The Cohabitation Agreement

No, this is not an episode of The Big Bang Theory.

Today, I drafted up a Cohabitation Agreement for Mr. J and I to sign.

This shit? Just got real.

The bulk of my possessions have been moved into his house.

We’ve spent every night for the past two months together – the last day I slept in my bed was July 22.

And last night, we went out to dinner to discuss household stuff like bills and payment schedules.

We had some wings, I pulled out my phone to look at my budget, but he just told me that at the end of the month we would reconcile the bills and I’d just give him half, including the mortgage and property taxes.

And then he talked about signing a document that would allow us to each walk away without any further obligation should we choose to.

Ouch. Way to put a damper on the mood. Not the celebration I was hoping we would have.

I know he is just being practical and trying to avoid the situation he was in when he and The Ex split. He doesn’t want us to go through the hassle of dealing with pensions, RRSPs… any savings accounts.

He wants it to be simple – what’s mine is mine, what’s his is his.

And I am okay with that. Really. He might make a little more than I do (about $15K per year), but he also has two kids to clothe and feed and music lessons and sports fees, and before we know it, college tuition.

I know he is making sure I am protected as well, and he claims that while he makes more money, I will have more disposable income. And he is likely right about that.

I understand his need. I do.

I just wish that the thought of it didn’t stab me in the heart.

I really hope he doesn’t think that our relationship won’t last. Especially when he mentions that all the bills are in his name so I am “free to walk away at any time”.

And that’s when I wonder if this is all too soon for him. If the scars from his marriage are still too fresh.

Is that how he sees us, I wonder? That I am just biding my time until something better comes along? That when I get tired of being with him I will just throw in the towel?

Or does he say these things to put up a tiny wall around his heart, to protect himself from reliving the pain of the last few years?

He’s told me that ending things between us would hurt him, but it wouldn’t devastate him. I guess he’s been there once, and probably not likely to happen again. I mean – we have no children together, so there would be nothing to keep us tied to each other if the romance dies.

We’d be “free to walk away at any time”.

So of course I will draft and sign the Cohabitation Agreement. I don’t need financial support from him. What he earns when we are together is his. If his house appreciates in value, then he should benefit from that. I don’t need a share of it. I’ve managed my whole life without being dependent on a man, and I can keep doing it.

If it gives him peace of mind to sign such an agreement, I will do so.

So then why do I suddenly feel like our relationship just went from a grand romance to a business arrangement?

Not Proud But Thankful

I did something on Saturday morning that I am not too proud of.

I snooped in Mr. J’s phone.

He has assigned a special message tone so that when The Ex sends him a text, he knows it’s her.

Which is great. That way he doesn’t have to check right away.

But then it’s not-so-great, because now I know just how often she’s texting him.

So they were messaging on Saturday about pick-up times, bottle drives and the like. Turns out he didn’t have to be rushing around because of other plans.

We decided to go out for breakfast and to buy some drapes for the bedroom to replace the sad-looking roman shade that was currently on the bedroom window.

Now, what happened next is not my fault.

Really.

Mr. J sent a text to The Ex and then went to take a shower. Leaving his phone on his dresser.

I was taking the sheets off the bed. And I heard it swoop.

But not the new message swoop. The reply swoop.

He had just put the phone down but didn’t turn it off.

So it was there. Right next to me.

What else could I do?

So I looked.

I did it. I admit it.

And I am glad that I did.

Ever more so that I scrolled up to read some previous messages.

(You’re right…. you’re right…. I know you’re right)

But I learned a lot.

The Ex sends long messages with much detail.

Mr J. replies with simple phrases.

In one message she goes on about how both kids lost wi-fi at night because they were staying up too late on their devices. Then goes on to a second paragraph about how he ‘doesn’t have to do the same but there should be some consistency”.

He replied to it all with, ‘thank you for letting me know’.

I know it was wrong of me to read these messages. But now I know that I really can trust that Mr. J is not falling into her drama. In another message she wrote, “I know it’s in the past but I want you to know that I am really getting a handle on my spending” – which was a huge issue when they were married. But isn’t an issue any longer, because… she only has one income to burn through on useless crap, not two.

