I didn’t want to admit it was happening, even when we were in the throes of it. That word, that scarlet letter, it wasn’t me. I was being careful, I was keeping my distance, it’s not like we were hooking up, right? But, oh God, you were all consuming for me. I thought about you all day, I fantasized about you all night. The pictures and words you sent me had me flustered, elated, excited in ways I hadn’t felt in so many years. In my comfortable, predictable life with my husband and kids you were my juicy little secret that made me feel alive.
It started out so innocuously too. A text exchange every few days. Current events, politics, theology, we had a lot to discuss and all of it above board. After all, you are married, I am married and the thought of turning to something illicit was the farthest thing from our minds at the beginning. We were enjoying each other’s virtual company and mental stimulation, a break from our work lives and regular routines during the day.
Yet, time went on and our relationship grew as we struggled to make sense of it. My text messages became flirtier, yours became more intimate. We met, we spoke, we hugged and we became infatuated with each other over the course of a few months. Suddenly I was hiding my phone from the accidental gaze of others, unsure of what you might say to me at any time. My heart would begin to beat faster each time I heard my phone buzz with a text message and if it wasn’t you, the disappointment was palpable.
Then came the sexting, the pictures, the late night intimacy through the thin veil of our cell phone screens. Deep, intimate conversations followed by mutual pleasure and a sexual energy I quickly became addicted to. And our relationship built as well. We fought, we talked, we worked through arguments like any couple committed to creating a healthy connection. When my conscience got the better of me and I tried to walk away, you gave me a week and then pulled me right back in again. And I was grateful for the opening, so thankful to have you back in my life; repercussions be damned.
And then, you ended it. Just as I was starting to truly accept you as a constant in my life, you were gone. To be honest I barely remember what you wrote in your breakup text to me. Something about not being happy with me in the picture and wanting to focus on your relationship with your wife. Stunned and wounded, I replied with a succinct goodbye and deleted every trace of you from my phone.
I wish now that I had said more to you. I wish I could have told you how much I would miss you, how much I admire you doing what I didn’t have the strength to do and even still, how much I think about you even when I don’t want to.
I have gone back to my consistent, predictable life and all has returned to normal. I am no longer afraid of losing my phone and who might find it and discover you. I am investing once again in the female friendships I’d been neglecting while I was intoxicated with you. I am resurfacing and remembering all the character traits I admire in my husband now that I no longer compare the two of you, subconsciously.
But I miss our connection. I miss the way you make me feel and the unpredictability of our relationship. I miss feeling desired and sexy and special to someone who doesn’t know the worst sides of me. I miss your support and your company and your mind. I hope you are doing well and I can imagine you must have moved on. But know, that even when we accidentally meet at shul or a mutual friend or community event and I seem fine – I’ll offer you a curt hello or not acknowledge you at all while I laugh with other community friends – that I miss you. And I am afraid I always will.