Raconte-moi une histoire...

If you don't know me*, you won't know that in one whole days' time I am moving in with my boyfriend, Matt. I'll do the whole moving trauma post when I've recovered sufficiently to type about it, but for now I thought I could provide some of the story of how we got to this point. You know before I forget it. We went to a wedding last weekend and the ceremony included a potted history (it went on forever. It must have been a large pot) of how the couple got together. Handy for folks like me that feel a little awkward at a wedding of a couple they've never met before and know zilch about. Anywho, it was just. So. Detailed. It got me thinking that I can barely remember anything of when me and Matt met. So we'd have a pretty rubbish story to tell at our wedding ceremony. But I don't think we'll be reminiscing about the early days if we ever do get hitched, because...

...when we met, Matt had a girlfriend. Yup, I was the other woman.  Not something I am proud of. Not at all. 

I'll tell you some home truths about being the Other Woman. Hollywood always portrays Other Women in one of two ways: as villainous, home-wrecking whores who get to have all the fun and all the sex and have no remorse for what they're doing to another woman's life, or as dopey saps who don't know they're the Other Woman and get wronged by some nasty cheating man who has a secret wife and kids. Real life just isn't that black and white. 

I met Matt at work. I don't remember the first moment I saw him, or the first words we said to each other. There wasn't a bolt of lightening and thunderclap that heralded the revelation that this was the man for me. I just remember him sitting near me, and us chatting more and more, and then thinking how nice he was. I do remember when I first found out he had a girlfriend - he had to go home early to look after her because she was ill (like a cold or something; I didn't steal a dying woman's boyfriend). 

And then one day a few of us went to the pub after work. Everyone else left super early, like around 7pm, and I was going to go too when Matt asked me if I'd stay and have another drink with him. I liked chatting to him - we'd just discovered we'd been to the same university and our times in that city had overlapped so we were reminiscing about the bars and clubs we used to frequent in our student days, so I stayed. Nothing happened at all that night, but we did get the tube home together, and I remember wanting to kiss him a lot, but I knew he had a girlfriend. We'd talked about the fact that I went to church, and he'd said he'd like to come along, so I gave him my number the next week at work. From there, we pretty much texted non-stop and banter gave way to flirting, which led to a whole lot of stuff I'm not proud of. 

I've got to tell you, I'd never do it again. What the movies don't show you is how the Other Woman feels when the guy she's fallen for goes home to his real life, and she goes to bed alone every night thinking of him lying next to his girlfriend. They don't show you the pain you feel when he tells you he's never going to leave his girlfriend for you - a pain you can't express because you brought it on yourself. You can't be upset because you signed up for this. They don't show you the constant guilt, the beating yourself up because you can't stop loving him even though you know it's wrong. They don't show the arguments, or the evenings where you both just lie together crying because everything is such a mess. 

There was a whole world of pain between then and now, which I'll save for another day, but let's just say it was a very unconventional beginning to a relationship, and not one I'd recommend. BUT...tomorrow is moving day and that is a very happy thing. It feels like a world away from where we started, and I can't wait to begin a new chapter. I know nothing will change what we did, or make it better, but tomorrow feels like a fresh start, and I for one can't wait :-) 

*this is totally academic, as my one-and-only reader is my bestie. No chance she'd have missed a life-changing announcement like that. 

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