So why then, does it matter if he knows that she is ‘getting a handle on” her spending?

And he didn’t reply to that one. So proud of him. She is clearly looking for approval – even from the man she left – and he didn’t provide it.

But there was one that bothered me. In the message she goes on about her brother and how he is having issues – depression/anxiety/mental health issues run in their family. Grandma (her mom), The Ex, The Brother (her brother Mr. R)  – they all seem to suffer from some sort of mental health issue. And now, The Daughter is also showing those signs.

Or, as I often wonder, is she just saying or doing things for attention because it’s what she’s seen her mother and Grandmother doing for years?

But I digress…

The Ex wrote to Mr. J about her brother and that he was having a rough go of it. She went into a little detail but not a lot – basically about some verbal abuse he was spewing towards other family members, including her. Essentially she was getting frustrated with him, as she was trying to support him.

(As I write this though I wonder, support or control? She does like to control and perhaps he just didn’t want to be controlled?)

At the end, Mr. J simply wrote, ‘thank you for telling me about Mr. R (the brother). It helps me to better understand The Daughter”.

Her reply? “What does this have to do with The Daughter? This is about Mr. R, not her.”

And that’s part of the problem.

When she talks about her family’s mental illness (she doesn’t call it that), it does help Mr. J understand his daughter better. It was a helpful statement. What he knows about their struggles will help prepare him for when his daughter struggles.

But The Ex didn’t see it that way. She saw it as once again, Mr. J not listening or paying attention.

When in fact this time, I think it was the other way around.

So while I am not proud of my actions, I am quite relieved. I may not trust her motives or reasons for sending ten messages a day (really? You can’t just wait and send them to him just at one time?), I can now trust that Mr. J is not charmed by her at all. Not anymore. Perhaps at one time her long missives might have elicited a warmer response from him. But not anymore.

He is polite. Concise, and to the point. Which she does not appreciate.

But I do. I appreciate that he keeps his replies on topic. He does not engage unless it directly relates to his children. He does not talk about her personal life – or ours.

I am so proud of him. And slightly ashamed of my actions. But now I know that I can trust him.

I just hope that he will continue to trust me in that I won’t go snooping again. Even if the opportunity does come up.

 

Moving Right Along

So far, Mr. J2 (I think from here on out he will just be known as Mr. J. There is no other, so why make him seem second to anyone?) and I are going ahead with our plans to move in together in October.

He hasn’t told the kids yet. He’s going to wait until a little later in the summer to talk to them about it. We decided to do it in October because it will be coming up on one year together, but also because the kids will also be well into their new school semester, so they’ll be well focused in a routine when it happens.

In reality, it’s not likely to come as a huge shock. They know I spend a LOT of time there. They know I sleep over.

They know I have a dresser full of clothes – some of which were borrowed by The Daughter.

It’s not rocket science, but we still want to give them the respect they deserve. And some time to get used to the idea that  I will be there full-time, and will likely see them more than their dad does, just given my schedule.

I haven’t told The Roommate yet.

And time is running out.

I mean, sure – October is a long way off. Still three full months away.

But if we both move from the condo I have to give the landlord at least 60 days notice. Which would take it to August 1.

In reality… August 1 is not so far away.

And so, that is why I want to give The Roommate time to make a decision as to whether she is going to stay where she is, or if she is going to move in October as well.

I really, really, really hope she stays.

In all honesty and selfishness, it’s so much easier for me if she stays.

I can leave her my furniture – sofa, chairs, tv stand.

Most of the kitchen stuff.

And the selfish part means I don’t have to move it myself.

But for some reason, each time I think about telling her – or trying to tell her – that I am moving in with Mr. J…. It doesn’t happen.

It seems that whenever we are sitting and chatting and an opportunity comes up, there is always something else going on – illness in her family. Complaints about our transit system. Complaints about the weather.

I know I should just bite the bullet. I mean, really – what is she going to do? Tell me I can’t move?

Be pissed at me?

In reality, her reaction has no bearing on my life. I could wait until August 1 and give both her and the landlord my notice.

But that’s not me. I’m not that type of person. So we are meeting for breakfast on Saturday morning in the suburb I will be moving to – she will be cat-sitting for her sister this weekend, and Mr. J works – so it’s a good plan.

