Monday, 30 July 2007

The Catalyst

I had known this moment would come. I had known it for weeks. The little voice in my head knew that I could never compete with a woman half my age and had started withdrawing my desire for food several weeks before. It was coming up to Christmas and I was so busy trying to have an online affair as well as doing all the things necessary to ensure the Festivities were observed as normal in our house that I hardly noticed there was no time to eat. But still I trained. The weight began to fall away. The people closest to me must have seen but, as usual, said nothing. I still saw a fat woman with a huge arse in the mirror.

After exchanging, emails, ims, texts, photographs and masturbatory phone calls for two months, The Catalyst and I actually met each other at an exhibition a few weeks earlier. Our relationship was at an amazingly intense stage and those three little words hung heavy in the air, unspoken but underlying every conversation.

Texting each other nervously from our hotels both the evening and the morning before, our excitement was palpable. Would the virtual attraction survive our actual physical meeting? There would be no possibility for any sort of intimacy because we both knew too many people who would be at the event. I had seen him long before he had noticed me because he was wearing a very distinctive jacket. He called me on my phone and I hid around a corner, my heart pounding in my chest, panic spreading bile into my mouth. I could refuse to see him, keep my dignity, not let him see me and burst his bubble. I ignored the phone, desperately trying to work out what to do. And then I thought, this is stupid. If he hates you, he hates you. You can't just ignore him all day and hope he doesn't see you. He's seen enough photos to be able to recognise you unless you spend the whole time skulking in corners!

So I called him back. I was standing by a fire exit looking out of the glass to the rain lashing down outside. I told him where I was. I could see him in the distance. His reflection in the glass showed that he was walking towards me, phone in his hand as he talked. And then the line went dead and I was aware of his presence next to me. Standing just a few feet away, tall and slim. I looked up at him shyly and he held out his arms and gathered me to him. Lifting me off the floor in his excitement and holding me so tightly I thought I would break. The intensity of that moment. Of our two bodies actually touching each other after all the intimacy we had shared and yet not shared was so immense. We both became aware of the fact that I was trembling violently and trying desperately not to cry. He put me down and examined me closely as I tried to wipe my eyes and he smiled approvingly, before tutting mildly as he realised that I had lost some weight with the worry over the previous few weeks of how this meeting would pan out. He exhorted me not to start slipping into bad eating habits.

We had a lovely day together, watching the exhibits. He would circle me with his arm to pull me in to see what we wanted to see and stand millimetres behind me so I could feel the heat from his body against my back. How can I communicate to you the sensation of the hairs on the back of my neck standing on end and the shiver that ran through me just from noticing the hairs on the lower part of his arm as he pulled me towards him? How can I describe the pleasure of glancing sidelong at his strong profile and knowing that the view lived up to all my expectations?

Finally, we kissed each other on the cheek to say goodbye before starting the long journeys home in opposite directions. There was a flurry of exchanged text messages on the way back and, thankfully, everything was as it should be. The attraction was still there and in the next few weeks, he sent me more stories and there was more mutual wanking.

The end came suddenly out of the blue. We were messing about online and I made a joke about him performing poorly sexually. His reply? 'That's not what my Mrs said last night'. I was pretty sure that he was joking but the sudden thought that he might be sleeping with her hit me with the same force as if he had kicked me in the stomach. The pain completely took my breath away and I was gasping for air with tears streaming down my cheeks. I replied with the single word 'Ouch'. I think he realised suddenly how much that had hurt me, whether there was any truth to it or not. But I sort of assumed, from his behaviour, that we had reached a stage where we could discuss our current physical relationship with our significant other without it affecting our own feelings. Even though I was sure he knew that I had not slept with my own Husband for some time, certainly not since the beginning of our liaison. To be honest, I never could understand why he was interested in me in the first place when he had a young, beautiful wife at home. I guess they were going through a bad patch and my interest made him feel alive again.

