… from the first moment you captured me. Let the woman helping you move in be friend, a sister, a colleague, someone not a part of you. Her eyes cold, unacknowledging. Drinks out. You have a daughter. Surprised she’s 18, immediately thinking 5 or 6. You are married. I’m deflated.

Breathe. Look away.

I have fallen for your left pec. Deep voice easy on the ear. A sunny morning, can barely hear your words, falling into your eyes. Lost. Lost. Lost.

Months go by, learning more. Falling more. Can’t ignore.

A glass of wine, your marriage vows not important to you. My heart sinks, on hearing I see less of a man. less of who I thought you were.  An opening. But I cannot be with someone not true willing to cheat. Pressing my buttons. What is the state of your marriage? All good but you like to have your fun? Serial cheat? Or truly unhappy and already ended? I won’t be the ‘other’ woman, the reason for breakup. Or worse stupidly waiting, believing.

Conversations do not flow. So much not said. Same words repeated.

More months. imagining interest. Dreaming a non-existent attraction, one-sided.

I need to leave. Clear my head. Heart.

Life changing opportunities. New friends half a world away. The look on your face… crushed, telling you my news, planned adventure. Am I wrong? Your silence.

A promise. Returning. If you’re still married, be a good friend. Divorcing, be open. Say how it is. Suck up the pain if the answer is no.

Nothing has changed – still here, still married, still driving me crazy, still tongue tied.

An invite received, you and mates late night local bar. The first words from your mate… are you the one? Conspiratorial… you just have to grab him. Unsure what I’m hearing. Always shy, unable to move towards you in private let alone in public. How did I miss learning how to do this? Banter all night. Your hand intimate on my back, too shy surprised to respond, you move away.

The mate… why do woman always want a relationship? Why do men just want to grab it anywhere they can? Confused. More banter. Missed understanding. Missed opportunity. Next morning more mates insinuation. You stop by for a cup of tea, then head back to your wife. I can’t do this.

I can’t have fling. You not just a bit of light-hearted fun, easily left. You rock my world. I know myself. All or nothing. How much pain it would it be to start, for fun, to lose and then to see you each day reminding. So much worse, no distance to forget.

Tell friends. Married man. Responding disgust… don’t do it.

Another man. You distract. I can’t fake it.

Another mate another bar. Complaining sitting twenty years later with another woman talking about you. Well we have nothing else in common! You have deserted us, is this a setup? He moves, taking hold my hand. I pull away zero interest. Fish and chips. You have not followed. This is all wrong. He has told you I am obsessed. Annoyed.

Time passes, a text “…not to mistake friendship for flirting. Sorry did not mean to give you the wrong idea” … Shit shit shit. Well there it is. In black and white. Not interested. What more do you need. Fool.

Just forget. Leave.

You tell me about a girl. Who does not mind you are married. Shit shit shit. Play it casual. Shit. You smiling… “at least I consistent with the name.”  Saying not saying, opening simultaneously rejecting. My name, her name. You have found someone else. Push the ache away.

Just forget. Leave.

Repeat ad infinitum.

Sit atop a mountain. Unshared. You turn up invisibly in the lonely moments.

No longer heading home to your weekend wife. Now a girl, stupidly mistaken as your daughter, appearing. Younger pretty sweet… everything you want.

Keep looking away.

A stream… Lawyer man. Flasher man. Young man. Not you man.

Divorce conversations.

Weakness… yours, mine.

How can I change this?

How can I tell you?

…come away with me to the mountains. To the desert. To adventure. To life. Away from convention. Away from 9-5 coupledom tearing each other down. Together. Physical. Challenging. Intimate. Make it impossible to live life unexpressed. Be connected. Teach me how to live without fear. Without anticipating hurt. Learn how to talk, to stand strong, to care without being careful. Make it real. One life one chance.

Stand with me and breathe.