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Have you ever looked back on certain events after a few years have passed and wondered how you possibly could have done the things you did or felt the emotions you felt? It may even seem like you’re looking back at a different person altogether, or perhaps recalling some half-remembered dream.Six years have gone by since my affair with Delilah began and I still don’t fully understand it.Before Delilah, I was fully committed to my wife and marriage. In fact, I was always monogamous and believed that love was something that took time to nurture. More than once, people asked if I believed in love at first sight and my answer was always a resounding, “no.”Then, somehow, I fell in love with a total stranger in less than forty-eight hours. Trying to explain how it happened merely creates a list of tired cliches.It felt like we had always known each other.It was like finding my soulmate.For the first time in my life, someone understood me.My marriage was a flame that burned steadily for sixteen years. My affair with Delilah quickly became an out-of-control conflagration consuming everything in its path.And I haven’t even mentioned the sex. Holy hell, the sex!But I’m getting ahead of myself.Around noon, I called Delilah from my office. She was even more charming on the phone. Smart and quick-witted. Sharp and inquisitive. We had the same speech patterns and spoke with the same rhythm. Delilah was intuitive and intriguing. Her laugh was genuine and the tone of her voice was seductive and mature.Our conversation flowed like water in a mountain stream – naturally – like we were reading from some memorized script. It was intimate and lighthearted. We talked about our past and our future – our beliefs, successes, and failures.There was flirting but nothing overtly sexual like the text messages we shared. We simply enjoyed talking to each other. It seemed so simple and easy. Normally, I can’t talk for more than ten minutes on the phone before getting agitated, but three hours went by before I noticed the time.I couldn’t believe it. I thought my clock was wrong because it only seemed as though a few minutes had passed. Looking back, this was the moment I fell deeply in love with Delilah – the first interval of my life when time literally stood still.In the back of my mind was Laura. My wife. The person who blatantly lied to me more than once. I began wondering if her idea of rekindling our marriage by creating a Tinder account was some sort of ploy. Was she already talking to Gary and just used Tinder as a way to justify her actions? Was she having an affair? How long had it lasted?And she had the nerve to put me down! To make me feel unwanted and undesirable! Obviously, I was desirable, because here was a woman almost ten years younger than her who was already giving me more moral support than she had in years!My şişli escort love for Laura had vanished. Did it ever exist? How could I have ever loved anyone when I was only now realizing what true love felt like?In the place where my love for my wife once dwelled was the hurt Laura caused. Hurt that bred animosity and loathing.Meanwhile, Delilah was everything I never knew I wanted – a woman conjured from dreams – my anima come to life.Delilah explained it better than I can. During our first conversation, she said, “When I saw your Tinder profile, I had a feeling about you. Like I somehow already knew you. And now that we’ve messaged and talked, you feel like my other half.”It was the first time I sensed something mystical about Delilah – something I still can’t explain. Some women have premonitions about the future. Delilah seemed to possess hidden knowledge about the past. As I tell the rest of this story, what I mean will become apparent.Hanging up the phone was like getting punched in the chest. It physically hurt.Back at home, Laura was obviously preoccupied with Gary or whoever else she may have been talking to. She barely spoke to me. I managed to get a quick glance at her phone and she had over 200 Tinder and text messages.My wife sat down next to me on the living room sofa and said, “Can I talk to you about something?”For a moment, I was worried that she knew about my conversation with Delilah. I said, “Sure.”Turning to face me, Laura said, “Nick, I have to come clean because I don’t want to lie to you. I’ve been messaging Gary, but the reason I kept messaging him is because he’s giving me the emotional support I haven’t been getting from our marriage.”The anger I felt for my wife had coalesced into a tight ball in the pit of my stomach. Laura’s words fed it and made it denser. I remained silent.My wife continued, “I think we should open our marriage.”The ball in my stomach felt like it was vibrating and about burst through my skin. The desire to unleash the same emotional pain I was feeling on my wife was overwhelming.What came out of my mouth was a simple, “Okay.”“Really?”Calmly, I answered, “If that’s what you want… But I will say this right now and only once – it’s not going to end well.”Laura seemed almost giddy, which made me seethe with rage.She said, “That’s why we have to set boundaries – so neither of us gets hurt. First, we have to be honest with one another. Second, no sex unless the other person says it’s okay, and if we do have sex with someone else, we have to use protection.”All I could do was sit motionless, listening in total disbelief.Laura continued, “And Nick, we can talk to each other about our experiences to spice up our love life.”“It sounds like you have it all figured out.”“You’re sure you’re okay with this?”