That middle-of-the-night phone call that I’ll never forget. It was a NY extension so I, of course, assumed it was him. I answered in my sweetest voice possible, not an easy thing at 2 am. Of course my heart sank when I heard a female voice asking who I was. I was shocked and relieved at the same time. It was unexpected but it was finally here. The time was here to come clean and end the madness once and for all. Of course the end came to our affair, not their marriage.
For over 5 years I was “the other woman”. I lived that love that was perfect except for that little inconvenience of a wife. I was loved, desired, cherished. I was “what he really wanted”. It was an invigorating feeling. I wish I could say it was the only time in my life that I played that role. But it wasn’t. Looking back on my life, I’m obviously not proud of it, but I’ve come to grips with it. I’ve come to accept that it fulfilled a need that I had at the time. I had the love, the excitement, without the commitment.
I’ve often questioned why I subjected myself to that. For the longest time I convinced myself it was because of love. And there is no denying that I loved him. We shared a passion and a maddening longing for each other that is hard to find. But if it was that great, then why didn’t it work out? Because it wasn’t supposed to, that’s why. If things had turned out differently, then the love would not be as great as I remember it being. The fact that there was an impossibility about it is what made it so romantic. We all know the movie Casablanca, the story Romeo & Juliet, the book Always and Forever. Those are some of the greatest love stories ever told. But none of those lovebirds end up together. It’s that inability to fulfill that love that makes it so captivating. The sadness makes the story.
So yes, I lived that tragic love that I will forever cherish and that caused others so much pain. That phone call came with a hefty price. His wife was devastated, his son was disappointed, and he and I were heartbroken. And we carry a guilt that we’ll never fully reconcile.
More than the loss of that relationship though has been my ongoing inability to now develop a true relationship. My knowledge of how to scheme, lie and cheat has affected how I trust or don’t trust any man I meet. It wasn’t just him. It’s the male friends I have, too. I know the sweethearts that they are with their wives or girlfriends and how they behave when those women aren’t around. I know there are women who think and feel like I did at one point. Why be the one on the fool’s end? I want to be desired. I want a man who will go through great lengths to spend time with me, to make love to me. I don’t want to be the one that he’s bored with. I don’t want to be the one that he’s trying to get away from. I want to be his escape.
It was so much easier that way and it worked for me for a long time. But now I want the real thing. I know there are men out there that know how to truly love, but they are not easy to find. I know that the judgmental person in you will say that I don’t deserve that. I know you will sit back and criticize me. Trust me, though; nobody can be harder on me than I am on myself. If life places a price on mistakes, I am indeed paying it.