Meeting in the middle

It is Thursday, and I was dumbfounded.  I couldn’t readily respond, and I’m not a person who is short on words.  The Image that she sent was the point of no return.  I was alone in the office at the time, working late.  I took a while to respond, and more than made her uncomfortable really.  She just took a big leap, and now the ball was in my court… and I dropped that ball.  I did the chat equivalent of stammering and mumbling.  I complimented the look… we bantered a moment, then I had to go home.

I don’t actually recall driving home that night.  My mind raced the entire time.  I stopped at a store to grab a few things, and got yelled at by the cashier for almost walking out without paying, my mind was so displaced.  We spoke some more that night, but not at great length.  She was still recovering from being sick, and needed sleep.

I went to bed and pulled up that picture one more time before I fell asleep.  I woke in the morning and pulled it up once again, and looked at it for a long while.  I wouldn’t know until later on, but my immediate response to that image mortified her.  She felt like she leaped off a cliff with it, and I wasn’t on board.  This was not the case.

It is Friday, and I check in with her when I get to the office.  I tell her I looked at her picture again, thought it over more, and that I really did think the bra went well with her hair.  30 minutes later, I looked at it again, just to be really really sure, and again affirmed my opinion to her.  She was feeling better about the decision to send it to me, although she still swears she must have been affected by a fever still for her to do that.  I would pop on a few more times to say I checked the image again, and my opinion still held true.  Aside from that, we shared more deep and personal stories.  We were moving towards each other and an increasing speed.

That evening I sat at home on a Friday night, pondering whether to brave the cold and go see if anyone was at the bar, when she popped up in the messenger, and the last most pivotal point in our build up occurred.  Our conversation are often based on questions.  Theorizing, exchanging opinions.  She said she’d been thinking about something, rolling it over in her mind, and really wanted my thoughts on the matter.  She asked me, “Do you believe it is possible to love more than one person at the same time?”

I responded yes…

After a bit, she asked me if I had been thinking of anything I’d like to talk about.  I said yes, yes I did.  I said, “Today red became my favorite color.”  I was surprised, because green was my favorite color my whole life.   We then exchanged 2 smiley emoji before moving on to…


I popped open a new tab, and called out for Alex, my super secret friend.  Alex has been following this whole time.  I’m glad I have someone in my life that knows the things about me she knows.  I’d feel terribly alone if I didn’t.  Again she warns me, and again I don’t listen.  This is too close.  My previous affairs had a greater distance.  None of my previous partners lived remotely close to me, none of them was known to anyone in my life.  Karen was geographically close, and known to all my friends and family, hell, she was dating one of them.  I told Alex that we have hit 100% in terms of chance here… Alex relented after a bit.  She knows desire, longing.  She was not supportive in the least, but was willing to stand by my mistake, because she is my friend.


… Moving on to… well, everything.  A long ranging conversation on intimacy, and sex, to the point of extreme arousal for us both.  The closing of our conversation was a direct acknowledgement that something was about to happen.  It was now only a matter of time.

It is Saturday.  We chatted on and off.  We had plans with the friends later in the week, we talked about that, and some more nothing.  I had things to do that day, and was busy… but we needed to meet.  I arranged to have to stop by my office the following day, some emergency to get me out of the house.  I informed her I would be heading to my office the next day, and she asked if I would like some company.  I said I would.

It is Sunday now.  I leave for my office.  I give her directions on how to get there, but when I arrive, instead of finding an empty building, as one would expect on a Sunday, I find hints of activity.  The cleaning crew had been there… You know, somethings you just take for granted.  Like, how does your office building actually stay clean?  Now I knew, and no longer took that for granted, making a note that the office gets cleaned on Sundays…

I sent her a message changing plans.  I gave her a new location, that of a parking lot near my office.  I hurried over there myself, and it wasn’t long before she pulled in next to me, getting out of her car, and into the passenger seat of mine.  I asked if she’d like to go for a drive, to which she said yes.  This was the first time we’d been in each others presence since this became serious.  I drove around, we talked of inconsequential matters until I found a nice park.  I pulled into its roads, and thought I’d find a nice place to stop the car, hidden off in a vacant corner.  The weather was terrible, so people were not wandering about.

