I didn’t get in trouble at work. The big wigs contacted Boss Man that Sunday night for reasons that had nothing to do with him or me. Yet I can’t help thinking how reckless we were. Almost like we wanted to get caught, lying on the stairs with his fingers inside me, hiding in the kitchen pressed up against the wall.
Why did I do this? I still don’t know.
Am I just not used to being happy, so I feel like I need to court misery? Maybe I don’t know myself without it. Maybe I think that happiness will never last, so I need to keep pain around as a constant. And yet, its not like my life was perfect. Things with the husband are a constant work in progress, work can be stressful, there is never enough money and my kids are more of a handful than I have hands for.
Maybe I entertained a fantasy that he and his girlfriend would break up, and then he would come back to me and stay with me for longer this time. Not forever–never forever, he wouldn’t have it, he needs a partner who is all his. But maybe I thought we could be together, learn from each other, have something that we could look back on one day and smile about. One of those break-up that transitions nicely into a friendship between a couple who “remains close.”
But am I close with any of my exes, still? I want to be, so badly, but they won’t have me, not even as a friend. My first love who I think should be over it enough by now to be able to chat with me, will not talk to me. I wish I knew why–it was over more than a decade ago–but she says she can’t. She won’t be my friend.
The first lover I took after I was married, who was my best friend in jr. high, disappeared without a trace after our week of passion and presumably doesn’t care whether or not I’m alive. Sugar Daddy, he was never my friend, and I don’t talk to him because all he wants from me is sex and submission. Boss Man is my friend, first and foremost–one of my closest, one of my dearest. I know part of what I wanted was a lover who still wanted me in their life, even after the romance was over.
Was it worth it, though? God, it feels like it wasn’t. It feels like nothing could be worth feeling this way. Nothing is worth hiding in the locker room at work, sobbing and gasping into his chest while he rubs slow circles on my back and I beg him to tell me why losing something that never had a shot hurts so goddamn much.
He says we met at the wrong time, but at least we met. I’m glad we met too, but should I have slept with him, even once? Maybe. I did recover from that, even though it hurt. But after he had a girlfriend? No. No, it did nothing but fuck with me. And yet, at the time, there was something so sublime about finally knowing that he loved me back. That he feels our connection as deeply as I do. That he wishes to god we’d met ten years ago. That I will always also be his one that got away.
Of course, that changes nothing. Because we’re still not together, and we never will be again. Because he loves Tinder Girl and she wants to marry him and have his kid. Because even if they broke up, a few more months or a year with him would not change the ending. He will always end up with someone else. Better now than later.
I want to find another job. I never planned to stay for more than a year anyway. Its time to move on professionally, and he is the only reason I haven’t. And now he is my motivation for getting away as soon as possible. Its impossible, and it hurts, and it broke us both.
He has a girlfriend. If things go the way they plan for them to, he will marry her and make a baby with her. And she’ll never know how he cheated, and that is my biggest regret. It’s gross. I feel gross. If I can’t live with it, how will he? Just another question I don’t really know the answer to.
I really want to believe that I’ve learned my lesson. I do believe I’ve learned it. That I won’t enter into something doomed again because I don’t know that the experience is worth the heartbreak. Love is not rare and precious. I could fall in love with someone new every year, but that doesn’t mean that I should if it’s not right. I also want to believe that I’ll never get involved again with someone who is cheating, regardless of the passion.
I hope I have a good memory. I hope I remember this pain for the rest of my life. I hope I never go there again.
We are falling so hard. It is intoxicating and devastating. It’s a gigantic, impossible bruise of a love. It is never going to end in anything but heartbreak. There is literally no rhyme or reason to it–I want to ask “Why?” but there’s no point.
“At another time, in another place…” He keeps saying. At another time, in another place, we would be something legendary.
But he is still monogamous at heart (even if not in action, at this point) and I am still not. Well, actually, chances are if a genie promised me my ideal relationship scenario, I would have a perfect, intense love with one person. And that love would last forever and we’d never even want to look at anyone else. But I don’t have a genie. So this is my life and these are my choices. My love for my husband and for Papa Bear preclude my being able to indulge my love for Boss Man, who wants me all to himself. I can’t say anything at all about it, because he deserves to have the kind of “one and only” love he’s looking for. And he loves Tinder Girl, and she loves him. And yet.
