I felt empty inside.
I always felt empty inside after we had been together, but this time the emptiness pooled into my heart like a black cascade of smoke before he even left the bed. Maybe I didn’t love myself as much as I thought I did. Maybe it was all just a front to hide the afraid, disturbed little person that really lived inside of me.
He once told me I was like his little piano; dark and brooding, overdosed with sad, elegant beauty that kept him lost in the melodies I so often performed for him. He said my low, sultry, daunting chords haunted him. I took it as a compliment.
I knew I didn’t love him. I was curious about him. I never quite understood how or why he always managed to worm his way into my most intimate places, but I knew it wasn’t out of love. I did care about him deeply. I wanted the best for him. I wanted to see him prosper, fulfil all of his wild and crazy dreams no matter how extreme or silly they seemed to be.
He craved my attention, my ideas. He was captivated by my imagination and the imagery I provided with every word I spoke. I could make him see beyond the veil with the things I would say, and, although he’d never admit it, it was me who sparked the fire fuelling him forward.
I was not the woman that texted his phone every hour on the hour. I never made him dinner. I wasn’t checking his whereabouts or planning date nights every Friday. I never complained when we went weeks on end without seeing one another let alone speaking.
I wasn’t the woman he was supposed to do that with. I was the other woman, and I knew my place, despite how it made me feel on the inside. That’s why he always came back to me. He could be himself with me. There were no standards. No questions. It was all be and let be with me, and he needed that.
I didn’t want him to leave her for me. We’d never work as a real couple, and I knew that. Canoodling between the sheets at godforsaken hours of the night, we did that well. Laughing, playing, behaving as reckless as we wanted to, we excelled. But dating, being together exclusively… Well that was nothing more than a funny thought to me.
Although it crushed my pride and left me feeling deserted in a wasteland of wretchedness at times, I knew he made the right choice when he chose her. She was a quaint, demure, sweet girl. Tame. We never talked about her and, even if she did ever know about me, she knew that he’d never actually let her go to keep me.
For nearly a year, I allowed him to use up my body as his own personal little toy. I enjoyed the release. He was a stellar lover, and there were times I would have been willing to quit my day job just to f-ck him from sunrise to sunset. Climbing on top of him, feeling myself slide down on his sturdy, thick shaft and slowly rocking back and forth until the both of us exploded made me feel like a conqueror.
And every time he came, with beads of sweat falling from his forehead hotly piercing my skin, letting out that long sigh of aching absolution, I felt like a breaker of chains, a ruler, a god. But as I lay there next to him in my bed, sex heavy in the air and sheets moist with our fluids, the shallow, sullen, gloominess would always start to creep in.
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A rational person would probably wonder why I didn’t just stop, end things for once and for all, go about my life, and find someone who would value and recognize my worth. But I’ve never been a rational person. And sadly, for a long time the emptiness he left me with every time we were together felt better than the nothingness I often felt when we were apart.
Eventually, I walked away from our secret love affair. Not just because I knew it was wrong playing in the shadows of another woman’s happily ever after, but because I could no longer stomach the vacancies I created in my own heart simply by entertaining him.
Despite the glamour I find in keeping secrets, I finally recognized that it was never really him that caused the emptiness. It was me allowing myself to be his second option, because I was already treating myself like the second option.
That’s the interesting thing you learn about yourself when you’re playing the mistress. No matter how much fun you’re having or how enjoyable the ease and simplicity of a no-strings-attached relationship can be, there always comes a point when a woman is forced to think about what makes a man choose her for seconds when he already belongs to someone else.
Written by JN Williams for XONecole.com