I'm seeing a lot of people advising others to let go of sins from your past. I'm usually pretty good at that, but here's my exception: The Deep Dark Secret that I've been carrying for years. This is the tale of the time I got carried away in selfish desires & wounded 3 lives. Am I ListApp's Kocoum for always posting these pseudo-profound lists?
  1. Preface: I was in choir my freshman and sophomore years of college.
  2. My sophomore year, 2010-11, there was a guy (I'll call him John Doe) who had just returned from his year in the military and came back to the choir. He had JUST been married in July, four months before term began. (I'd known his wife the previous year, also through choir. Not BFFs, but friendly acquaintances.)
  3. John Doe and I became friends after spending a minimum of an hour a day together, some days as many as four thanks to a special choral group we were both in. We were fairly flirty, but we were in college, aka everyone is horny and flirty all the time. I thought nothing of it, especially since his wife was always in the room as well.
    Llike, okay, I had a teeny crush, because he was new and older than me and overly confident--think Gabriel Macht in Suits--but he was *newly married.* Nothing was going to happen, and it wasn't like the crush was reciprocated.
  4. October 2010: One day, I got a text from a strange number. It was him, telling me "not to think I'm a stalker but I got your number off Facebook."
    This was before I realized how stupid having your number publicized on FB is.
  5. He started out just talking about normal, meaningless things. I went along with it, and justified it because it was "just the same old harmless flirting, except through text."
  6. That afternoon, after we were discussing Kim Possible vs. Bonnie and how differently their boobs were shaped (I mean, true but what the crap? Honestly don't know how this came up.), he made one bizarre comment about how he thought I had "perfectly shaped boobs."
    This is false. I'm not going to go into details here, but he's wrong. Also, what the d*mn h*ll?!
  7. By that night, he asked if he could "confess something."
  8. My sophomore self, ignorant and hungry as I was for someone to want me, guessed what was coming but didn't shut him down.
  9. John Doe: "If you'd been here three years ago, I probably would've had to make a few passes at you."
  10. He was four months married. Four. Months. That is still a brand new marriage.
    Run, Katherine. RUN.
  11. But I was yearning for someone to think I was beautiful, to want me in a way that no one has ever wanted me before or since.
    I didn't run. I should've run.
  12. I made some comment that was a fake shutdown disguised as a real one, hoping he would see through the mask and know what I actually wanted.
  13. He did.
  14. Thus began months of texts, secrets, and full-on lies. I kind of wish I had them all to share, but it's actually a good thing that I don't.
    I don't like to think of what I'd do with them.
  15. These are some of the things that stand out in my memory enough to still make me feel guilty.
  16. He sends me regular text messages. We talk late into the night about all kinds of stuff, from choir stuff to his favorite football team (which coincidentally belongs to the school where my parents went), which is peppered with his fairly slick (to me) brand of flirting.
    I try not to think about him lying in bed next to his wife, texting vaguely sexual things to me.
  17. He pretends to be jealous that I love Jake Gyllenhaal so much.
    This was just after Prince of Persia came out, so Jakey G was on the brain. I made some off-handed comment about him being attractive, and he pestered me about it for days. He would point out that he has blue eyes like Jake, he's military like Jake in Jarhead, etc. I didn't think he was like Jake at ALL, but I did love feeling that I made someone jealous.
  18. He texts me nonsense during choir, which is FORBIDDEN by the director.
    I, of course, wouldn't see any of these until choir was over, but it made me feel important that he was risking point deductions from our Nazi director for me.
  19. Before the choir director moves John Doe to stand directly behind me, JD constantly makes passing comments such as "I'm going to need you not to jump around like that when you're wearing that shirt."
    Genuinely don't know what my jumping around could do to distract him. As previously stated--and I'm not being modest here--my breasts are not eye-grabbing.
  20. After the director moves John Doe to stand directly behind me, he whispers subtle flirty digs(?) at things I do that are "blocking his view."
    Like standing on my tiptoes, swaying from side to side, or fiddling with my hair. Basically things all humans do when forced to stand for 90 minutes, right?
  21. One night at a basketball game, my friend takes my phone to read through John Doe's text messages. After he finishes, he sends JD (who plays the trumpet in the school band) "Let's meet up and let me blow your trumpet ;)"
  22. John Doe HAS to know I didn't send that, because after 5 months of knowing me and 3 months of texting me, there's no way he thinks I would ever send such a blatant come on. Despite that, he replies with some kind of compliance.
  23. This is a crossroads moment for me. This man is married. NEWLY married. This is wrong. But I am 19 and unKissed and lonely, and here is someone--a sleeze, but someone, a flesh and blood man--who seems to want me.
  24. We plan to meet after the basketball game is over, behind a movie theater where the parking lot is usually pretty empty.
    My heart races. Too fast. Actually, I start to feel sick.
  25. He asks me if this means he can take my Kiss.
    I wear a Hershey Kiss necklace and plan to take it off if I ever get Kissed by a man.
  26. I tell him no, that I've had it for too long to blow it on him (I think pun intended?), so he's just going to have to kiss me everywhere else and avoid my lips.
    I can't do this. He is MARRIED! To a girl you like!!! THIS ISN'T YOU!
  27. The basketball game finally ends. I've cooled down and remember myself. I go hang out with my friends and don't go to the movie theater.
    I'm in a daze the whole night, imagining what could have been if I'd just been impulsive. I make my friends force my attention back to them to distract me.
  28. The next day, he texts me and asks where I was. He said he waited for two hours in the cold. I don't believe him, but I'm still a little curious.
  29. A few days later, all communication stops. He deletes me on FB, and when I text him he asks "Who is this?"
  30. After a few weeks, I finally discover what happened.
  31. His wife found our text messages, and made him delete all portals he could use to contact me.
  32. John Doe and I are lucky she didn't angrily publicize those texts to the whole campus.
  33. All this is pretty bad, but what I really feel awful about is that, all this time later, I sometimes still miss John Doe, a real flesh and blood person, wanting me.
  34. I've realized in the years since this happened that I, of course, wasn't in love with HIM at all.
  35. I was in love with the way he wanted me.
  36. But the way it felt to be wanted by someone will remain forever entangled with the memory of him; the two are inseparable because he's the only human to ever feel that way about me.
  37. I allowed myself to be swept up in that euphoria of being wanted and it nearly destroyed a happy relationship.
  38. Why do I still feel so horribly guilty, you ask?
    Because a huge part of me still wishes I'd gone to the movie theater that night to see what would've happened--to see if he was really there. Despite my *knowing* that he was playing me like a fiddle, saying ALL the right things for his own personal gain, a part of me still wishes I had been the girl to lean into that feeling of being wanted, just to know what it was like for one moment in time, before his conquest ended and I was just another lay.