We started chatting more and more online.  I was very attracted to her, and she is so brilliant.  The age difference hasn’t been an issue with our conversation.  Karen has always come off as bright, mature, level headed, as one might expect of a young woman seeking her doctorate.   She also has a bit of a dark side.  We joke that we are probably both just a little bit sociopathic.  This may well be true.

I’d finished my previous affair many months before this.  I wasn’t seeking a new one.  I was trying to be the good man that I’m generally perceived to be.  But there we were, chatting nearly every day.  About nothing, the days events, the news, whatever came to mind.  After a while I tried to resist her.

I knew this could go some place bad if I let it.  I spoke with my friend Alex often.  Alex had gone through her own affair, and is living a much more honest life now.  She is an inspiration to me.  She is also a very secret friend.  I met her when I first set foot outside of my marriage.  No one knows I know her.  She offers good council, and I try to listen.  Her council on this matter was simple, and along the lines of: Stop.  Don’t do this.  G is your friend.  This is too close to home.  If it goes bad, it will go terribly bad.  Stop.

I settled on a sort of passive resistance at one point.  I stopped initiating conversation.  I would let her chime in on chat, I would carry on a conversation, but I wouldn’t start one.  After a while this had an effect, and she stopped chatting…. And I missed her.  I missed her terribly.  I thought I was doing the right thing.  Karen would later tell me she noticed this, was very hurt by it.

Weeks went by without a word, until she was on a trip home visiting family.  One night my phone went DING.  A simple greeting.  We started to converse.  And after that we didn’t stop.  I didn’t want to.  I missed talking with her a lot, and this felt like a second chance.

So on we went, talking on Facebook more and more, just the two of us.  We started collaborating on another surprise for G.  This was another change in the course of things.  It was a great excuse to talk even more!  We would arrange to go one what I consider to be our first date; a simple shopping excursion. I must admit to being nervous leading up to this.  I ran a series of calculations in my head on the probability that something would happen on this date.  The day before I was at 85%.  That evening it fell to 30%.  The morning of it fell to 0%.  I was relieved, and disappointed.

We met in the commercial district near where she lives.  This is pretty far out from where I live, so the chances of me seeing someone I know are slim.  Not none, but reduced.  We wandered from shop to shop.  We talked, we joked.  At a certain point she slid her arm into mine. I enjoyed it immensely, it was electric. She would put her arm around me, and I would reciprocate.  We walked together, laughing and smiling.

At the end of the day we stopped at a bar near her apartment, frequented by a few of her acquaintances.  I wasn’t terribly comfortable with that, but no one knew me there, so that was something.  We ordered a drink and took a table to talk a bit more.  I talk a lot, in real life.  I will go on a subject for a while, most people find me to be funny and witty.  At times she seemed to be reaching to put her hand on mine while it was resting on the table, only to pull it away.  I wished she would take it.

Mother nature would intervene.  It was getting late, a storm was moving in, and I had a long way to drive.  We got up and left the bar, and lingered outside.  I wanted so much to kiss her… later she told me she wanted the same thing.  But we held back, her friends being near by, gave each other a polite hug and parted for the day.

We would continue to chat, but in increasingly more personal ways. We were digging deep for information now.  We were started talking about relationships, and sex.

Then finally she asked if I’d ever been unfaithful to my wife…

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