Ok that title is unnecessarily dramatic. I’m sorry. I’m not really a mistress per se. But no one is going to read a post entitled: “Confessions of a Girl Who Maybe Flirted a Little Too Hard With Someone Who Was Unavailable.” Now that I got your attention by misleading you, let me explain my mistress-light circumstances.
A while back (foggy timeline so you know it’s juicy) I was hanging out with a former flame under the pretense of getting back some long-forgotten artifacts left behind when the relationship fizzled. Even years after we had ended our relationship, we always had the tension of lingering attraction between us. I can’t explain why this one plays the Hubbell to my Katie, but we easily fall into those roles when we are together. So I really shouldn’t have been surprised when an innocent invitation to imbibe a single beer led to more than it should have.
I knew I was in trouble when he passed up the spacious couch and opted to join me on the love seat (Ugh could there possibly be a more clichéd piece of furniture for these events to transpire on?), settling in close enough for the heat of his arm to transfer to mine. Normally I wouldn’t have given a second thought about giving in to the advances that would inevitably come to pass. However, the last I heard, he had a new girl now and common decency demanded that I refrain from making a cuckquean of this poor thing. So I chose to ignore the obvious and continue making useless small talk. Soon his arm was around my shoulders and then my waist. I began to wonder if maybe he had dropped his girl and failed to tell me.
I only discovered that this was not the case when he murmured, “I shouldn’t be doing this,” close enough for his heavy Marlboro breath to offend nearly every one of my senses. When I heard those words confirming that he wasn’t mine to pursue I should have shut it down completely. But I didn’t. Instead we continued this dance of, “Should we? No, we shouldn’t,” over the course of the next hour. Each time taking one step closer to that line of regret and only half a step back. Part of my participation could be attributed to the aforementioned magnetic draw. The other part was due to a desire to be desired that had taken ahold of me earlier in the week.
By the time the spell was broken with the practicalities of late nights converging with early mornings, he felt he had succeeded in escaping the temptation a faithful man. I knew what he had done would have been considered cheating by any wronged girlfriend. He was pleased with his willpower and I was wracked with guilt.
I had made no move to stop him from breaking his trust with a girl I had never even met. There was a point when I began to do everything I could to convince him to do exactly that. As I said, I had never met this girl. What did I owe her? He began the whole affair, why should I take on the responsibility of keeping her man honest? That was his burden to bear. Not mine. Still, no matter how I tried to convince myself that I held no alliance to this unknown and therefore didn’t owe her the loyalty of her boyfriend, I couldn’t shake the thought that I had broken a code. Not just some arbitrary girl code but a human code that would demand we treat any other person on this planet, as we would hope someone would treat us in similar circumstances.
Sure, he instigated the waltz, and it was his relationship he willingly put at risk. But I kept imagining how heartbroken I would be if I knew some woman I had never met accepted an invitation to lead my boyfriend astray. Yes, the sanctity of his relationship lies within his realm of authority, but life isn’t always about who should hold the blame. Maybe sometimes it’s about stepping up beyond your accountability to protect someone you’ll never meet from a devastation that you can prevent by making a sacrifice you know you don’t necessarily have to make.