I remember the moment we first met, as if it happened yesterday. You put your head round my office door, and introduced yourself. Your obvious intelligence, your voice and your laughter – that normal part of your conversation – were captivating. The sound of your voice still has, will always have, a profound effect on me. Although I didn’t realise it until much later, it was a moment that changed the direction of my life.
After that first meeting, we worked together for a year. The weeks and months passed, as I wondered whether everyone who you knew and met felt the same way about you. Whether they felt the same pleasure, the same thrilling chemistry, just being near to you. You quickly became my closest friend, as we spent more and more time together. Then, one summer evening, I hugged you and you kissed me. You say now that you were in love with me even before that. But for me, that was the moment the world changed for ever.
We were both happily married. Neither of us had ever had affairs or even thought of being unfaithful. It was something that neither of us planned or expected, but it felt … unstoppable.
We grew closer and closer as our friendship deepened and we became lovers. Now, seven years later, I long to be openly with you; the most unique, the most demanding, the most desirable woman I have ever met.
We can count the number of nights we have spent together in that time on our fingers. But the stolen hours spent talking, eating, reading, laughing – just being together – are uncountable. We have shared triumphs and tragedies, professional and personal.
More than once, my behaviour has hurt you badly and yet we are still very much together, each feeling that life without the other would be simply unbearable. The happiest and most intense hours of my entire life have been spent with you.
There are times when the desire and the sadness that we are not together become completely overwhelming. I know that you love me. But I also know that you want me in your life alongside everything you already have. Alongside your husband. I know and understand that your situation is much more complicated than mine. My daughter is 19 now and will leave home this year, but your children are much younger. Leaving your husband for me would cause them real harm and plunge you into an international custody battle.
I know that you will stay with him, whatever happens, for the sake of your children. I know that you feel he is one of your children too; that you will beg him to stay with you if our relationship is exposed. You have been honest about that. I know that you will not be with me, even if I am alone.
Other people bear seemingly unbearable things in their lives all the time, so I must endure this. I have no other choice, except the living bereavement of a life without you. I have fallen in love with a woman I cannot have, and who cannot be with me. Perhaps in a few years, when your daughter has left home and your son is older, being openly with me will become a possibility for you.
Until then, I will wait for you, want you, and love you.