“I read the news today,” said the Ambassador’s wife.
“Anything interesting?” said the Ambassador, without looking up from his Kindle.
“Can you explain this, on page six?” she asked, handing him a broadsheet newspaper. There was a news story of around 300 words about a visiting statesman, accompanied by a very large photograph of the statesman himself. Officials from the host nation were busying themselves in the background, looking at paperwork, speaking into mobile phones and so on.
“Ah, the President’s visit and the trade deal.”
He put the Kindle down and took off his glasses. For a moment the Ambassador chewed one of the legs before launching into a detailed explanation.
This intellectual man was in his element, explaining complex information to someone he considered inferior. After seven minutes of monologue, the Ambassador had summarised the negotiations, the trade deal and his role in securing it. He went to pick up his Kindle. Before doing so he paused and asked;
“Does that answer your question?”
“Not really dear.”
“Oh, why so?”
“I was more interested in the photograph darling. I couldn’t help noticing you in the background.”
“I end up in all sorts of pictures my sweet. Very dreary, comes with the territory.”
“Yes, I know. But in most of them you don’t have your arms around your youthful secretary, a hand on her left breast and your tongue down her throat.”
Years of negotiation with difficult envoys and even the occassional terrorist had taught the Ambassador never to give anything away with his eyes or body language. This time, however, his skills failed him.
His hands shook as he picked up the newspaper. He studied the photograph carefully and as he did so, the colour drained from his face. The image was grainy and slightly out of focus but, sure enough, there he was, far off in the background leaning up against a tree with the other woman.
It had been a five second kiss. A moment snatched while no one of their colleagues, all of whom knew exactly what was going on, were looking.
The risk of getting caught and the presence of one of the most powerful men on the planet had added to the thrill. Of course they had been unwittingly caught out by a press photographer who hadn’t even noticed them in the frame, her attention having been on the President.
“I can explain,” said the Ambassador.
“If you could please darling, I’d be very grateful.” said his wife.
Copyright, John Adams, London, United Kingdom, December 2014.
This post was inspired by #theprompt linky hosted by the MumTurnedMom blog. The prompt phrase being “I read the news today.” Cick on The Prompt badge to visit the linky and read prose from other bloggers. This post has also been linked to the Friday Fiction linky.