Week of 14–20 November Writing Prompt

x A Chance Meeting | The Man, His Wife, and Her Lover

The man said, “I’ll never let her go.” At that moment, he knew these were the words he lived by.

K. Joseph
6 min readNov 21, 2022

Three People, dressed in black.
Photo by Jessica Felicio on Unsplash

I had to leave her now, just until I could calm down. I was so angry with her. How could she want to break our wedding vows and us apart? I have always lived by the words of Kate Stewart, “A perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who won’t give up on each other.” I would never think about leaving my wife or even being unfaithful. But I think Oorun had an affair, and now she seems ready to end our union.

I slammed the door and stepped out into the frigid night air.

I pulled my jacket closed and stomped quickly away from the house. Before I knew it, after walking for almost an hour, I was at the gym. The same one that my wife goes to every morning. Besides being with her when she got the membership a few years ago, I have never used my membership.

It loomed large in front of me now. I stared hard at the building and glared at the few folks entering and leaving the premises. It was later in the evening. I suppose it would close in the next two hours or so.

I released my fists from my pockets, strode across the street, and pulled open the glass doors of the workout facility.

I know I was being crazy, but as soon as I walked in, images of what she may look like working out here flooded my mind. I imagined her with her lover, laughing and sweating together, pushing each other to be better people — it was likely such a great time.

“Excuse me, sir.”

“Sir, — “ the squeaky voice said curtly, interrupting my runaway thoughts.

I turned and focused my eyes on the young girl at the desk.

“Please scan your membership FOB, sir.”

I fished my keys from my pocket, slowly lifted my arm, and scanned the fob.

“I left my gym clothes at the office. Do you have any workout clothes I can buy?”

The girl looked over my shoulder. I turned to follow her gaze and saw the clock.

It was 7:25 PM.

Below the clock was a clothes rack packed with gym-branded gear. I picked some items, thankful that I had sneakers at least, paid and stomped to the changing room.

I was still stressed but looking forward to burning off some calories and these feelings of angry frustration as I pulled on the tee-shirt and heard someone call my name.

Glancing up, I saw my boss, Norm, standing in the doorway.

“I didn’t know you worked out here!” he said with a pleased and surprised expression.

An exquisite woman interrupted my routine in this morning. I told you I ran into the love of my life this morning — reconnecting with her took precedence. So I came after work to get more of my workout done.”

The words rolled over everything in my head. They played a bit differently.

“I ran into your wife this morning, Adrian. I had to convince her to leave you; it took precedence over working out.”

All thoughts of working off my own bitterness evaporated. Norm, my new boss, did not know that Oorun was my wife, but that did not stop me from hating him at that moment.

Something must have flashed in my eyes or reverberated off my countenance because he stood straight and started towards me.

“Hey man, what’s going on? You look like I just kicked you in the shins.”

I shook my head, a storm warring inside. Words rushed out.

I learned today that my wife has been unfaithful to me. The end of my marriage was never something I considered happening. I’m shocked. Hearing your news triggered me, I guess. She also reconnected with someone she used to know.”

“Ah, Adrian. I’m sorry.”

“It’s all right. I just need to figure out what I’m going to do now.”

Norm nodded, his face growing solemn. “Well, if you ever need someone to talk to or just someone who will listen without judgement, please know that my door is always open.”

I blinked and shook my head, trying to focus on his words. I gave a small, tight smile and nodded. Norm raised his eyebrows at me and jerked his thumb towards the exit of the bathrooms.

“Let’s workout together,” he whispered.

Impressively built man doing pullups.
Photo by Edgar Chaparro on Unsplash

I followed him to the weight machines. How could this be happening? Why did it have to be him — and her?

I looked at him now. His body was spectacular. The way his muscles moved as he lifted the barbell was beautiful. I felt my soft body tense, envy creeping in. There was a tattoo of an ornate tree on his right arm. I could swear it was designed with an ‘O’ at the center where the branches shot up from the trunk. Was Oorun the center of his life?! This man had my wife’s attention, and now she seemed ready to end our marriage.

Suddenly, I heard the sharpest intake of breath behind us. We both turned to investigate and saw Oorun standing there.

She must have followed me here!

We all stood there, her looking at me, Norm at her and me in the middle, feeling completely lost. I didn’t know what to do or say… Erupting from me were the first words that came to my mind.

“So here we are.”

Oorun broke away from our locked eyes and turned to Norm, her face pale. She looked quickly back at me.

“Adrian, I…” she broke off and shifted uncomfortably on her feet.

Norm stepped towards her but stopped when I put my hand up.

Norm. What I didn’t say earlier was that my wife is Oorun.

He looked at me then, and our eyes crashed, his with alarm and confusion, mine with fierce determination.

With complete certainty, I stated in a voice laced with venom that felt gravelly in my mouth, “I refuse to give up on my marriage.”

Looking at Oorun then, I said, “I will never give up on us. I’ll never let you go.”

Turning entirely away from Norm, I strode towards Oorun, took her palm in mine and led her away.

Dear Norm,

I regret to inform you I am resigning from my position effective immediately. This decision was not simple, but I must leave because of recent events.

Thank you for allowing me to work here, and I wish you all the best in the future.



7:25 PM | SEQUEL TO 6:05 PM | The Book In Progress

This story sprung out when I read this prompt. I am thankful for the inspiration.

© 2022 K. Joseph. All rights reserved

🏄🏾‍♀️ This is a work of fiction: the characters are totally made up. The story of Adrian, Norm and Oorun is blossoming into a book. More bubbles up, in my dreams, in my mind’s eye as I avoid eye contact with folks on the subway, and I am.

🙏🏾 Thanks for reading. Please clap, comment — I’d love to hear your reactions to this content. 🌶 About me.

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K. Joseph

Change management leader sharing ideas and experiences that may help you navigate the world of work with your fellow humans.