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What lingers after an affair…

I should be able to listen to Christy Moore and appreciate the tunes, the words, the meaning; there are many Gaelic artists whose songs riddle me with guilt, shame and heart ache. I hear his words in every lyric and still feel his touch on me. Sometimes I dream of him, is this my conscious haunting me, reminding me, warning me? Although it is years since I was part of an affair, I still ache. I’m still shame faced, I hate some part of me that went along with him, convincing my self that I was being a friend to him and that he needed me, convincing myself that he loved me, when all he loved was the situation and what he got out of it, that sounds harsh, do I sound bitter?
I was thinking of myself, I wanted love, I desired love, I ached to be loved, at the time all I was getting from my partner was a straighten up and fly right platitude. I thought no one who knew me, would have me, and as soon as someone got to know me then they wouldn’t want to know me much longer. I was bad goods. Good for a fling, no good for a future. I hated the way I looked, I hated my personality, I was a husk, a shell, a vessel full of the ugliness that had tumbled from Pandora’s Box. Who could ever love me? Why should anyone care?
Well he said he did. He made simple offerings of love on a daily basis to show that he cared, he wrote me letters to read for when he was absent and he called me “angel”. I can still hear his soft voice in my head talking tenderly to me. He was the lotion to soothe the burns from the partner who had offered slap after punch and kick. I needed love so badly I stole it from someone else.
He seemed so free of cares, I was attracted to him, I wanted him, I didn’t know him from Adam, but it didn’t matter, I thought I’d give it a shot, I let him know how I felt, he told me he was married with children, I said I understood and didn’t want to harm that. I left it at that, It was too late and he started courting me. I had no intention of coming between a man and his wife, he said he needed a friend to talk to, I thought it was just talking…I was 19 what else could I think. I wanted someone to talk to too.  I wasn’t in a healthy relationship; if I had stayed in it I doubt very much I would still be alive today.That a marriage could be so easy to step away from I never quite understood. He blamed his wife, saying he thought of her as a sister, I’m not saying I believed his stories, perhaps more chose to ignore some of the truths; ignorance is bliss so they say. I’ll be honest he made me feel good about myself; he made me happy, so why did I choose to end it? He wasn’t mine, not all of him, if it had kept going would it have lasted? Would he have left his wife for me? Would he have left me for someone else? He was pretending to be someone else. There was a smile that lingered on his face and these days when I think of that smile it reads as “ha, I’m getting away with it again”. He couldn’t live up to his responsibilities so he escaped into me and another world. It was a happy world but not a real world. I know about hurting and betrayal, I knew then so I had to say good bye. The goodbye came a little too late. His wife found out, a nuclear explosion in the heart and the head which left me wondering what now?
We met up a few times after to talk about what was going on in our lives. I remember the look in his eyes when he realised that he couldn’t kiss me like he had, I wanted to hurt him. I sat and listened to the stories of his family life, it magnifyed what I didn’t have and what I had lost.
It’s been about nine years, he was my cocaine, my lsd, my last ciggerette at the end of the day, that first sip of red wine at the end of a hard week, the thrill of a first kiss or first touch, the warmth of a really good hug, but not mine. After him I jumped from one boyfriend to another, with a few one night stands for good measure, for fun but I couldn’t love. I traveled 18800 km. And there I met someone who slightly reminded me of him. The far off look in the eyes and the half smile, the small tokens of love but no ties. And here I am.


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