“Absolutely!”My wife didn’t sense my mecidiyeköy escort sarcasm. Or maybe she chose to ignore it. Laura had the nerve to hug me before heading upstairs, phone in hand, already texting the person she obviously wanted to fuck.My wife was picking and choosing her truths, so maybe Gary had already fucked her. Perhaps she was just trying to alleviate her guilt by forcing me into this ridiculous arrangement.Trembling, I messaged Delilah.“Hey! What are you up to?”Her response was almost immediate.“I’m taking a bath. I have a big meeting with a commercial client tomorrow so it’s an early night for me. I have something for you…”Another message immediately followed. It was a photo of Delilah in the bathtub, her perky breasts buoyant and floating, her hard nipples just above the water line.I messaged back, “I wish I could climb into that tub with you. My wife told me tonight that she wants to have an open marriage. I agreed.”“And you’re okay with that? I mean… It’s great for me because I want to meet you… badly… but are you okay with your wife sleeping with other people?”I wasn’t ready to answer the question. “I’m just glad that we’ll get a chance to meet. I’m leaving town for a few days this week on business but would you like to meet when I get back?”“Yes! You can come over to my house! Can you spend the night? ;)”“I don’t see why not!”We messaged back and forth until Delilah went to bed. Her last text message read, “Goodnight, love.”It was the first time Delilah used a pet name for me. I read the text over and over again and every time another soothing layer of joy enveloped the ball of anger in my belly.The following day, I traveled to South Florida for a site visit to put together a big construction bid. Delilah had to cancel our phone call and was barely able to text because of a family emergency that required her to travel out of state.Her father had been in a bad car accident and was in ICU. Every few hours, I checked in on her to make sure she was holding up.On the second day of my business trip, I received a text message from my wife.“Hey, honey. I want to have someone over to the house tonight. I’m messaging you to make sure it’s okay.”Not once had it occurred to me that Laura would bring a lover to our house and into our bed.“To our house? Who are you bringing to our house?”Laura’s reply was immediate.“Gary. And yes, our house. It makes a lot more sense than spending money on a hotel.”Fully resigned to the fact that my wife was going to do whatever the hell she wanted, I let her find comfort in her lie. It was obvious to me that Gary didn’t want anyone he knew to see him walking into a hotel, and my wife was more than happy to facilitate Gary’s cheating.I responded with, “Oh okay. It’s important to be frugal. Is Gary single or in an open relationship?”Laura had no idea I’d peeked at her phone and already knew the answer.“He’s single.”Another lie. My wife was getting good at it.“Okay, well have fun.”“So, just to be clear, you’re okay with it if we fool around?”“Absolutely.”“Thank you, honey! This is going to be good for our marriage.”I laughed out loud at the absurdity of Laura’s comment. And still, she wasn’t done.“You should go out and try to meet someone while you’re in Miami. But if you do meet someone, remember you have to let me know what’s going on. And I may want you to send me a photo!”My anger was back in full force. I had the urge to call Delilah for some emotional support but she had her own problems to deal with.So, I took my wife’s advice. When my meetings were finished, I bellied up to the hotel bar for a cocktail.Around seven, I got a message from my wife. It was a photo of her and Gary in our bed. Gary was waving. The accompanying message read, “This is Gary. I’m just keeping in touch as promised. I hope you’re having fun. Thank you for this!”To this day, I still can’t describe the range of emotions I felt. Then, suddenly, I went numb.I responded to Laura with one message.“You’re welcome. But please don’t send me any more photos.”Laura sent me another message but I chose to ignore it.Around eight, the remnants of a wedding party strolled into the hotel bar. There were about a dozen people in the group, four of them bridesmaids dressed in tight-fitting emerald green satin dresses. They were all having a good time and more than a little tipsy.One of the bridesmaids walked up next to me at the bar to order a drink. She was in her early thirties, short with an athletic body and shoulder-length red hair all done up in curls. After she ordered a rum and coke, I caught her eye.“Hi.” It may have only been one word, but I said it with a level of confidence totally foreign to me, like a man with nothing to lose.The bridesmaid’s green eyes lit up and she smiled wide. “Hi. Were you at the wedding?”“No. I’m here on business.”“Sounds official. Are you a lawyer or something?”“Contractor. How was the wedding?”“It was beautiful, like all weddings.”I raised my eyebrows, reacting to the thick personal irony in the bridesmaid’s innocuous comment.She continued, “But now the bride and groom are somewhere in the hotel having fun and the rest of us are here at the bar drinking overpriced booze.”Reaching out my hand, I said, “My name is Nick.”The bridesmaid put her hand in mind, “Hi, Nick. I’m Heather.”“Nice to meet you, Heather. That dress looks amazing on you.”Heather twirled around, “What do you like about it?”The lacy neckline of the dress extended across her chest, just above Heather’s ample cleavage. I gently ran my finger along the length of the fringe and said, “I like the way this lace looks against your skin.”Heather bit her lip and gazed up at me with a look of desire.“You do?”“I do. And do you know what else I like?”“What?”“I like the idea of slowly removing this dress from your body. Do you want to come up to my room?

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