A logical plan.

So we will sit and have an Irish breakfast and I will tell her my news.

She really shouldn’t be surprised – I mean, I spend more nights with Mr. J than I do at home.

But in reality, she probably didn’t see it coming. Whenever we do sit and chat, she is so busy going on and on and on about every single little complaint in her life  – and yes, most of the things she tells me are complaints – that when she is done, she doesn’t even think to ask how I am doing.

Or how things are with Mr. J.

So yes. I think she will be a little pissed.

Miffed.

Out-of-sorts.

Pick your adjective.

It will be ONE MORE thing she will have to do. She will immediately call her sister who is out-of-town, to complain that on top of EVERYTHING else, she now has to decide whether she is moving or not. (Lots of sarcasm here)

But I think the three weeks I am giving her to decide to stay or go is enough. If she is deciding to stay, then that’s it – no more work for her.

She can turn my bedroom into a craft room like she has always wanted.

But if she decides to go… then the summer will be a busy one for her, that’s for sure.

For me? Telling her means I can finally relax, and get excited about packing and purging and organizing things for my move with Mr. J.

Because the fact that I haven’t really jumped on planning and organizing for this move has me concerned, and I am one of those people who doesn’t leave things to the last-minute; I am always a planner. Always organized.

Am I scared of moving in with Mr. J?

Am I worried it won’t work?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I really have. I think my concern is that his basement is still full of his ex-wife’s stuff – clothes from when the kids were young; toys and things they want to keep for grandchildren; books and clothes… almost 20 years of accumulated stuff.

It’s a lot. It’s natural.

But it’s there.

Memories. Both good and bad ones.

So I feel awkward about bringing more things into his house. Even though what I bring in won’t be anywhere near the level of stuff going out.

Mr. J is supportive about it. He says it’s a non-issue.

I’m making it an issue of it.

Is it too soon? Should we even be considering this?

I don’t want Mr. J to feel pressured. I don’t want him to feel like he is in the middle, stuck between his past and his future.

 

We are good together – great together.

I just have to keep remembering that.

And stop worrying about his past. I am his future – and he is mine. We will go forward.

Together.

 

Keeping Secrets

Things with Mr. J2 are still going along wonderfully. I can hardly believe it myself, but each passing day it just gets better and better.

Who knew?

Things with his kids are going pretty well also. We spent Wednesday this week together, running errands and shopping (and a brief nooner at my place) and then had dinner with him, his kids, and his father who is visiting this week.

After dinner, we all went to the local pool for a family swim.

It was a lot of fun. I had a great time. I got to see Mr. J2 in his element with his kids, and we spent some time together as a unit.

I’m just glad that this is something he started to do on his own with the kids; it was not something the whole family (including Mom) did together. So while I might be the new one in the group, I am not really replacing anyone.

As the evening went on, Mr, J2’s daughter found one of her friends and so they spent some time together. They swam over to where we were and she said, ‘Hi Anonymous!” when she swam by. I said hi back. Then her friend said, “who’s Anonymous?”

And the Daughter replied, “she’s my dad’s girlfriend.”

Whew. Crisis averted. Yes, I am her dad’s girlfriend, and I am really happy that she sees me that way, and didn’t just say ‘dad’s friend’. Because unlike the Ex, we are up front about our relationship with the kids. (To a point – we haven’t had a sleepover yet, that might still be early.)

The Ex still calls the man she is seeing “a friend”, and that’s okay. She can define it however she wants.

There is one secret we’ve been keeping from the kids though, and it’s starting to make me a little uncomfortable.

You know, I know, Mr. J2 (and his extended family) knows… but the kids right now don’t know that I work at the same place that Mom does.

The kids might not think it’s much of a big deal… but when Mom finds out, I think it will be an awkward situation.

For me. Awkward for me.

From what Mr. J2 has told me, the Ex seems very childish. So, once she knows where in the organization I work, I can guarantee she will send ‘spies’ down. Friends she has in her department will undoubtedly come down to my department to ask for things they may or may not need, just to size me up, and then report back to her.

She might find herself walking by my location a few times to get a look at the competition through the windows.

