Reg and Carol were lovers who never made love. They kissed once, but their lips felt too warm, too moist. They met weekly during lunch at an abandoned elementary school, sat in the dusty desks, played cards, chess, completed crosswords. They discoed to Bee Gees’ songs in the hollow hallways. They rescued a cardinal trapped in the old gym. They pushed each other on the rusty swings and spun each other into dizzying fits of laughter on the merry-go-round. Neither could tell their spouses of over twenty years about these meetings. This love was too deep, too illicit, too innocent.

S.E. White teaches Creative Writing at Purdue University North Central. She has published a few short stories before, and authors A Novel Blog.

6 Responses to “Straying”

  1. Kathleen Nielsen says:

    This is the kind of “cheating” that worries a spouse the most! A heart to heart connection is far more enviable and devastating than a sexual one.

  2. Michelle says:

    I was very surprised by the ending. It was really a very perfect picture of these two who shared such a love that we all wish to have one day.

  3. Tammy R says:

    This story is wonderful! What a great surprise ending, I thought they were still teenagers until that point.

  4. jeff switt says:

    The final line was perfect, what a delightful and touching story. Jeff

  5. Victoria says:

    This was fantastic.

  6. Angela says:


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