She invited herself into my life. And I’m grateful.
First, she invited my family to her family’s second home for a weekend party. We couldn’t make it (and it would, honestly, have been a bit awkward – we/I hardly knew her at the time, other than as the cute chick I saw all the time). A month or so later, after we’d both taken multiple opportunities to put ourselves in the same place at the same time (me, with my wife’s knowledge and encouragement), it was almost socially appropriate when she invited herself and her family over to our place for a couple of days.
Almost. But not quite.
But still: I wanted her. I was prepared to overlook social niceties if it meant I’d get to see her in a bathing suit.
So out they came. Midday, watching the kids frolic in the water (and after getting a text from T telling me to “bed her”), I laid out my life story – my history as a CPOS, my “recovery,” my recovery from recovery, and my current, dissolute ways. And T’s relationship to it all. She saw me and, if not raising me one, at least called: she told me her story, breaking down in tears as she did it. And it became clear: I wasn’t going to fuck her. She wasn’t in the place I’d hoped. She wasn’t going to be honest with her husband, and what I represented was more complexity, more secrets, not more fun. I texted my wife midday: “I’m in the friend zone, alas.”
A few hours later, the kids watching TV, we went for a walk on the beach. “Why did you tell me all that?” she asked.
“Well…. I like you,” I said. “I’m attracted to you, and, at the time, I hoped you were in a similar place in your relationship to the one I’m in in mine. Why’d you tell me all you told me?” I asked.
“Well… I like you, too,” she said. “And I feel comfortable with you, and I’ve only told one other person the things I told you, and it just feels good to talk about them.”
Later that night, after putting the kids to bed, I sat on the couch, miserable that she seemed to have fallen asleep with her kids. Damn, I thought. I guess I really am in the friend zone. But then, at about 10:15, she emerged from the bedroom to go to the bathroom, and stopped in the living room, where I was, on her way back to the bedroom. She sat down, and we began talking. And talking. And talking.
It was one of those nights I can’t remember since my 20s – when the urgency of getting to know someone, together with the exquisite torture of not fucking them – can keep you going forever. It kept us going. We established early in the evening that we weren’t even going to kiss – I took the high road. “I just don’t want to be a problem in your life.”
Toward the end of the evening (or really, the end of the night – it was well after 3 a.m., if memory serves), I made a suggestion: “Tell your husband you like me a lot, that you respect my marriage, that talking with me opened your eyes to some… intriguing possibilities. Tell him that you’re attracted to me, that I’m attracted to you, but that ain’t nothing gonna happen without his blessing and knowledge.”
We hugged good-night. Not quite chastely (I was hard, and it’s hard to hug hard chastely). But close to chastely. And we didn’t kiss. At all, as I remember. Or maybe just on the cheek.
Whatever – that was a Tuesday night. Wednesday morning she took her kids and left. And then, Friday, I got an e-mail: she’d gotten the “all-clear” from her husband. Holy shit! I never imagined it would happen, or that it would be that easy, or that quick.
I think it was all of a few days from then before our first date. And since then, it’s been a ball. L is a great addition to my life, unlike any other woman I’ve ever known, and I’m grateful. She pushes me places I’m not even sure I want to go, but I’m better for being pushed there; and she allows me to push her further than she wants to go.
Life is good….