The fire between us when our eyes meet across the room. Our little stolen touches–to tuck a tag, or a not so innocent brush by as we cross paths.
His hands on my face at the end of the day, kissing me goodbye. His pulling the car over when we drive together for work, allowing me to jump into his lap and take his mouth.
Me in his bed. Me in his shower. His cock in my mouth. His head between my legs. Him inside me.
The rumours we now ignore, because none of them know what they’re talking about. In his words “They talk of lust, not love.”
And we are so impossibly in love. The kind that is going to spread, like flames, up the walls of our lives, and burn it all to the ground if we don’t stop it.
I think we might be.
The view from Papa Bear’s high rise is magnificent. I love sitting in this comfy lounge chair, watching the sun come up, watching the sun go down, watching the city lights at night, or the mist rising over the skyline in mid-morning.
I love our quiet time. I love drinking my coffee while he makes bacon, or just snuggling together and enjoying the fact that we have nowhere to be and nothing to do.
I love our little happy place at the top of the world.
I couldn’t breathe. I literally could not breathe. It wasn’t warm out anymore, but I rolled down my window and tried desperately to get my lungs to inflate. I started to dry-sob. I felt like I might puke. I asked Papa Bear to open the other windows, and when that didn’t work, to open the moon roof.
We were on the highway and I just needed him to pull over so I could get out of the car. “Can you find a gas station?” I gasped. He said, with a look of absolute panic on his face, that he would pull over as soon as he found one.
It was clear he hadn’t the slightest idea what to do.
When he finally found a place to stop, I got out of the car, told him to stay where he was, and ran inside for a pack of cigarettes. I have been trying very hard not to smoke, but this was an emergency. I sat outside the car, on the curb, and smoked one, and then another, and slowly my heart-rate returned to normal.
I walked slowly towards the car, got in, and then said “So you’re a dom now?”
Papa Bear is my “Daddy”, as we refer to it in kink circles. But he could never really do the dom thing. He helps me be disciplined in areas of my life that I need it, and he takes care of me and nurtures my inner baby girl. But he has made it clear from the start–even when The Ex-Wifey discovered she was a submissive and wanted him to beat her–that he is not dominant in that way. We actually took almost 6 months off from our Daddy/Baby Girl relationship when things were bad with The Wifey, and had just started dipping our toes back into him being my Daddy again. So all I could think was “But he will dom Nerd Girl. For HER, he’s a dom!?”
“No,” he said. “I’m not a dom now.”
“Then what the hell?? Why the hell did you nod when she asked if you would go down the dom road with her!?”
“It was awkward. She said it in front of you guys and I didn’t want to be like ‘Um, hold up, no’. I figured I’d sort it out with her next time we talk. And I kind of thought she was just asking if its okay that she’s a submissive, not that she wants me to be her dom.”
“Well, no,” I said. “That’s not how she put it. She asked you to ‘go down that road’ with her. She obviously thinks you’re her dom now.”
He said he had no intention of being her dom, or anyone else’s. “I had fun with her,” he said, “but flogging her did nothing for me. I wasn’t even a little bit turned on, even though she was buck ass naked and moaning like crazy. It’s not my thing.”
“Then why does she need a special name for you? Why does she now, after one night, need you to have a Dom title?”
“That freaked me out too,” he said. “She should just call me my name. I don’t want a title with anyone but you.”
I calmed down by a fraction of a decibel.
“What else upset you?” he asked.
“Well, you didn’t use a condom,” I said. “You said you would use a condom with anyone else, and you didn’t. So I guess you’ll need to buy some to use with me, since you want to be fluid-bonded with her now.”
He apologized profusely. He said it was idiotic. That he put the condom on, and it came off, and then he didn’t grab another one. He said there was no excuse. He promised it wouldn’t happen again.
But I couldn’t stop shaking and my teeth kept chattering.
“What else?” he asked.
