Touch Him

We had sex.

We didn’t plan to do it. If anything, we actively planned against it. Not out loud, mind — that’s not the sort of thing you discuss out loud, any more than you discuss planning to have sex. No, our planning was furtive and silent, made up of subtle glances and faint shakes of the head, and from the way we would draw back from touching other, and the way we met eyes when we knew we had come close to danger.

We were attracted to each other from the start. I’ve never been good at knowing whether someone was attracted to me, but with Andy, it was obvious. I knew the cast of his eyes. I knew what it meant when his gaze lingered below the line of my belt. I knew that he let me go up the stairs in front of him so that he could get a certain view.

He knew I was attracted to him, in turn. As bad as I am at noticing people who are checking me out, I’ve never been good at hiding my own looks of admiration. He saw me looking, that very first day, and he met my eyes, raising his eyebrow. Yeah. He knew, and I knew, that we both wanted something from each other.

Of course, we both knew that it couldn’t happen. Andy has a girlfriend. I have a boyfriend. Despite our desires, neither of us had any interest in upsetting our partners. Even if we wanted to leave them, I don’t think he and I would make a good couple. Our interests aren’t similar enough. Our personalities don’t really mesh.

Our bodies do, though.

The desire for each other grew stronger over time, and our resolve to resist it grew weaker. When we’d hug in greeting, I pushed against him a bit too hard, and I felt him doing the same. If our partners left us alone on the couch, our feet might touch. Or if there were more than two of us, he’d scoot a bit too close to me to make room, and our thighs would press up against each other. I would feel him pushing his leg against mine, and I would push back, excited and guilty all at the same time.

When my boyfriend asked me to take back some tupperware, I didn’t think much of it. I thought Andy’s girlfriend would be around, or their roommate. Nope. Andy was alone. That meant we were alone together, for the first time, in his empty apartment.

I made a series of mistakes, one after another, knowing that each of them was a mistake but still thinking, “It will be alright. We don’t do anything stupid.” I went inside. That was the first mistake. I sat down, and I let Andy offer me a glass of water. He sat down on the couch next to me. He sat a bit too close. I scooted closer, trying to make it seem natural, but it totally wasn’t. We both noticed.

Then he put his hand on my leg, and I didn’t push it away. Instead, I put my hand on his leg. And… Well, I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

I know that it wasn’t right. I never wanted to hurt my boyfriend. It was fun, in the moment, but every part of it is a horrible memory that I just can’t get out of my braid. I flash back to it every time my eyes are closed. I can’t look at Andy anymore without feeling sick to my stomach. It feels like something entered by body and moved me through the motions of that day without my input, and then left me behind to face the blame for it myself.

I haven’t told my boyfriend. I don’t think I will. I’m worried he’ll figure it out on his own, of course, but for now, I don’t want to hurt him. I want to bear all of the pain of what I did myself. It’s funny, because I already did the thing that I used to think was what would hurt him. The sex, with another man. But that hasn’t caused him any pain yet. It’s the telling that will hurt him. It’s the finding-out. That will bring the pain, and maybe the end of us as a couple.

I don’t want that for him. I don’t want him to go through that. I couldn’t care less about whether it would hurt me. I deserve whatever shit would come my way, if he found out. I deserve all that pain and discomfort and unhappiness. But he doesn’t, and so, for now, I won’t let it touch him.

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