The cab home from our date was intense: the lights outside were blurred, the ride felt faster than usual. We continued the kissing that got us kicked out of the fancy lounge, and when he unzipped my pants and slid his hands underneath me I couldn't believe I was so weak. He doesn't know this, but I cried all that night, kneeling in my bathroom after he dropped me off. I thought about his wife at their house, about how I had lost my self-control. "Is this the type of person I am? Dating married men?" I wondered. I felt so guilty, and moreover, I felt guilty that I enjoyed it.
After the date I wrote to him saying it could never happen again. "If that's what you want," he wrote me. "Let me know if you change your mind." I didn't want to say no, but I knew I should—you're not supposed to date married men. But he'd figured out how my mind worked—leaving the ball in my court put me in control, or so I thought. After our next date at a swanky local jazz club, I went home with him.
Sliding into his bed, slipping under his dark sheets, I watched him follow me, muscular and handsome in the dim light. I knew he was older but not sure by how much. Already in bed together, I asked him his age. "Forty-five," he told me cautiously, as he lowered down on me and I felt the thrill of being with a man twice my age.
That next morning, I woke up to the light. His wedding ring encircled a finger of the hand that had touched my body in her bed. The tan high-heeled shoes I'd left out in the hallway were now inside the bedroom. Was he worried she'd come back early from her trip and see them? Photos from their wedding on the walls suddenly drove home what had just happened. I'd never wanted to know what she looked like. I forced my attention to the details knowing if I didn't, I would fall for him. I got dressed and left in disgust—with him, with myself, with what this was.
After three months, it was clear that the details wouldn't stop me. Seeing him once a week was no longer satisfying. "Hello" and "goodbye" phone calls turned into hour-long conversations. Wink text messages became "I miss you." "I want you" became "I love you." I worried about how we got here and where it was going.