Love makes fools of us all
I pretended to be oblivious to what Teacher was telling me. I figured that I could play dumb for a while. She hadn't really asked me outright to support her relationship with Boytoy. She was being subtle, hoping that I would catch on. I could just pretend that I was too preoccupied with driving to pick up on the hints. Of course, I knew that the longer I feigned ignorance, the more likely she'll progress from annoyance, to irritation, and finally, just plain pissed off. But I needed time. I had to to find a way to be honest with Teacher and not hurt her feelings--or at least minimize the damage.
I knew that she had a lot of trust in me to share what was going on between her and Boytoy. She said she hadn't told anyone else. That much trust and faith in me humbles and honors me greatly, but it's also such a great responsibility and tremendous burden. To be a true friend, I have to know when to encourage her on her endeavors or oppose her course of action when they become dangerous. I was having problems deciding whether to stand by her or stand up to her. I was also having problems figuring out if my feelings were clouding my judgment. Was I being fair in my assessment? Or was I being judgmental? I wasn't sure.
My own feelings were conflicted. In the past, I had been involved with a few married women. When I was younger, I thought I knew everything. Of course, I know now that I was just a cocky idiot whose hormones and lack of experience overrode common sense and logic. But that's the curse of being young, dumb, and in search of fun. You think you know everything, but you really don't. Wisdom comes from age and experience, especially the painful ones. And that's what I was hoping to stop Teacher from experiencing, spare her from the pain.
Truth be told, I enjoyed my time with those married women. Though, I confess that the first one scared me that morning after, when we were lying in bed and she revealed that she was married. I was afraid of what her husband might do when he found out! And it also went against everything that I was taught--that adultery was a sin, and that I would receive divine retribution and damnation. Of course, at the time, I had long separated myself from my church. My pastor was more concerned about making money and preaching damnation and hellfire to anyone who refused to accept his interpretation of the Bible. I didn't care for him or his prejudiced nonsense.
But it was much harder to forget morals that were drilled into me at a young age, that sense of right and wrong. And somewhere deep in my mind, I was reminded that marriage was sacred and adultery was wrong. But I'd seen too many divorces and too many cheating spouses that made me question the sanctity of marriage. And when that first married woman assured me that her husband also saw people on the side, it made me feel like I had found some great revelation, only I wasn't sure what it was, other than I had permission. And it gave me license to do as I pleased so long as it was between consenting adults.
Eventually, I stopped seeing married women. It wasn't worth the trouble. I suppose I was growing up. Maybe I was just growing tired of hiding and having to make plans based on whether the husband was out of town or not. Or maybe I just realized that it wasn't for me. And I learned a valuable truth in the process. It wasn't marriage that was so important. Rather, it was the commitment that people made to each other that was truly sacred. And as much as I enjoyed my dalliances with the wives, I knew that it was all just for fun. There was no promise of anything more. And therein lies the problem with Teacher. She was looking for something more in her fling with Boytoy. And though he may not be married, he was still somewhat committed to the girlfriend he lived with. Why else would he still be with her? And Teacher was either in denial or too blind to see that he would never leave his girlfriend to be with her.
By the time we pulled up to the hotel, Teacher was pouting and sighing. I knew that she was annoyed at my failure to pick up on her hints. I wasn't giving her the response that she wanted to hear. But I wasn't ready to deal with her just yet. I didn't have the right words to say what I really wanted without hurting her too much. So I grabbed our suitcases and followed her inside. She had made prior arrangements for our room. And when we got to our room on the third floor, I was surprised to find one bed. So I put the luggage down and threw myself on the bed. I heard her laughing. It sounded good. I rolled over and asked her, "So, where're you sleeping?"
She took a picture of me with her phone and replied, "What do you mean where am I sleeping? Where do you think I'm sleeping?"
So I smirked and answered, "Well, seeing as you made the room arrangements for the both of us, I am so glad that you were thoughtful enough to see that I would sleep on the only bed in the room. I hope you enjoy the sofa. Or maybe the hotel has a cot. The carpet looks plush enough, so maybe the floor."
She huffed, "As if! I'm not sleeping on the sofa or the damn floor!"
"The tub then?", I suggested helpfully with an eyebrow raised.
"Shut it!," she said, "Move over! We're sharing the damn bed!"
And she proceeded to jump in the bed next to me and push me over. I laughed, "Geez, are always this bossy in bed?"
"Shut it!," she said, "I'll have you know that no one's complained about sharing the bed with me before!"
So I said,"That's just a sad reflection of the people you've slept with."
That got me a punch in the shoulder and her indignant response,"How dare you! As if the whores you've taken to bed are any better!"
"Hey!," I replied, "Those women were not whores! They didn't charge me for any of the filthy things we did!"
"Oh, my mistake," she said,"I got it all wrong. Those women weren't whores. You're the whore!"
"I told you," I said,"I'm a service professional!"
And we proceeded to laugh heartily for a few minutes. And it felt good. It helped to dissipate the tension that had been building up during the drive. I knew that I was only delaying the inevitable, difficult discussion, but for now, I was grateful for the short reprieve. I needed time to think about how to tell Teacher the ugly truth--She wasn't the new woman in this boy's life. He wasn't looking for love; he was looking for sex. The truth was, she was being used by a boy who had no intention of leaving his girlfriend for her.