Because although Mr. J2 doesn’t think she wants him back, I think I know better. From the texts he has shared with me, I can tell that although she may not want to be with him anymore, I can say with confidence that she doesn’t want anyone else to be with him either. I am willing to bet that she is not as happy as she thought she would be on her own, and if she sees Mr. J2 happy – and he is very happy – it’s going to make her jealous, because he ‘should be’ lonely and missing her.

I also think that once the Ex knows we work for the same organization, she won’t be happy. She’ll be pissed off. She will think that we were playing her for a fool, laughing at her behind her back at the big joke.

Even though that is far from the case.

It’s not a joke. We haven’t told the kids because they don’t care. And really, since she hasn’t bothered to introduce her ‘friend’ to Mr. J2, why should it matter where I work? Or anything else about me for that matter?

But yet, because I am that kind of person… it makes me feel bad. I do feel like we are keeping a secret from her. And if I worked for any other company it wouldn’t matter one bit. But the fact that I sit at my desk three floors below hers is just …. weird.

It’s bad enough I am sleeping in the room she shared with her husband, and having amazing sex with him on their old bed sheets, but thank God Mr. J2 bought a new mattress after she moved out because that’s a memory I would not want the memory foam bed to retain.

Even though it’s about me, this is not my secret to tell. What am I going to do, send her an internal memo to introduce myself? Instead I will let Mr. J2 decide when the time is right for her to know… so long as he gives me a warning when he does so that I know when to be on the lookout for strange women wandering in front of the windows.

Awkward

On Monday evening Mr. J2 asked me to go to his house after work. We were going to have dinner and hang out, as we usually do on the week he doesn’t have his kids. I have a key, so after running a few errands, I arrived at his place just before five pm.

At ten after five, I was in the kitchen washing dishes. Yes, I wash his dishes. Why? Because his crappy shifts, of which he has no control over, force him to leave the house at 5:10 am, return home at 9:30 am for a nap and some food, then depart again by noon to be at his next shift by 12:30 pm. So the dishes left from his breakfast shake and his lunch are usually left to do, so rather than just sit there like a lump, I made myself useful and washed his meager dishes.

At five-fifteen, the doorbell rang. I could see a car on the street, but given that this house is not mine, I did not answer the door. A minute later, it opened, and the daughter walked in.

“Hi!” she said. “We just have to get some stuff we forgot” she said.

“Hi!” I said back. “Go ahead!”.

So both the son and daughter went about their business getting what was forgotten while The Ex was still in the car.

Thank GOD I had already met the kids last week. Can you imagine if they had no idea who I was? In they come, to the house they grew up in, and a strange woman is at the sink washing dishes? “Just the housekeeper!” I could have yelled, lol.

So after about ten minutes they collected what was missing and left. No drama. Nothing to indicate they were unhappy with me being there. A polite goodbye and they were gone.

I texted Mr. J2 to tell him what occurred. He apologized profusely and told me that the ex was supposed to drive the kids over right after school at 3:30 – not almost two hours later.

“Well it will just make her respect my time more” was what he said when we discussed it later.

Here’s the thing – The Ex of course texted him to tell him what happened. And I think we are going to have some issues in the next few months.

In my rant earlier this year, I mentioned how I think she wants to keep him close by; that even though she wanted ‘new’ again, I think she can’t let go of ‘old’ too easily.

(I can’t blame her for that – I can’t imagine letting him go now that I have him.)

But it’s more than that – it was the fact that she said something to him to the effect of, “I’m so glad you are happy”.

Are you? Are you really? Or are you just fishing for information?

Personally, as a woman who doesn’t know this other woman, I see this two ways: she wants him to be happy because if he is happy, then it means that she can live with a little less guilt for hurting him and ending a 19-year relationship. Or, she sees that he is happy with someone else and starts to re-think the relationship. And then wonders if maybe… just maybe… things were not as bad as she thought they were.

Here’s the only thing I don’t understand about her: I know what it’s like to be unhappy in a marriage. I truly do. And I know how hard it is to end one. I truly do.

But, if you tell your husband and anyone else who will listen that you don’t want to live with anyone anymore… that you need ‘new’ in your life…. wouldn’t you then set yourself up on a dating website and date a lot of people? To get out there, to meet tons of new men, have lots of new experiences, to really have a lot of ‘new’.

