Killing Me Softly

One hand on the steering wheel, he channel hopped the radio. Unusually for a man, he was bored with sports news.
Nope, don’t like that either. He pressed another button.
Roberta Flack. He hadn’t heard her for quite some time. Years in fact. And she sounded as good as ever. Maybe even better. And thankfully, it wasn’t being ruined by the boys from the ‘hood who had “updated” it in recent times. No, this was the plain vanilla flavour and it was good. Very good. So good in fact that he vividly remembered returning home from school at lunchtime, turning on the radio and hearing it for the very first time. Back then, it had struck a chord instantly with him. When in his mind women were special. They were loving and caring. Faithful. Honest, decent. The best that humanity had to offer. And he was in no doubt that women were equal to men. They were people. And he knew that someday he would find one for himself. He was unaware back then that women got paid less than men for similar work. He never changed his view. He frequently wondered “What’s she doing now.”

As though it were only yesterday, that haunting melody, that smooth voice, he was touched again. The music effortlessly spanning the intervening decades.
“Killing me softly with his words,” she sang. He felt the emotion, experienced it, longed for it. Back then. And looking back he realised that he had found it. Minutes ago, when he bade farewell to his wife, he had noted how well she looked. She was still beautiful. And he was glad that he had told her so.



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