Readers, I have a confession to make. I Ciara D. Eddings, have been the other woman. I knowingly and willingly carried on a romantic relationship with man that was already romantically involved with another female. While it isn’t a time in my life I’m particularly proud of, I’m not wholly ashamed either. Being a mistress of sorts helped me to learn a great deal about myself and the human condition in general.
It all started with a man we’ll call Kyle (of course, not his real name). Kyle was perfect; cute, funny, musically talented, intelligent to a fault, and very, very into me. I liked him from the moment we were introduced. My heart broke seconds later when he introduced me to his beautiful girlfriend, who we’ll call Lily. Kyle and Lily were one of those couples who looked perfect on the outside, but to a relationship-trained eye (like my own) were really very troubled. In one drunken conversation later that night, Lily revealed to me that while she liked Kyle, he failed to make her feel truly special. Kyle told me that same night that he thought Lily was beautiful, but boring.
The three of us became fast friends, but Kyle and I had a special bond. One day, during a joint shopping trip, Kyle slipped me a kiss while Lily was in a fitting room. I was shocked, but my heart immediately softened to him. From then on Kyle and I would make excuses to be alone together, though after a while all the beer runs and pizza pickups began to get expensive. One day, we decided to do it. We decided to admit to ourselves that we were a couple, even though Lily was still very much in the picture.
Why did I agree to it? Perhaps, I’ll never know the true answer to that question. Maybe I was in love, maybe I liked the idea of having a secret, maybe I was just bored. No matter what the reason, I dove into our relationship feet first. We really were great together, Kyle and I. We made each other laugh, and we had a great deal in common. There was just the dark cloud of Lily hanging over our heads. I constantly begged Kyle to leave her, but he always had an excuse. They lived together, and still had 8 months in their lease; they had a puppy together and he couldn’t bear to never see her again; he didn’t want to hurt Lily, because she was a great girl after all, just not as great as me.
As time went on, I began to tire of the sneaking around, and always being second best. The fact that I was two-timing my good friend began to eat away at the Catholic guilt I never could shake. There were times when Kyle made me feel like the most important woman on the planet, but a part of me never let the image of Lily go. He would always be going home to her, and their apartment, and their puppy. They had a life together, and no matter how badly I pined for it, Kyle and I simply never would.
After three months of secretly being together, I ended things with Kyle. I decided to never tell Lily about the two of us, but when she inevitably found out, I didn’t deny it; there was no way I could. She cried, she yelled, she tried to hit me, and I just stood there and took it. I deserved her anger, and all of the backlash my relationship with Kyle caused. It was dishonest, but something stops me from calling it wrong. Something that makes me as truly happy as being with Kyle did can’t be wrong. While the guilt of being a mistress prevailed, I’ll never forget the innocence of being loved. I know that Kyle loved me, but he could never love me as much as he loved being with Lily. And I could never love him as much as I loved being true to myself.