But not her. She reconnected with someone  from her past and has been with him since April.

She didn’t mean ‘new’. She meant ‘different than her husband”.

And that’s okay. She can have all the different she wants.

 

Welcome 2016

Hello followers! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season!

It’s been a busy but incredibly wonderful couple of weeks since my last post.

Well, since my last post of 2015 I should say. I had started this post several times but really couldn’t figure out what I wanted to say, until the issue with Mr. J2’s ex came up and I had to post my rant to her… which ended up as my first 2016 post.

Whatever.

I hope so far, 2016 has been kind to you all. That’s all I want for this year; kindness, love and happiness. No more petty jealousy. No more passive-aggressive friends. No more friends posting ambivalent Facebook statuses. Let’s be positive in 2016. Instead of posting all the stuff that annoys us – which is meant solely to evoke sympathy – how about we post only the positive things in our lives? No, not all that ‘I am grateful’ crap, but instead, how about we focus on the small, happy things that happen to us during the day? “Scored a wicked parking spot this morning!”. “Got cheap gas before work, wahoo!”. “Bought a fabulous new dress marked down 75%!”

That’s my vow for this year. To focus on how much good there is in life – even if sometimes you have to work to find it. That’s not the case with Mr. J2 – he is the most amazing man I’ve ever met. He is genuinely happy to see me. He is in love with me. And I have to work hard to realize that he wants me for me – not for what I can do for him, but just for me.

Case in point, two nights ago we met for a quick dinner, and I dropped him at his car to drive home. While it warmed up, we sat in my car making out for a few minutes. Halfway through he broke the kiss to laugh and say, “I fucking love you”.

(Not to be confused with ‘I love fucking kissing you’ which is another of our little sayings.)

He is a wonderful man, a wonderful father. Over the holidays I met his twin brother, his wife and their three kids; I met his father. I met friends of the family. And sure, it was awkward but you know what? It also wasn’t awkward. We saw each other each day (even if for a short while) from December 23rd to January 1. I spent the most amazing New Year’s Eve with him – the best of my life. It was full of love, romance, amazing sex (I came so hard that I gushed all over the bed, second time with him but definitely the most I’ve ever gushed to the point of changing all the bedding), good food, great drink and the best midnight kiss ever.

I’m going to try to stay focused on that and not let the uncertainties and worry creep in. He jokes about marriage and even though he knows my bad history of three divorces, why would he want to take that on? He knows about my bad credit history thanks to ex husband number three. He knows I am not a good risk… but he jokes it’s a risk he is willing to take. We joke about moving in together, and I think that might happen sometime later this year… But a few things have to happen first, and one of them is that I want him to be officially divorced. It might just be a piece of paper but I don’t want to be that person; I’m not making demands on him, but if he wants to build a life with me then the doors of his past life need to be closed and locked. He joked on New Year’s Eve that according to the paperwork he’s been separated for a year on December 31, so he could file for divorce at any time. Will he? I don’t know. He tells me he won’t go back to her. He tells me that he is happy she left him because he then met me, and he’s happier with me than he has been in years. But he’s also a man who never thought he would be divorced; when he married all those years ago, it was for life. Richer. Poorer. Sickness. Health. He takes commitment seriously, and moving in together – especially when he has two teenagers – is a big commitment.

So I will try to rein myself in and stop thinking ten steps ahead. To just focus on the good in the here and now.

Because the here and now is where I live and breathe, one day at a time.

The Day After

I’m alive.

Exhausted… but alive.

I slept maybe a couple of hours in total last night.

IF I slept at all.

So my ass is dragging today… but I am not complaining.

It was a great night with Mr. J2.

Throughout the day yesterday, he sent me sweet little emails or text messages. He works driving a city bus so he doesn’t sit at a computer all day like I do, so the fact that he will take a few minutes during his short breaks to send me a quick email or a text means a lot to me.

