I wish I could say that he tricked me, but that wasn’t the case. The truth is that from the moment I met him, I knew he was getting married.
Like many modern relationships, it developed over text. It was a friendship that blossomed by sending two or three sentences back and forth. I was in my twenties at the time, he was much older. We met working on a project.
After a few weeks of flirting I knew I felt something. In any other circumstances, I would have backed away, distanced myself from him to avoid any further feelings. But I couldn’t. Like a prisoner at visitation, I could see him but I couldn’t touch. It was intoxicating.
At the time, I didn’t feel young or naive and I don’t think he took advantage. I knew what I was doing. It felt exciting and awful all at once. I knew it was disgusting and yet I kept texting, kept pushing the boundaries. He was a speeding train and I was dancing on the tracks.
A few days before his wedding, we went drinking. At this point, I decided he was having pre-wedding jitters, that I was just his attempt at clinging to a single life before tying the knot. As we walked together I thought: “it’s now or never”.
I didn’t want to push it though. Despite being somewhat askew, my moral compass determined that if something was going to happen it would have to be his decision.
He didn’t make a move. We politely said goodnight and I felt relieved. He would go, get hitched and that would be the end of whatever this was between us. But then I realised that he was actually getting married that weekend… and it bothered me.
A week went by whilst he was on his honeymoon and I had now written the whole thing off as an early mid-life crisis and convinced myself that it was more significant for me than it was for him.
Yet after that, we continued as normal. The messages were all day, every day and had now ventured from suggestive and playful to downright graphic. We knew we were up to no good but we just carried on. And yet, nothing physical ever happened.
After the project ended we didn’t see each other for months. We often made plans to meet but always flaked because we both knew what would happen if we actually saw each other outside our office prison. He had never laid a finger on me, so it wasn’t cheating, I reasoned.
Finally, after eight months, we met for a drink. I took a friend with me and made sure we had plans afterwards, but he ended up joining us. He took me home at the end of the night.
Waking up the next morning with his naked body lying next to mine in the cold, harsh light of day was one of the worst moments of my life.