every detail.

He slowly walked back to the car where his family was waiting. The child reached for his hand. He looked at the little face and saw himself.


by Lily Finch


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