Some samples from yesterday’s emails:

1st one: Not much time but 🙂

2nd one: Just ate and I’m going to try to get my beauty rest. Lol. Have a great afternoon. (He works a split with 4 hours between so he goes home to nap if he can)

3rd one: Can you feel the anticipation?  I’m a little nervous but good nervous. 🙂

That was the last email. He usually sends me text messages during his break around 4:30. He sent one yesterday but I was trying to nap. Along the same lines as the 3rd email.

I texted him when I left home to ask if I was forgetting anything. I was bringing marinated chicken (he was cooking it), some cocktails for myself, and CoolWhip for dessert (he took care of potatoes, salad and dessert).

His response: Just you.

All together now….. awwwwwwww.

I was incredibly nervous when I arrived at his place. I could barely look him in the eye.

My mind was racing and I was talking a mile a minute. Like a honeybee, I zipped from spot to spot, never staying in the same place for too long. At the sink… on the sofa…. at the window looking out…

I drank too much.

I talked too much.

I was embarrassed too much.

But it all worked out. We had a great dinner at the dining room table. We cleaned the dishes together – he washed, I dried. We talked after dinner while sitting on the couch. About anything and everything.

And we laughed.

Soon the night was getting away from us. Before we knew it, it was after ten – and we are both early to bed people.

We talked about past relationships, past dating experiences and horror stories. (His best one is dating a woman three times, two coffee and one drink date and on the third she told him she loved him. He said to me, ‘what do I say to that?’ (Um… thanks?)

Time was ticking down…. if we were going to do this, we had to get a move on.

I was sitting next to him on the couch, facing him. He had my legs on his lap, rubbing my legs from my knees to my hips.

He hadn’t even kissed me yet. Of course I was nervous.

So he basically pulled me into his lap and then leaned over and kissed me.

ZING!

Such soft lips. Hesitant tongue. Not sucking the life out of my tongue like Mr. K, but it was good. Sometimes I like a little more tonsil hockey, but it was really nice.

We did some heavy making out on the couch, and when we came up for air I suggested moving things upstairs. It was time. We had talked about it long enough, time for the talk to become reality.

I came out of the washroom (I drank a lot so I peed a lot) to find him waiting for me on the stairs leading up. He put his hand out to take mine.

I’m sorry, I have to say it yet again – he does these really sweet, simple gestures all the time. For some of you out there, I am sure this elicits an eye roll, but I find them charming.

We arrive at his bedroom with his king size bed. He asked me what side I normally sleep on. He also makes sure to tell me that this is a new mattress; in splitting up the house his ex bought a new bed for her place and they had to outfit rooms for the kids so he decided to get a new mattress all at the same time.

I chose my side and sat down. I asked for less light and more music.

He sat next to me and started kissing me again.

We continued making out. Clothing came off.

We laughed and giggled and talked the whole time.

Then he removed my panties. And touched me, very hesitantly.

Now we had talked about how I am not shy to make known what I want. So while he was being all gentle and timid I just wanted to shove his hand inside me.

So, I moved his hand down and did just that.

And he got the hint pretty quickly. And did a damn fine job of bringing me to O #1.

We made out some more, then he got up to get the condom.

Next time I will just tell him to throw it on the bed to have it handy.

As he was putting it on, he told me that he has problems achieving orgasm while wearing a condom.

And I didn’t tell him this, but this was not the first time a guy told me he’d had issues coming while wearing a condom. Mr. J2 was still quite able to perform, just not to finish.

I asked him what he wanted. What would please him.

And he couldn’t really answer me. He said, “up til now it’s been pretty vanilla.”

I got it. He married young, to his college sweetheart. He was with her for about 20 years all together. They’ve been separated for 18 months or so. He was clear on our first date that he had his ‘rebound girl, a friend’.

But I also see him as this genuinely nice guy. He’s not really into the dirty talk – I think he really enjoyed the teasing and talking we were doing throughout. The only thing he asked for was for me to get on top.

Like I said: vanilla.

While on top, I experimented a little by biting his earlobe, then his bottom lip as we were kissing, and he said, with a silly grin, “I really love kissing you”.

We kissed for a bit longer, then I looked down at him and said, “is this where I say I love you?”

He burst out laughing, knowing exactly that I was teasing him from what he told me while we were downstairs. That’s how we were together.

You know the scenes in Friends With Benefits where Jaime and Dylan are talking and goofing off all while having sex?

