Some people know him as an Angel, Founder or simply “One to watch”. Advisor, Mentor or CEO. It’s an impressive list of monikers for a not so average millenial. But I just knew him as Niall, an incredibly intelligent, alpha male who would eventually capture my heart.
Behind his baby-faced good looks was a sexually confident man who had just enough kink and mischievousness to keep me wanting more. We met in the most inauspicious way: two little innocent words brought us together and the chain reaction was volatile, with pheromones and instant chemistry. It was in one word- electric.
But that’s getting ahead of things.
After a few more unsuccessful date nights with my husband (spent solemnly talking about our dismal marital satisfaction), I sat alone one morning to gather my thoughts and assess my life.
To a fine point.
Truth be told, I wasn’t entirely fulfilled. Yet I felt stuck. Missing the old Kate that I knew lurked inside me, but too burdened with responsibilities to shine any longer, I let out a guttural sigh full of longing for the woman I use to be.
I missed her. Relentlessly.
Kate, the adventurous person my husband fell in love with. The one who begged a British Airlines reservationist for a flight to Berlin, so I could spend one more weekend with the man I thought could be “the one”. Lucky for me, the supervisor was a hardcore romantic and I scored the very last seat into that country. It was a feat considering a million revelers would besiege Berlin that weekend but somehow I managed to get there. Incredulously, I negotiated my fare down to 80 quid. Did you know airline tickets could be negotiated?!? Yeah me neither, but in that moment I did everything I could to make that weekend happen, despite being broke at the time. Looking back, I shake my head in disbelief at my fearlessness. I went after everything. I never saw obstacles, only roadblocks that needed my adventurous gumption to navigate around them. And boy, did I.
I lived by the seat of my pants, fueled by adrenaline which I hadn’t felt in my veins since giving birth to my children. So as I solemnly looked around my bedroom, contemplating my life so far, I realized that something had to change. The trappings of everything we worked so hard for owned me. Adventure was replaced with monotony, which eventually became my daily existence. Coupled with my husbands infidelity, his ever growing Beta attributes and our current state of marriage, it was the perfect storm for discontentment.
No more, I thought. No more of “this”. No more “status quo”. If he won’t change and this is now my day-to-day existence, I will seek laughter and love in the arms of another. I’m done.
And that was that.
For anyone who argues that cheating begins when actual physical boundaries are crossed, I would caution against that belief. Having lived through both sides of infidelity, I know it starts in the mind where it multiples until acted upon. So I acknowledge, in hindsight, that this was the moment I turned my back on my vows.
I’ll never forget the day when Niall reached out to me. It was totally unexpected. And so unbelievably PC that I distinctly remember saying to myself, “Oh my gosh, he is so…normal.” I guess that was my first foray into compartmentalization, something that I wouldn’t say I am great at, even to this day. I wear my heart on my sleeve, love deep–love hard–and love passionately. If I’m having a bad day, you’ll know. If I’m sad, you’ll feel it. If I’m conquering the world, you’ll see me busier than ever. I simply don’t hide anything, nor have I ever.
“Hey there. I noticed you lived nearby. Just wanted to reach out and say hello. I hope you had a nice Christmas.”
My heart did this funny flip-flop when I saw Niall’s message. That part was totally unexpected. It had been so long since my heart felt anything that my logic spent more time assessing just what that sensation was. “What was that? That sensation? It seems strange, yet familiar.” It took quite some time for my long-term memory to kick in but once I took a sip of coffee, it hit me while exhaling, “Ahhhhh I remember that now. Wow, I haven’t felt that since Billy locked eyes with me from across that bar.”
As I sat there staring at Niall’s words, I couldn’t help but think he was too safe. Too boring. Too average. This isn’t exactly someone who would ignite my fire, not by a long shot. And Christ-the kid was younger than me! That alone completely crossed him off my mental list of things I am attracted to.
But…he was taller than I. Dark haired. Lived in the general vicinity. Successful. Maybe I should at least reply in kind?
Get it together Kate! This–this email was nothing more than a hello, by a very average looking guy who apparently has no game. Two tin cans and a piece of string–simply neighbors swapping notes and chit-chatting about life. That’s all this is…
Oh how wrong my assumptions would be.
Placing a lock of hair through my fore finger and thumb, I twisted it gently and brushed it along my chapped lips. I needed to hop in the shower but I stared at Niall’s words, as a tiny hum reverberated throughout my heart while I wrestled with my reply. My thoughts raced with questions and statements such as, “This guy could be a complete freak, you know” and “How could you even trust that he is, who he says he is?” But I pushed aside those pessimistic thoughts and allowed CEO into my world.
There was really only one way to find out who Niall really was.
And that was to dive in…