Tuesday, January 03, 2006

the story so far


I don't know where to begin on this story - it's likely to be a long one so bear with me if it takes a while.

I'll begin by telling you how ~S~ and I 'met', and then we can take it from there.

I don't honestly know how I ended up in this place. To all intents and purposes, I'm a level-headed professional person. With a stable home, husband, children. I always laughed at people who had 'internet relationships'.

I'm not laughing now.

Its hard to get across my feelings for this woman, although I think those of you that have become my friends over here in this little corner of cyber-space have a good understanding of them. Apart from the days I held my newborn babies in my arms, these feelings are the strongest I ever knew in my life. Its emotional. Its physical, despite the 4,000 miles. How nuts is that?

We started off as friends, believe it or not. I certainly was not looking for even a friendship when we came across each other, we visited (and still visit) the same site, and found that we responded to each others posts in the forum. That led to us saying hi in the chat room, which led to us finally, tentatively exchanging email addresses, and then eventually, each satisfied as we could be that the other was genuine, we swapped IM details and began to chat online properly.

I knew she was a lesbian - and didn't think anything of it - it wasn't a factor in our friendship. Because it really was just a friendship to begin with. She knew all about my family, we got to know each other pretty well, laughed a lot, shared the daily grind with each other. Its not like there was no-one else for us to do this with - but I found that I looked forward to sharing these things with her, like you do when you have a close friend.

Then I began to feel attracted to her. I've always been attracted to women, but never done anything about it - one of those 'in-the-closet' things that I had nicely suppressed and tucked away in that little closet. She certainly had no idea at all that I had even the tiniest attraction to women, least of all to her. I kept it well hidden.

Until July 22nd.

Thats when things changed irrevocably. By this time we had become very good friends, supportive friends. Not a day passed without us talking. And it wasn't one-sided - I'd find her online, or she would find me, we were on equal footings with this friendship.

July 22nd - etched in my memories now as the day things changed.

I'd been swimming with the girls. It was teatime and I'd rushed back into the house to feed the girls, hair still wet, skin pink from chlorine in the water. My PC was on, as it always is, in the kitchen where it lives. And as I'm pottering around the kitchen, she messaged me.

So I responded, proceeded to run around making food for the girls as I had done so many times before while we chatted. I laughed that I was dripping wet and would probably blow up the PC. She said I looked good with wet hair and offered me a virtual towel. I responded that really I needed to change clothes as my top was soaked - which it was - I have waist length hair. She said that was why I looked good.

That's when my world stopped. She apologised then, embarrassed, that she had overstepped the mark and was sorry. But I told her not to apologise, she had said nothing to apologise for. I told her that her sexuality had never been an issue in our friendship and it never would be.

And somehow, right then and there, me sat in my kitchen, her sat in her lounge, we met on a virtual plane.

Just words.

She dried my hair, I shivered.

She touched my face. I trembled.

She looked into my eyes. I melted.

Scared, we both backed off. Sexual tension palpable despite the miles between us. I'm trying to rationalise, think sensibly, but I can't. She's trying to put a lid on her feelings too. We part, reluctantly. Me to my family, her to her work. No arrangments to talk again. I see her go offline, a moment later I go offline.We both need time to think, to re-evaluate.

Neither of us expected this to happen.

When, later that evening, I went back online, I knew she would be there and I knew that things would never be the same between us again. In all honesty, I expected a little 'fun'. A little harmless game between us. I even recall telling her that this would not change anything about my marriage, and at the time I truly believed that.Within a week, though, it became apparant that my feelings towards her were deepening and that was terrifying.

At some point, we exchanged telephone numbers. She called me. We talked about everyday nonsense - I remember being so nervous I was shaking.

Our relationship since then has deepened to such an intensity. Of course I won't deny that there is a sexual element to it. Of course there is. She has the ability, with a few carefully chosen words, or with a look, to awaken feelings that I didn't know existed prior to knowing her.

But there is so much more to our relationship than that.

We don't spend all our time locked together in sexuality. We talk. Really talk. We talk about everything from our pasts, our families, about literature, music, spiritual and religious beliefs, you name it and we discuss it. We have discovered a compatibility in so many areas of our lives, it really does feel as if we are two halves of the same whole.And I can honestly, hand on heart, say that I never ever experienced such a feeling of completeness with anyone else in my life - be that a friend, a lover, anyone. Never. The feelings I have for her I have never known before.

I tried once to describe it. Do you recall when you were younger, and in the depths of your mind you had a secret thought about how a perfect love should be? The sort of love that you see in films. The sort of love where each reads the other perfectly, knows what to say, what to do? I dreamt of that kind of love when I was younger. But as I moved through life, I began to think that it was something that existed only in a film, and that us mere mortals had to settle for something less. S has shown me that love does exist. Because for me she embodies it.


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