“She wants to come spend nights at your house so she doesn’t have to go home from work? You just moved out! We literally just got to a place where we don’t need to wait til your wife is out to see each other, and you said I could come over after work, or spend the night and go to work from your place in the morning, and now she thinks she should be doing that? I have been waiting this entire relationship to get to have that kind of time with you, and after one night, she gets to reap the benefits of all our pain and all the hard decisions we’ve made, and now I have to check with you to find out if Nerd Girl is coming over before I can!?”
“No,” he said. “I told her when we chatted last week, that I am not looking for another girlfriend, and that’s still true. I have been waiting so long for us to be able to have to space to just be together. I love how easy it has been since I moved out, and how happy we have been, and I have no intention of suddenly having another woman staying over at my place all the time.”
“She already wants to see you on Friday. That’s the only night I can stay over when we don’t have to rush because of everyone’s work schedule. You said I could spend Friday night. Why does she think she is spending Friday night?”
“I have no idea,”he said. “She had already asked me about my schedule when we were in bed. I told her that the only night I have free this week is Friday, and that I usually spend Fridays with you.”
“Then why did she say that?”
“I don’t know,” he said, looking truly confused. “But her intensity is freaking me out.”
“Do you want to spend Friday night with her?” I asked quietly. “I’m not going to pull rank and say you can’t if that’s what you want to do.”
“No,” he said emphatically. “I’m not going to say I would never go out with anyone else on a Friday night, but right now you and I need that time. And I want to spend it with you. I don’t want to give it up. And I just met her. I don’t know her. ”
“Yet,” I said.
“Look,” he told me. “The first time you and I were together, something amazing happened between us. We clicked and we connected in so many ways. I knew you were my soul mate, even if I couldn’t put it into words. Even before we met, even when we were just chatting on OkCupid and texting, I felt like I knew you. I don’t feel that way about her. And even though you and I might start dating other people eventually, I have no desire to do that right now. We need space and time to figure out how to just be together. You are my world.”
We were driving now, but I asked him to pull over. I said I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know whether I should go home and be by myself, or go with him. I didn’t know whether we should try to talk this out, or just move on from it.
We got out of the car. He said he still wanted to talk. And in the distance, I spotted blue and green colours dancing across the sky. On our second date, we’d tried to find them, but couldn’t. That was the night he was talking about–the night we ended up on top of each other in the backseat, with our souls fused.
“Do you want to go see the Northern Lights?” I asked.
“Really?” he said, looking relieved and grateful.
“Really,” I answered.
And so we did.
Papa Bear moved out.
He has been in his new apartment a week today.
He tells me he is so, incredibly happy. And he seems happy. He gets to wake up later in the morning because he doesn’t have to make coffee for the Ex-Wifey before he leaves for work. His commute is shorter and easier. And he is way closer to where I live.
Instead of getting home from work and dreading what he is going to be in trouble for now, or what he is going to have to do for the Ex-Wifey, he just comes home and does whatever he wants. He relaxes. Or takes a nap. Or puts together furniture in his underwear. Or walks around naked.
His apartment is nice. It’s small, but new. Hardwood floors and lots of windows, in a high rise downtown with a gym and a pool. He is excited to have my kids over to swim.
Still, sometimes, the immensity of what has happened overcomes him. Still he tells me, sometimes he wonders “What have I done?”
I understand. Who wouldn’t have those reservations? What kind of person would leave a 20+ year marriage without some second thoughts? When he feels that though, he reminds himself of how bad it was. And of everything he has gained. And the panic slowly fades.
He says I am the most important thing in the world to him. I think its because I support his freedom, and respect his autonomy. Also, of course, is our amazing, heart-stopping, intense connection that just continues to grow and grow.
We are both so relieved–if that’s an appropriate word to use. We just want to be together, without having to walk on egg shells, or wait for permission, or feel guilty. He tells me he is excited about our life together, and being able to define it without a bunch of constraints.
I agree. We are soul mates. And now we can stop pretending that that doesn’t matter.
I keep having arguments with her in my head. Telling her what I want to say, imagining her response, and trying to refute it. It’s a habit I developed back when I figured that one day, for sure, we would have to sit down and hash things out. That there was no way we could move forward without doing that–without at least being heard.
