What being a mistress for 149 days will teach you about life

It’s always the same story.
As old as the hills and as new as a day if you think it’ll never happen to you – which obviously all people think.
Humans are so predictable.
Until, once upon a time, in a beautiful night of a beautiful Summer of a leap year, a brown-eyed guy – a married brown-eyed guy – comes your way, uninvited, just to make a mess out of your whole life, unauthorised.
In fact, you’ve never even talked to married men before; you try hard not to, but you end up crashing in love with this one.
You hate that.
You hate that love has chosen you without your permission.

Technically, you are not supposed to feel like a mistress because the guy is already in the divorce negotiations and because he goes public with the relationship from day one and also his brothers and sisters support the affair.
Affair, what a word.
Invented in the midst of time by some cheated wife who needed a cheap way to describe what it couldn’t possibly have been love without her permission.
Love needs to be ruled by law to keep this distasteful world in order.

Then, 149 days later, 149 days you’ll still never regret in a million years, 149 days after you first looked into those damn brown eyes as if you hadn’t looked into any other eyes in your whole life before, what everybody but you had predicted from the beginning happens.
It’s all too crowded as Lady Diana would say, and he ends up breaking your heart in two.
Your life passes before your eyes in a second dissolved in a quote from Eat Pray Love when David tells Liz:
What if we just acknowledged that we have a bad relationship, and we stuck it out, anyway? And then we could spend our lives together – in misery, but happy to not be apart.
And so no, you won’t spend the rest of your bloody life in misery not to feel the addiction.
Not again.
Not with this one.
Not with the one you thought was the one.
You won’t sit to see the two of you turning into them.
Into an affair.

You get so miserable and skinny you wonder if you’re really going to die.
You don’t die, you don’t insist, you don’t discuss, you don’t even cry your heart out because you don’t have a heart anymore.
You break up with him and go back to your life as if he never existed.
After all, 149 days weren’t 149 years – after all, you’d just met.
After all, all the women who blamed you for being a mistress are now criticising you for not being the mistress anymore, for dumping him and for breaking his heart in two.
Yes, your ex will now have a plethora of little candy-stripers to choose from for comfort and no, female friendship doesn’t exist.

It’s funny, in a way.
People accuse you of doing something they consider completely wrong and then they blame you for stopping.
This always makes me think of another story, this time a work-related one.
We all think we’re good at spotting a dysfunctional relationship when we see one – provided it’s not our relationship – we all claim to be able to know the difference between right and wrong, we repeat that violence and abusive behaviour should never be tolerated in our personal life… but do we set the same strict limits in our working environment?
We are always getting jobs where we’re surrounded by idiots, we accept crazy shifts and low pays and our company to put the nose in our personal and family life.

We call for the Government to determine the extent of psychological abuse we can accept, what should be considered mobbing and harassment and what shouldn’t.
Actually, we accept just anything from our employers on account for jobs we don’t even like in companies campaigning for values we don’t believe in.
We always have.
We’ve needed labour revolts and strikes to try to get our rights right, but the labour market is still totally unfair and wrong.
But the love, all the loves that have smashed your heart into smithereens will leave yourself broken, not wrong.
Because when there has been so much love and happiness for someone – the truth is – they will stay in your heart forever.
Remember the last sentence in the saddest movie ever, Ghost?
At the end of the film, when Sam is dead and is about to go to Heaven, he tells his fiancé Molly:
It’s amazing, Molly. The love inside, you take it with you.
You see, he says the love.
Not the office.

★ If you enjoyed this depressing piece of writing, you may also like this, this, this and that

Desperate woman embracing herself in black and white

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About The Author

Founder of The Shortlisted Magazine

The one behind the wheel.