The attraction of a secret
|Do you want to know a secret?
“Do you want to know a secret?”
The question came like an invitation to intimacy, softly spoken and her breath tickling my ear. Did I want to know? Well, of course, I’m as curious as anyone; I wanted to know a secret.
Yet, would it still be a secret if it were told? Surely the telling of a secret makes it less than that, transforms it into the beginning of common knowledge. If it’s a secret, it must be something that is known only by the one who does or does not tell it. It’s the telling that dilutes the secrecy.
For all I knew, the secret might already have been weakened by telling, perhaps once, perhaps so many times that it would be shouted abroad by the newspapers in the morning. How likely was it that she, my would-be informer, had this secret knowledge first hand? It could well be that I stood at the verge of entrapment in the web of telling and hearing, passing on and distribution, until “secret” was merely a name for something that had lost its allure.
But yes, I still wanted to know. Not for me the valiant refusal to dally with even the mention of gossip. Nor the tight-lipped denial of interest, so clearly holding back a mounting curiosity. I wanted to know.
Turning to her sweet face, her eyes bright with mischief and the golden hair falling in innocent curls across her brow, I whispered, “Yes, of course I do. Tell me the secret.”
She cupped her hand to her lips and spoke again into my ear. “Your fly is undone.”
Word Count: 277