Stephanie Elaine Braxton – married to Tom Braxton, living in a nice community, with a high-end position at a high-end company, one of the most professional individuals anyone would ever come across in their lives, ever – gasped. Lost her breath. Tried to find it. Tried to catch herself.

And, in doing so, could not. It was too late.

As she planted that kiss on my cheek, Seth Hughes shouted for me to come over to him. I politely excused myself from Stephanie – not wanting to leave her, not wanting the kiss to end, not wanting to stop being with her. But I had to go.

She watched me walk away, walk towards Seth. She stood there, for, realistically, maybe, just five seconds … but they might as well have been five minutes.

She found herself breathing heavy. She found herself feeling something inside her … something that made her say, “Oh, my.” Something that gave her a sensation that she, for the past month, had tried to stop from happening … that she had tried to control.

And yet the door had been opened. That kiss – that one, innocent kiss on the cheek – had opened a door to something.

The question was: Would anyone walk through it?


Stephanie Elaine Braxton fought her way through the crowd of people that had come up to us, finding her way to where I was, looking into my eyes all along as she walked, her smile growing bigger and wider as she took each step towards me.

Before she got to me, she said out loud so I could hear it through the crowd, “Great job, Mr. Harris – Great job!”

I smiled at her, as she kept working her way towards me. “Thank you, ma’am, much appreciated!”

Our words reached one another. She could have stopped walking. But she didn’t. She came right up to me.

And for the very first time, kissed me – on my cheek, close to my lips, but not touching them.

Not long … but also not short.

“Oh, my,” was the thought – the words that, yet again, came to mind.

Only this time, they were not my words, they were not my thoughts. 

No – That thought – those words – were Stephanie’s.