I don’t quite recall the exact moment I met her. Neither does she. We both recall there were many people around, so it was either at a party, or a restaurant all of our friends frequent. I knew I was to be meeting her for the first time that night, having been forewarned by her boyfriend. They had just become an official couple, and he intended to finally introduce her around to all of the friends.
G, as we shall refer to her boyfriend from here on out, had broken up with a long term partner in the previous year. We friends did our best to get him out of his funk, which took some effort. I hadn’t known G very long by that point, but I thought highly of him (I still do, for the record). Eventually he started meeting people online. It came down to 2. The other one… he didn’t want us to meet. This girl however was something special. He made a choice, and I’m certain he made the right one.
So I am introduced to (gosh, thinking of aliases is difficult…) (Um….) Karen for the first time. I don’t recall much of what went on around that meeting, other than what I reported to my wife D later on, that this girl was incredibly charming, and that G was incredibly lucky.
For a time no major interaction would take place, until G’s birthday came up. I spoke with our friends about doing something for his birthday, and we thought that Karen would probably want to take the lead, so I reached out to her to see if she had any plans. She didn’t at the time, but we decided to try and hold a surprise party for him. It was a relatively simple matter. I arranged for his friends to attend, she distracted him, and boom, SURPRISE! We worked very well together to accomplish this.
Interactions there after were at the restaurant or at parties, but we would chat online occasionally. Gradually this began to increase. In the beginning I didn’t think much of it. Until one day…
There was a summer party, all the friends were there except for Karen, she was away with family. The weather was warm, the beer was cold. G happens to offhandedly mention that Karen finds me very attractive, in front of everyone, jokingly. I smiled, but I was thinking ‘well, my man, I find her very attractive myself.’
Now, for the record, I’ve not been a faithful husband these past few years. I had been through most of my nearly 20 year marriage, but… things happen. I have a friend, Alex, that I confide in who is aware of my dalliances. Alex would be my sounding board as things progressed.
After this admission from G, it felt as tho Karen and I had become a sort of joke. “Oh, you gotta watch those two! Don’t leave them alone together!” After that contact between us began to increase.
About a week after this, Karen messages me to let me know she is in town, and that G is busy. She asks if i would care to step out for a drink. I said sure. We went to the bar, G would be tagging along later. By this time I’m dealing with the fact that I am acutely attracted to her. I always had been, but G put an idea in my head that she was attracted to me as well, so now I’m looking at things a little bit differently. We had a long talk, alone. This was the first time it was just the two of us in each other’s company, sans the giant crowd of friends. G would arrive later, at very high speed. Once he walked in, I left them to be by themselves, and returned home after a while.
There came a night when I was out at the bar with G, when someone inquired as to Karen. He gave a simple response, I gave a more detailed one. This happened twice. I knew as much or more about what was going on in her life than he did. He glared at me, and said something that strongly denoted that he was aware the two of us were speaking, and that he was in no way happy about that.
Later that evening, I got online with Karen and relayed that story. I told her that I enjoy our conversations immensely, but G was clearly not happy about it. She implied shock. She said she’d thought G was fine with it, and was a little disappointed. I reiterated that this was very much not the case. I suggested from there on out that we could continue to speak, but that maybe we keep it between the two of us. This changed the course of things, I know…