It was so surreal to be opening up my heart to Billy in this way. We hadn’t even kissed, just talked. But I felt so strongly that he would be my husband. That he was truly “the one” I was meant to have married. Chemistry like that doesn’t come along often. I felt in my heart that Billy and I would have ravishing, mind-blowing sex. The holy grail of connections coupled with an intense love and chemistry so elusive, it’s only written about in novels or shown in films. It was that electric between us.
I continued, “Whether we end up together or not, I can’t say. But I deserve to have a faithful husband. And that is all I truly want in the end”. He said, “You totally do. But I’ll tell you what I told Anna. That decision has nothing to do with me and you need to make that decision as if I was never born…And if I’m around, I’m around.”
Our flurry of messages stalled. I didn’t know what to say. So I sat there reflecting back on my husbands confession. Pondering my age and questioning if I had the wherewithal to endure a divorce, when Billy finally replied.
“I do find you overly attractive. But I’ve been in this once before. It caused all kinds of problems for all kinds of people. And I can’t do it again. No one can blame you for doing that.”
It wasn’t exactly the response I was expecting. And it confused the hell out of me to be honest. I felt like he didn’t want any part of me divorcing, but once I was single, if he was still single, then yeah, something would happen between us. In a nutshell, he was leaving the door wide open.
I didn’t know what to do at this point. And ironically, both Kara and Laura eventually called to discuss the party. Kara started with, “Honey, I just want to come right out and ask you something. How is your marriage? You’ve been on my mind for the past two weeks but I’ve been so busy with the kids. I meant to call you earlier.”
Fucking Kara! Her gifting, as they say, is intuition. At several junctions throughout my life, she is like having a conversation with my conscience. Which is why, during my affair with CEO, I rarely took her calls. I just knew the truth she would be speaking and frankly, I wasn’t ready to give that relationship up. But that’s getting ahead of things.
I really wanted to talk to her about Billy, so in that moment, I finally opened up. Very few people really know me, struggles and all. But Kara is one of them, which is ironic because we see each other maybe three times a year. Perhaps it’s because she has known me since I was a kid. Whatever it is, she can pry me open like a can of sardines. “Kara, things aren’t going so well. And I am starting to have feelings for someone else.”
“I know who you are talking about…” She said, “It’s Billy huh?”
My heart dropped. “How did you know?”
“Sweetie, I could see the chemistry between you two at the reunion. He spent the most time talking to you. There was an obvious connection.”
So I told her everything about Billy. I explained how he had reached out to me. How we had been emailing back and forth. And how I was utterly confused as to what to do. She replied, “You’ve always clicked. This goes all the way back to Miss Blain’s 7th grade English class. Don’t you remember the three of us sitting at the back of her class talking? You guys had a connection way back then.” Honestly, I didn’t even remember that. I still don’t. But she is that friend that remembers everything about everyone, going back to when we were little kids.
The next call came from Laura. Kara must have filled her in because she phoned the following morning. I sat in my car, with tears in my eyes, confused because I really wanted to talk to Billy face to face. But he was being distant, and not his usual self. My heart was racing uncontrollably and I felt as if it would never stop. Laura gave me two pieces of advice. The first one being, “You know, your emotions will change over time about this. Our emotions can and will deceive us.” My rebuttal was, “Well I have always followed my gut. And that has never happened before. I mean I get what you are saying, but my gut has never steered me wrong in this way.”
“Start exercising. Do something every day. It will help stabilize your emotions about this whole situation.” Looking back now, I can say emphatically, that it was great advice. And I took both to heart, in the deepest of ways.
I started walking, then running. Religiously. That first month, I logged 125 miles. I ran as much as I could. Even if it was just ten minutes, I carved out time just for me. Something I hadn’t done since before I had kids. And I quickly realized, just how much I had missed it. And how much I loved running again. It was the only time where my heart got back to a regular rhythm. For sure, it sorted out my head. During that entire time, Kara and Laura were there counseling me. “I know how much your husband hurt you, but I do believe God can restore your marriage. I think you forgave too soon and perhaps, this connection with Billy isn’t so genuine after all.”
Both Kara and Laura told me to unfriend Billy immediately. And they went on to say, “Although Billy was a great kid growing up, he’s actually kind of a trippy guy now. He can’t even give you close to the life you lead.” And they were right, he couldn’t. Deep down I knew. But it took them verbalizing this for it to sink in.
Collectively, we agreed that Billy would always be a bachelor filled with wanderlust. Never willing to truly commit to another or settle down. They were right. Plus I knew leaving my husband would be financial suicide. We worked so hard to get where we were in life. It would ruin our kids and turn facets of our lives for the worse. If I thought things were difficult in my marriage now, they would be compounded once divorced.
But I still didn’t want to let Billy go. I simply…couldn’t be the one to unfriend him.