5 Years Later

5 Years ago, on New Year’s Day, I sent a similar photo to a lover;
A man with whom things were not working out and he had already started letting go.
For a long time I didn’t have a reason to push it or ask him what our status was.
But late 2014 a new man had come into my life.
Someone who was involved. At the time I had no reason to believe we would act on our interest for each other.
And I knew he was cherishing the holidays to tighten bonds with his family; Something that would continue to be a pattern, during the 5 years the man who would be known as Mr.Big, would be in my life.
December would always be our most distant month. Until ultimately, December became when it stranded.
But I didn’t know all that.
Not 5 years ago.
All I knew was that I had a lover who had been extracting himself out of my life, because we had difficulties to overcome. Practicalities, mostly. But I had really been into him.
Maybe he saw things clearer than I did. Maybe what he wanted was not possible with me. Who knows.
All I remember, with great clarity, is taking a picture on January 1 2015 asking him to let me go, if he didn’t want to continue.
I don t know if I told the whole truth, but I can’t imagine I didn’t;
That I had fallen in love with someone else. And that although I could not see us getting romantically involved, I wanted to know where we, the distant lover and me, stood.
I remember being incredibly sad.
That I could not believe our summer affair had lead to nothing, and that I d now fallen in love with someone who was spending the holidays with a family. His family. To whom I was a threat.
To whom our love, would be a threat.
I took many pictures and ultimately saved 2 or 3. One of which I sent to the man with whom I had a summer affair and who had now become distant.
He replied and he let me go.
Before January 1st was over, I was all alone.
It took until late January for Mr.Big to make his move. And for the first 6 months I believed he would choose me. They were incredibly frustrating.
But then everything changed.
I got used to being a secret mistress, and was genuinely happy he had never made “me” a reason to get a divorce.
Mr.Big never talked to me about guilt, nor blamed me for complicating his life.
When we saw each other it was incredibly loving, light, exciting. It was even emotionally safe: we trusted each other, we d never hurt one another.
But with every year that passed, things became more difficult for him I think.
He contacted me less frequently.
Until this December he ended what we had.
And here I am. 5 Years later.
And there is something I did not tell.
I m in love with someone else. We don’t talk about it. We rarely see each other and to the untrained eye, nothing can be seen.
And even to the trained eye, nothing can be seen.
Not a word… not a word ever spoken about what I have felt from the first moment I saw him, although it took over a month to sink in.
But I never want to be a secret mistress ever again. I don’t want to be the villain in your story.
So 2020 will not be the year I recreate what I had with Mr. Big, with another man.
But then what will it lead to?
This unseen, unspoken, tension, as if the air between us is on fire.
All I know is that I took picture after picture at the bridge.
And that they all came out radiating.

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

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