“I don’t know how often we can get away with this, Kees,” Marie said, fiddling with the dials on her camera.
“Why would there be a problem?” Kees asked, “Saskia knows I teach photography one-to-one, and she doesn’t have any concerns about it. She often asks whether I’ve had a good day, what did I photograph, how was the client and so on, but never any more than that.”
“It’s not your wife I’m worried about, Kees. Caleb knows a lot of people in Paris. He’s insanely jealous, and I wouldn’t put it past him to have spies out, keeping an eye on me.”
Kees looked at her pensively. “What are you saying?” he asked, “Are you suggesting we should break up; that we should stop seeing each other?”
“God, no!” Marie replied, “Don’t ever think that. I don’t know how I’d manage without you. Cal is so controlling, so demanding, so… macho, it almost drives me mad. If I couldn’t spend this time with you every week, I don’t know what I’d do. I just think we need to be extra careful, is all.”
“How can we possibly be more careful than we are being?” Kees demanded, “We always meet in public places; we’re never alone together, and apart from occasionally guiding you to a better shooting angle; an action that sends a thrill through me so intense I can hardly bear it; we haven’t had any physical contact in the five months we’ve been meeting.”
“I know, I know,” Marie said, “and I’m sorry. I want so much to be with you, you know, properly. We can’t, though. I’ve been totally straight with Cal about our tutorial sessions. He agrees that my photography is improving, but he keeps asking about my tutor, about you. I tell him what I can; you are from Holland, you are an award-winning and well-known photographer, and you are teaching me a great deal. But when I talk to him about our sessions, I keep thinking he can see in my eyes that you are more than just a teacher to me. One time, he asked me if you had ever touched me. When I said that you had, but only to guide me to a better shooting angle, he became angry and said that he didn’t mean like that. I told him of course not, but I can’t help thinking he can sense something. That’s why we have to be so careful.”
Kees thought deeply before responding. “I may have a plan. A friend of mine, a woman, teaches fine art photography, and is hosting a weekend seminar in Bordeaux next month. I’ll have her send you an invitation, which will include all the information your husband could possibly want to see about the weekend. To a non-photographer, it’ll seem deadly boring, and all you have to do is to convince him you’ll love it. I’ll be staying in the same hotel all weekend; in fact I’ll probably look in on the seminar, you never know so much that there’s nothing left to learn. I’ll look out for you. If you can make it, and if you’re alone, we’ll be able to spend some time alone together.”
“Oh, Kees, that sounds so good. I’ll do whatever I can to make it,” Marie purred.
“Now,” Kees said, “we should take some photographs of this statue, before people start thinking that we only carry cameras as props.”
Marie looked at the statue, and asked Kees, “Why do you think the angel is holding those two burgers?”
The tension relieved, Kees helped Marie to take some memorable photographs of the statue.
I wrote this in response to Kreative Kue 23, issued on this site earlier this week.