Hearing from Papa Bear, however, what she thinks and feels about me, makes it clear that no amount of talking would make any difference. He says that once she has made up her mind about a person’s actions and motivations, there is no convincing her otherwise. I find this maddening, but I guess in a way its also freeing. Because it doesn’t matter what I do or say, I’m going to be the villain–so I don’t have to worry about what I do or say.
She believes that every action I have taken, every move I have made in my relationship with Papa Bear, has been carefully and methodically calculated in order to drive them apart.
She is still angry about the time she invited us to dinner, when we were on a date, and then suggested twice that if I was cold I go sit outside. She firmly believes that the reason I actually went and sat outside, was to snub her, and to take Papa Bear away from her (even though I told him to go ahead and stay inside with her). Apparently when she said she’d like to cook dinner for us, she meant she’d like all of us to cook dinner together, and I was rude for leaving. There is no room in her mind to accept the fact that maybe it was a misunderstanding.
She maintains that she is baffled–baffled!–as to why I would have got my feelings hurt over not being invited to their movie night at Christmas. The fact that this was a tradition that included all their friends, for years, and I wasn’t invited, should not have been hurtful to me. The fact that she and her boyfriend and his wife, sat three feet across from me and discussed it, knowing I would hear, knowing that I wasn’t welcome, should not have hurt me. Because it is their family event, and they have the right to decide who is invited and who isn’t, and the fact that I made a big deal out of this just shows that I do not respect their marriage. Papa Bear told her that I did not “make a big deal”–that it was a big deal, because I was actively hurt by her actions, but she refuses to see that she did anything wrong.
There is so much more that she is still angry about. The time that Papa Bear and I were 20 minutes late bringing food to the games night, even though we already had plans to hang out with someone else, and rudely and hurtfully cut it short because The Wifey decided to hold an event that same night that Papa Bear was required to be at. She is fuming because people were waiting, and refuses to see that she had no business requiring us to cut our plan short after an hour so we could be there for what she was doing.
In this entire thing–as it relates to me, but also, worse, as it relates to her relationship with Papa Bear–she has not apologized. Not once. She does not believe anything she did was wrong. She places the blame squarely on us, and mostly on me.
I would love to just move on. I would love to just sigh and say its in the past. But unfortunately, even though I have not seen her in months, she is still very much a part of my life, because she is a part of Papa Bear’s life. Before the break-up, she told him that she could not handle having me in the house while she was in the house. I did not want to be in the house with her either, but instead of merely going out whenever I planned to be there, she now wants Papa Bear to plan when he sees me according to when she has other plans. Papa Bear says he will give her a month as of the day of the break-up, but after that, she is just going to have to deal.
When I’m there, though, I feel like an intruder. Like I don’t have the right to be there. Papa Bear and I decorated our bedroom at his place to look like a cabin, and that is the only place in the house where I don’t feel on edge. On the weekend we spent some time in the living/dining room, and I remained perched on a dining chair, even though my body hurt, because I didn’t feel like I could sit on her couch. I don’t like using the bathroom where her vast collection of necklaces hang on display. I prefer to drink coffee only from the mug that I bought Papa Bear.
I wish he would move, but I know its complicated. I also know its his decision, and I’m not going to push him, because any decision he makes about any of it, needs to be 100% his. He confided to me that every option terrifies him. Staying in the house. Renovating the basement so they can rent it to cover the mortgage and house taxes and he can afford his own place. Selling and being buried in tens of thousands of fees from the bank. Renting the whole house and forcing her to leave her “dream home.” All of these options sound like crap to him.
So I just need to wait and see what happens, like I did when he and his wife were trying to work things out. Be silent, be supportive, wait and see. Like I’m doing while they are trying to see if they can be friends. Like I am doing to see how long he will let her tell him when I can and can’t be in the house. Like I am doing with all of it.
When the anxiety gets to be too much, I think about making another appointment with my therapist. I lose myself in a good novel. I go for a walk and let the fresh air and sunshine do their work. I talk to a friend. I blog. I clean the apartment from top to bottom. I tell Papa Bear how I feel, but not what to do. I let him do him, and I do me.