That night, I instigated relations with my Husband and involved the toothbrush for the first time. I wanted to get back at The Catalyst for his callousness. I wanted to be able to hurt him back. But all I could see was his face. I was soaking wet because I wanted to make love with him. My Husband loved this new moist welcome. He loved having me initiate. He enjoyed seeing me masturbate with my toothbrush. He joined in. But still I couldn't come for him. We had lost our connection, both mentally and physically. I didn't want him this way any more. I did my duty and satisfied his needs and then I cried myself to sleep. Silent, fat tears that rolled unchecked down the cheeks of a face that was turned away from him.

A few days later, The Catalyst called me to chat. He was buoyant. Christmas was coming. His footie team had just won a big grudge match. I had ordered a new toy to play with and was describing what it was supposed to be like to him. And then the demons did their work. Without thinking of the possible consequences, I started to tell him about how my Husband hadn't succeeded in making me come the previous night. Suddenly the line went dead. I tried to call him back and it went straight to ansafone. I tried to text with no response. With no contact from him for the rest of the afternoon, that night or the following morning, it started to dawn on me that this was going to be far more serious than a dead battery and I had to begin to address the possibility that he might actually have put the phone down on me. In the end I called him from my home phone on his office number which wouldn't recognise the incoming number. He said he was sorry he hadn't replied. He'd had a lot of thinking to do but he was really caught up in something at work and couldn't talk then. He promised me he would call that afternoon. Plaintively, I asked him to reassure me that everything was ok. 'No', he said, 'it isn't and it never can be again'.

I spent the next few hours sobbing and grizzling. Why is it that when you're in that state, the radio does nothing but play the songs that have become important to you as a couple. 'Wake me up Inside' or 'My Immortal' by Evanescence seemed to be on every station, along with Keane's 'This is the Last Time'.

Finally, he called me. He was gentle and kind as ever. When I had started talking about fucking my Husband, he had realised how jealous he was. He was in agonies over the activities of a woman who did not belong to him when he had his own waiting at home. He had gone back to his house in a foul mood when he should have been jubilant over the football and his wife had noticed, initiating a long heart to heart about what was going wrong with their relationship. He had come to understand that, although he loved me, he loved her more and had kids with her and responsibilities. What we were doing was wrong. He couldn't keep spreading himself so thin. Someone was always going to get hurt and he couldn't let it be his children. So he had to hurt me and stop doing what we were doing before it was too late. Even though it wasn't 'real', it was still wrong. He would always love me, always be my friend but we couldn't keep doing this. I begged and pleaded and grovelled. I abased myself shamefully but to no effect. He had to stand firm. They were talking about renewing their vows and making another baby so that was that.

Eventually we said goodbye and he put the phone down. The sound of the dialling tone cut into me like a knife. I cannot even begin to describe the physical pain as he ripped and wrenched to drag his virtual heart away from mine. And I know it was equally as unpleasant for him to try to do it.

Half an hour later he sent an email. When walking back through the canteen to his desk the radio was playing Michael Jackson's 'She's Out of My Life'. He had had to detour to the toilets until he could compose himself.

Our relationship lasted four erotic, emotionally exhausting months but it took another five months before I could finally start to disentwine the invisible links that held me to him and almost a year before I realised that I had actually started to want someone else more.


me said...

Hun, i read that with increasingly shallower breathes as the familiar feelings rose. The pain that one can cause through a single mention - the pain one has to absorb when he talks about home; i know it well.

The intense, heady first meet, the pleasure from the smallest touch or sign of possession.

Yes, a powerful post. I am still shaking from the memories you have stirred. It may have been a year for me also, but i haven't forgotten the way he made me feel.

la fille mariƩe said...

Oh god, Cake. As you know, I can fully identify. It's so hard to let go of the hope, even when you know it was the right thing to happen, because what you have now is so much more. Big hugs.

My Girlfriend is hot said...

I don't know what to say really. I wish you the best of luck and hope in this next stage.

Take care and Hugs to you

Mr. & Mrs SW said...