We spoke a little more, before running entirely out of words.  I reached out my hand, and she took it.  We stared into each others eyes. After a moment, I took my hand back, placed it on the back of her neck, pulled her to me, we closed our eyes, and kissed for the first time.

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Almost there

I don’t remember the nature of the event, but I went to a local bar where all our friends would be in attendance.  I walked in and it was packed.  Maybe it was karaoke? (Not that it matters, because I cannot and will not sing!)  I was greeted by a few friends, we had to speak loudly over the noise of the crowd.  At one point I lifted my right arm, and ZOOM, Karen popped under my shoulder.  I rested my arm on her before I realized what had just happened.  I looked down to see her smiling up at me.  I hesitated to leave my arm where it is for very long, because I know G is in the next room.  I lift my arm to motion towards the bar, and offer to buy her a drink.

We stepped up to the bar and placed our orders.  We started to speak, just pleasantries… then we trailed off… stopped speaking, and just stared into each other’s eyes.  I don’t know how long this went on, but it felt like way too long, and I was the one who forced themselves to look away. I would try to maintain a respectful distance from her for the rest of the night.

In the days that followed our chats were becoming more personal and probing.  Sex was now an open topic, likes, dislikes, ‘have you tried this’ sort of thing. Then the big question:  “I don’t mean to pry, but… have you ever been unfaithful to your wife?”

That was a full stop right there.  I couldn’t respond right away.  Throughout this entire time I’ve been extremely drawn to her, but I couldn’t say with 100% certainty what she felt about me.  Were we simply kindred spirits? I’m a good deal older than her, what could she possibly see in me?  We were chatting like we were best friends.  I was afraid I was reading too much into things… but the question made me feel like I could take a little leap.

“I am going to say that… I don’t think we can chat on this platform anymore.  By that, I mean Facebook.  Is it okay if we move to another platform?” I asked.  She agreed, and I gave her the name of the app, and the account to contact me through.  Facebook connects to too many things, you see.  We’d been using our personal accounts.  I’ve been guarded with my communications as a rule, but it is way too easy to make a mistake the way devices and services connect to each other.

We moved over to the new app, and resumed conversing.


Me: Go delete the other chat
Karen: Okay.  Done.
Me: Thank you
Karen: Are you alright?
Me:  I’m not queasy. Just… Mindful
Karen: Mindful of… ?
😉
Hi. My name is Karen, and I like making you uncomfortable.
Sometimes.
Me: Mindful of the fact our chat was already grounds for a big fight
But this is a safe space
Karen: I don’t want you to fight.
And I will say one final time, you are always welcome to tell me to shove it.
Me: To start this new chat, we shall change the subject, and dial things back
Karen: Okay
Me: Um… Cold out, huh?
Karen: Hahaha
Me: Global warming? Ha!
Karen: It’s a helluva thing, amiright?
How about those Dodgers?
Me: Oh, my favorite sports ball team!
Karen: I’ll give you ten dollars to name two current players.
Me: Fuck… That would have been two pints!
Karen: *giggles*


Now we are on a closed system.  Now we are really private.  It would be a while before I answered her question, but we were by then calling each other ‘dear’ and ‘sweetie’.  Then she got sick with the flu.  She would miss days of classes and work, stuck at home, feeling terrible.  I kept her company online, and we talked all day for days as she started to feel better.  At one point at the end of her convalescence, she asked me for an opinion on a fashion choice.  I said sure, although I’m not one for fashion.

“How does this bra go with my hair?” Karen asked.

“…” I replied.

 

A little bit closer now

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…

In the beginning

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…

 

The basics

Well, I guess I should start with a run down.  I’m a 41 year old network security guy. She is a 23 year old med student, on her way to becoming a doctor.  I’m married with children. She has a boyfriend. I’ve been friends with her boyfriend for a few years. As two discrete couples, we are all part of a larger circle of friends.

A little more than two months ago from the time of this writing, she and I began an emotional and physical relationship.

I love my wife. She loves her boyfriend. We love each other.