Sunday, 4 December 2016

The Ninth Commandment*

Do you remember when we first met? An evening dinner after a workshop, hundreds of kilometres away from Warsaw. You drank red wine, I drank vodka. I did not notice a ring on any of your fingers, so I began flirting with you. You said you were married and giggled, but I carried on.

This was what chemistry is like. You don’t need to think what to say, what move to make, what step to take. You know what you should do and the other one also knows. You don’t even notice when everything falls into place.

Yes, I fell for you. We met when I yearned for a soulmate, yearned for a friend, when I felt let down by lukewarm people around me. You showed interest, you cared, you understood me what I wanted to say even if I did not open my mouth. You fostered the bond between us from the very beginning.

I got scared when after two weeks you called us friends and grabbed my hand. We barely knew each other while after I, having been hurt several times in life, will think several times before I call anyone a friend while you did it at ease.

You accepted me the way I was, with all my good traits and shortcomings. I didn’t even try to pretend to be someone better. I appreciated that and offered the same to you.

Though we have lived hundreds kilometres from each other and met only when opportunities arose, we talked and wrote to each other several times a day. I felt guilty of taking away mother from you little daughters whose photos you showed me so many times.

I have never wanted to break up a family or build happiness on someone else’s suffering, especially at your daughters’ expense. I have never expected you to quit your husband, I have never hoped you did it.

So many times you told me what your husband was like. I infer he loves you to bits and what has he gotten in return?

Have you told your husband about me? Frankly speaking, I don’t care. Your marriage, your business. I hold dear autonomy, but I wouldn’t like my girlfriend or wife to have such close someone as I used to be to you.

Do you remember when I told you when my parents passed away, there would be a risk I might have nobody to spend Christmas with? You invited me over to your house, while I asked if your husband knew. You turned my question into a joke and said “yes, provided you dress up as a Santa Claus”.

The day you had a surgery and called me right after that to moan out you were alright. Had you talked to your husband before that?

Intimacy has two dimensions, emotional and physical. On top, each dimension several degrees. The top ones should have been reserved for your husband.

You could tell me I was accepting terms of that unwritten contract between us and the initiative was on my side too. You surely wonder what prompted me to change me mind. Quite recently I told somebody the story of us and when I put all events together, the picture of us which emerged was unbearably ghastly. As it turns out, I needed to put in words to realise what I’d been into…

Yes, I have cut you off. I knew I would do it when we last met. I apologise for not picking up the phone and not replying to messages for three days. I lacked courage to tell it openly to you. When I finally called you back I said I needed to take a break from you. You hang up but I wonder whether you think I’ve had enough of your problems or the whole of us.

I’ve been running out of power to carry your burdens. I am emotionally exhausted.

Does it hurt? Officially not. Over the recent weeks my role was giving, your role was taking. If I am to be sincere, it does hurt. It’s gone too far to pass me by painlessly. But hadn’t I quit, I would hurt much more before long.

No, I haven’t fallen in love, fortunately.

Yes, I am selfish, I want a normal relationship, not dead-end tease and denial, not an endless string of emotional swings. I quit not only for myself, but to keep your family together. I will be missing you for a while but the longing will wane.

Some time ago you asked me how to carry on without me. It's simple - same way as you’d carried on before we met.

You want me to find a girlfriend, while with you around I can’t be true to any woman. If you want me to be happy just leave ma alone.

Dear reader! I am a sinner, I don’t want your sympathy, but deep down I hope you won’t condemn me (especially because before publishing in a surge of auto-censorship I have shortened the post). I longed for a soulmate too much, it took me a while to realise I was waddling in a mire.

You can’t have a cake and eat it…

* According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Thou shalt not covet neighbour's wife might also be a part of the tenth commandment

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...this one made me pause. You were stuck and got yourself unstuck. Lesson learned, I trust. Emotional intimacy with an "unavailable" person can snare the unsuspecting. It is heady, but sordid at the same. Moving on is the wisest course. Pozdro.