A lot of bloggers will recognize your feelings.

Isabella Snow said...

Cake! How depressing! :(( Hope you're ok!

Loving Annie said...

Oh Cake,
That is so incredibly painful, and you described the thrill and the devastation of having an affair so well, regardless of cyber or not.

He sounds like the typical married man, a wholly selfish creature, dishonest and manipulative.

Sorry for the bluntness but I have seen the m.o. too many times to ever have any illusions about it again.

I am sorry that you experienced the pain that you did.

It takes ages and ages to disentangle emotionally, intellectually and from the physical cravings, and to truly heal.

I am glad that finally you began to be able to want someone else more than him.

Loving Annie (been there/done that)

Lady in red said...

you have just taken me back to the start of the year when I felt as you did about GB and what a jolt it was after our one hour of incredible intimacy that he was elated until the next morning when the guilt hit him. like you our relationship lasted 4 months although we only met twice in real life.

Now I have met forest and those feelings are there again almost, very nearly but not more yet.

Anonymous Boxer said...

I agree with "me", powerful post - we can all identify with so many parts of this. But, I'm sorry you had to go through it.

EmmaK said...

Oh!! It was so thrilling, your description of you finally meeting and touching, the hairs standing up on your skin. And then, how sad, when reality intervened and you had to split up. Thanks for being so honest and although it is all in the past I'm giving you a big hug and hope you are over him now.

Luka said...

I think most of us can empathise with the situation and emotions you captured so perfectly there. That said, he sounds like a bit of a cunt to me. These things are painful, but at least they leave the way clear for someone much better for you to come along.

George said...

Another case of what's good for me isn't necessarily good or right for you. Hypocrite he is

Freddy said...

My first thought as I read this was 'been there, bought the t-shirt' and to an extent I have.
It does pass.
It really does.

HyperAnt said...

Oh wow. You tell an amazing, poignant story. I have never been in this spot before but in reading this, I was feeling those feelings with you. My goodness. I am glad you are now on the back side of this.

It is said, "That which does not kill you, makes you stronger." Do you think this is one of those things? For me, I have had experiences that, while I am still up right and walking, it feels like a little something inside has died....I hope this isn't the case for you.

From what I know, you are a beautiful and amazing women. MrUD is lucky to have had even a few moments of your life.

Pixie said...

My God what an evocative post, the beauty and blatant sex steaming out of the beginning, then the pain and anguish.

I'm so pleased you've now moved on heart break is just so fucking awful, however it happens, and for as long as it lasts.

having my cake said...

Poor MrUD. Thank you everyone for your kind words and for sticking up for me but he doesnt deserve all the invective... Well, maybe some of it lmao.

Even with hindsight, I would do it again and I will always love him for the way he made me look again at myself.

Im one of those cup half full people and I know that, without him, I would never have had the confidence that grew from his initial desire or the courage that grew from his rejection to achieve the relationship I now have.

To be fair to him, I was also married remember. And I was also more than 10 years his senior and had declared categorically that I would never leave my children. His kids were a lot younger than mine. He had such a lot to lose and so little to gain if things had continued. He didnt cut me loose without a paddle. He stayed and supported me as best he could for a long time. Seeing my anorexia on webcam made him physically weep and beg me to eat again. But I think that's another post...

kimba said...

awwww this is an amazing story. amazing.
it was painful. exhilerating. devastating.

sounds like there is some good in your life now though honey.


Midnight said...

A very vivid and well written account of the joys and perils of such liaisons! See I knew when I suggested that one, it would make riveting reading! Mind you the sex toy post is pretty awesome too!

having my cake said...

kimba - Im really lucky that it all turned out for the best in the end

Middy - lol. I should have blocked you from the sex toy review just to spite you x

Tom Paine said...

I came her from Z for your sexy avatar, but was impressed by the writing. A very probing discussion of e-love and its toxic capabilities. Very well done.

having my cake said...

Thanks Tom for both compliments. And yes, since so many people ask, it really is my arse :)