Something I am not proud of

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For a hot minute, I imagined myself to be in love with a married man. Do I still like him? Yes, I do. But am I in love with him? No, not really. I guess I was more enamored by the idea of writing about being in love with him instead of actually being in love with him. Well, that says a lot about my questionable choices in life, and you wouldn’t be all wrong.
It all started innocently, as these things always do. He taught this class that I was in. It was an interesting subject, and he was an interesting man. I was hooked from the get-go. I listened to every word he spoke, enraptured by his presence. My eyes never left him when he was in the room. His every movement — I scrutinized and memorized. I memorized all his mannerisms—how he’d react to a certain word, what made him scrunch his brows, what someone mentioned lit up his eyes. Everything except what was actually being taught in class. I didn’t pay attention to that. I was having so much fun reading him.
Oh, I had it bad. I would like to believe that I was discreet and you couldn’t actually see it all in my face. But you totally could. He took notice of me noticing him. It wasn’t obvious but I could tell. He paid extra attention to how I reacted to what he was saying in class. I guess he could easily read my face as well.
One day, he casually mentioned his wife in class. Very subtly. I was crushed. Of course, he had a wife. What did I expect? He was probably forty and he wouldn’t be married?! Tough chance. Did that bamboozle me for a second? Yes. So, did I back off as any sensible girl would? No, I didn’t. I am not proud of that.
After that, I tried not to be very obvious about my feelings. I wanted him to believe that I was interested in the SUBJECT, not him. But I stalked him on every social media outlet. I stalked his wife, his family, his dog. I read things he wrote, co-wrote. I looked at interviews, anywhere he had spoken in the last 10 years. I was trying to understand what made him so damn interesting to me. There are a million single guys out in the world, roughly speaking. Any of them could strike my fancy. So why did I have a thing for this particular man?
I eventually figured it was the newness of his ideas. His god awful, honest to God, earth-shattering, sensational ideas. He just seemed to know everything. He said things that nobody dared speak of. I get why college girls hook up with their professors now. They are so God damn alluring. The fact that he was unavailable made him 10 times hotter. I couldn’t have him. He didn’t see me as a woman. He just saw me as his student…an extra attentive student, but a student nonetheless.
I could tell you about how we kept playing mind games for the rest of the year. I knew he knew that I liked him. And he knew that I knew that he knew about this. But he kept pretending I was not some stalkerish crazy person. I pretended to not notice him dismissing me. I pretended like my every waking thought wasn’t about ripping the clothes off his body and you know the rest.
Eventually, I backed off. A little distance gave me perspective. I just really liked him being an orifice of knowledge. Not that I did a lot of learning in his classroom. But it was his mind that was fascinating to me. His sexiness was definitely a factor. His unavailability, his aloofness, everything he did drove me mad with desire.
But I decided I didn’t want that burden of being the other woman. I hated that woman in Love, Actually—the colleague that Alan Rickman gave the necklace to. Did I want to be that person that broke up a happy marriage? No. But I was so dangerously close to being that person. So, I backed off and moved on.
I wonder what he thinks of this whole experience. Does he dismiss me as a silly girl who didn’t know any better? Did I make him question himself? Did I almost ruin his marriage? I will always wonder.
Writing this down has been a cathartic experience. All these thoughts that I had kept in my head, written down for anybody to read. I know it makes me an awful person…staying in love with a married man after I knew about his marriage. I could have backed off easily very early, but I chose not to. I let it stretch for a long time. It might be in my head but I could tell he wasn’t as oblivious as he made it seem.
But this has been a learning experience. I learned that I make mistakes. I do not have the strong moral compass that I thought I had. I am human, and I feel human emotions. And to love who you’re not supposed to– it is an exhausting ordeal. I questioned myself, my values, everything I stood for. I realized that I am silly and an awful person (which isn’t a good realization to have).

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