I stepped out of the change room wearing my capris and blouse which all seemed so drab after my previous options. Quinn was back in his chair. Only his relaxed, easy going posture was replaced with a man hunched over his lap holding his head. He stood as soon as he heard me.
“Cathie, please forgive me.”
“There is nothing for me to forgive you for.” I said as I marched out passed him and headed for the mall entrance.
He grabbed onto me and swung me around again. “Then what just happened?”
I closed my eyes tight, hoping to wish away the awkwardness. “It’s me Quinn. You did nothing wrong. There are just some things I would rather avoid.” Again, I wiggled out of his grasp and walked away.
By the time I was out of the store I realized he was not with me. I turned to find him walking several paces behind me.
He held up his index finger to me, wordlessly asking for me to wait. I nodded and he bolted back to the store counter. The woman handed him a credit card and a slip of paper. Suddenly it dawned on me that he had purchased something. I felt fairly confident that it wasn’t the socks he had wanted earlier.
He turned towards me toting a large store bag, smiling deep as he quickly stuffed his wallet back into his jeans.
“You didn’t?” I said.
“You shouldn’t have.”
“I couldn’t stop myself. Is there any way I convince you to wear it again?”
“I’ll find a way.” He said.
I turned to face him as tears filled in the crevices of my eyes. “Please don’t Quinn. What I did to you is wrong. I know you don’t see that but it would kill me to know I was the cause of that look in your eyes again. You think you could convince me and you might be right. I am afraid that I may not be able to withstand your attempts. So please do not try.” Then I took off at my super-escape speed that I am getting good at around him.
I heard his footsteps quicken to reach me. “Cherie I don’t understand.”
I shrugged. Then we walked the distance back to the car before I was able to speak. Any attempt would have released the water gate.
Quinn unlocked my door and held it open for me. “Are we going to talk about this?”
I crawled into the car quickly as I could feel the tears pressuring against my eyelids.
As the door closed behind me I heard his somewhat sarcastic response. “I’ll take that as a no.” Then he walked around the black car to his own door.
Once he was in his seat I spoke through my tears. “Quinn, God means everything to me, more than anything else really. That is why I know He is the one giving me these visions. However God said in His word that it is a sin to cause a brother to stumble. That is what I have done.” I covered my face in my hands. “Me - in that dress caused you to sin. I am so sorry.”
“Honey I haven’t sinned yet, but I was –“.
“That is the problem right there. Even looking at a woman with lust is like committing adultery.”
“Adulter...”. He paused mid-word and a look of anger crept across his face. His jaw tightened and his eyes squinted slightly. “You’re married.” His words sounded more like a statement than a question.
“Well no – what kind of answer is that?” There was definitely anger in his words now. He faced straight ahead and started the engine of his car.
“It means no. I was but I am not anymore.”
He had started backing his car up but stopped and looked right into my eyes. A sign escaped his lips. “Good, then what I was imagining was not a sin Cherie – it is natural. You are a beautiful woman and that dress just accentuated the best parts of you.”
“Stop please. I know you don’t understand this.”
We didn’t say another word for a long time. He drove and I scanned my brain of all the scripture and doctrines stored in my head like a school girl before a test. Was it wrong? I am not married anymore. I don’t know what to think.
After about ten minutes of silence in the car, he spoke. “If you are not interested in a relationship like that with me it is ok you know, but don’t hide behind God. That is not fair.”
His words shocked me. He obviously had no idea what thoughts were fighting for dominance in my head. “Quinn, I am not hiding. As a believer I have taken a stand that sex is only for marriage and no place else. If the way I dress makes you desire me in that way than I am causing you to sin because God intends for you to only have those feelings and thoughts for your wife.”
“I don’t have a wife.”
“Which is exactly the reason you shouldn’t be thinking like that.”
“Now, I know that you don’t feel the same way about God as I do. And therefore you don’t see his standards the same. So, I can’t stop you from thinking those things, but I won’t be the reason for them as long as I can help it.”
“So God doesn’t want me to think about you or any woman in an intimate way?”
“Right. Unless she is your wife.”
“That’s not fair. I rather enjoyed those images.” He sported his fun-loving smile as he drove along the road. Silence again filled our drive. After several minutes he pulled his car into a parking stall at the hotel.
“Well, take the dress anyway and maybe someday you can use it to blow your husband away with those images. Besides it won’t fit me anyway.” He passed the store bag towards me.
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