I had become the other woman.
“Don’t cross the line,” I remember saying to myself.
We met a month ago, at a little cafe. I was standing in the queue to order my tea, but I was a little agitated that the café didn’t have any chamomile tea. I hurriedly took my regular Ceylon and I didn’t realise that it’d be so hot and I dropped it to the floor.
“Ouch!” I yelled rubbing my poor hand.
Someone came over and helped me clean up.
“Thank you so much,” I said finally looking up.
I swear the world stood still for a moment, I’d never seen anyone so enchanting.
He stared at me and I wonder if he felt the same way I did, like my heart was about to explode.
“You’re welcome,” he smiled.
We walked outside onto the sidewalk and I knew I had to get him to take my number.
“Could… could you please take my number,” I stuttered.
Not exactly the way I wanted to say that.
I saw how taken aback he was.
“I mean, like if there’s anything I can do for you in future. You were so kind today, I’d like to repay you somehow,” I continued.
He thought for a moment and handed me his phone.
“So see you around Alice,” he said reading my name from his phone.
“Mmmm,” I nodded.
He walked off and I realised that he never told me his name so I ran after him.
“Hey!” I shouted after him.
He turned around and smiled.
“What’s your name? You never told me your name,” I panted.
“I’m William, but you can call me Will,” he said and rushed off again.
I thought about Will for the next few days. He hadn’t texted me, I suppose he wasn’t going to.
I went back to the same café where we first met in the hopes of running into him. I ran into him alright, with a girl by his side. She was chatting away unaware of the sudden shift in his demeanour. He saw me and stared.
I was flustered. I hadn’t anticipated another woman in his life. I did a quick turn and scurried off in the other direction.
Let’s meet for tea, Will texted me later in the evening.
I was reluctant to go. Should I be meeting a man when he had a girlfriend? I know the answer was no, but I went anyway.
We spoke about trivial things when we met up, but I couldn’t stand us beating around the bush.
“You have a girlfriend,” I finally blurted out.
He shook his head yes.
“We should probably refrain from meeting then,” I said.
He didn’t respond for a while.
“We can be friends,” he said.
Friends? I didn’t want to be his friend, I wanted to be by his side just like his girlfriend was.
I laughed trying to hide how heartbroken I was.
“Thanks for the tea,” I said and rushed out.
I went to the coffee shop more often than I needed to. I wanted to see him, I needed to.
Walking through the park on my way to work, I got a phone call from Will.
“Hello,” I said.
“Where are you?” he asked.
“I’m walking through the park, the one that’s close to the café where we met.”
“Wait for me there,” he said and hung up before I could respond.
He came running towards me.
“Let’s go,” he said breathlessly.
We spoke about life, work, family, everything. I was so fascinated by everything about him that I couldn’t think straight.
Don’t cross the line I said to myself.
“I should get to work,” I said.
He stepped closer to me and my breath caught in my throat. He placed my hair around my ear and I stopped breathing for a second.
“Meet me tonight,” he said.
I nodded yes unable to trust my voice.
I should have said no. I’ve never been the other woman before; I mean I barely jaywalked. I always went right up to the robot or pedestrian crossing – I was a law abiding citizen in every way. I was a ‘good girl’, that’s what my friends always said when I even refused to drink a sip of alcohol.
Later that night, I was standing outside of his apartment. I was nervous, beyond words.
I finally built up the courage and knocked. He opened the door and smiled.
“Hi,” I whispered.
“Hey,” he greeted.
I hesitated going in. Once I crossed the threshold it becomes more real, more dangerous. I’d been telling myself not to cross the line, but as soon as I stepped into his home that no longer applied.
I’m sure you’re imagining what happened next. Except you’re wrong.
The next morning, I woke up in his bed; fully clothed. I was simply laying down next to him. I was staring at him and him at me, but we never touched, too afraid that we’d reach the point of no return.
“I should leave,” I said.
He nodded in agreement.
I got up and gathered my things. I stepped closer to him and kissed him, relishing that I was brave enough, maybe even stupid enough, to take what I wanted.
“Let’s never meet again,” I said and walked out.