Yeah. That was us.

Was it hot?

Nope.

Was it fun?

You bet.

I worked my magic while on top but sadly, no O for Mr. J2.

He got up to pee and removed the condom. He didn’t ask to try again without one, and I really respect him for that. I am willing to bet that I am the second (maybe third) woman he has slept with since his marriage ended, so the chances he has an STI are likely slim.

We rolled to face each other belly to belly to kiss a little more. And cuddle. We stroked each other’s backs for a while. Then I noticed his leg twitching a bit, so I asked if he wanted to move to a different position.

“No, I’m okay’, he said, “it happens from time to time, sitting in my seat on the bus all day, my back gets wonky.”

Then I said the magic words, “Do you want a back massage?”

He was so shocked for a moment he was speechless, but then said yes. So I gave him one. A good 20-minute massage.

And I am damn good at massages.

Here’s the thing: he was incredibly grateful. I think he was just as surprised by my offer as when I offered to pay for dinner on our first date. I have a feeling that throughout his marriage he kind of blended into the background and was taken advantage of. He was out of work off and on (technology sector, need I say more) and so he pretty much raised his kids for the last nine years, mostly on his own between jobs while his wife worked. I feel that he may have felt emasculated, and has been so used to just going along with what others want that he has a really difficult time asking for or saying what he wants.

And he isn’t used to someone wanting to do something for him.

After his massage we cuddled a bit more, then we tried to sleep, but neither of us got much rest. In my case, he has a foam mattress which locks in the heat and makes me so warm. In his case, I think just having someone else in the bed was throwing him off.

At two, when I rolled over and he rubbed my arm, I apologized for keeping him awake and offered to go home if it would help him sleep.

He said he wanted me to stay, if I wanted to stay.

So I stayed.

We slept. (A little)

His alarm went off at 4:50 AM. He got up to go into the shower and told me that I could stay in bed but that he had to leave by 5:30.

I was getting dressed just as he opened the bathroom door. The bedroom was dark, the only light from the bathroom. I was sitting on the edge of the bed with my panties on, facing away from him, looking on the floor for my bra.

From behind me I hear, “that silhouette of yours will be in my head all day long.”

Seriously.

We finish getting ready. We meet on the downstairs landing, and sit on the step while our cars warm up.

He kisses me several times. He rubs my back (sadly through my coat).

I ask if he was going to be okay today, knowing he’s running low on sleep. I apologize again if my being in his bed kept him from sleeping.

He said, “it was the best night of not sleeping I’ve ever had.”

Seriously. Again, seriously.

One final kiss and we are out the door. I follow him in my car out of his neighbourhood then I turn off when I need to in order to go home. He waves, I wave as I pass him.

I received this email from him this morning: “i would like to thank you for your directions last night as it makes for a more enjoyable experience.  🙂  That is a weak point of mine but I’ll be working on it.”

Working on it with me, I wonder?

I like to hope so. While the sex itself was mediocre at best, the overall experience was better than my last few sessions. It somehow just seemed… right.

There’s been no talk of when we will get together next. I know his time is limited; he has two more free nights until his kids are back with him.

I’m pretty sure he’ll want to see me again. I want to see him again. But I have to keep myself in check to avoid falling into the same old routine of falling for someone too quickly, only to have my heart broken when it doesn’t work out.

What do I want? I want him to say he likes me, and that even though he has limited free time, on the weeks when he doesn’t have his kids, he would like to see me when he can.

Me, and only me.

I know that during the time he has his kids we will still email and chat.

And I can live with that.

I haven’t spoken with Mr. J since the night I ran into him last week when I was on a date with Mr. RJ and also saw Mr. J2; he hasn’t texted, I haven’t texted. Mr. RJ was sent packing. Mr. K had asked to get together this week but I knew I wanted to give priority to Mr. J2 so we haven’t been able to connect.

Nor am I inclined to, at this point.

There’s Mr. JO and Mr. R; both I have emailed and/or texted with, but both have stopped contacting me since the weekend. Perhaps they have moved on.

I don’t want to meet anyone else. I’d like to explore things with Mr. J2 and see where they go.

Because so far… I like where this is going.

A lot.