Forbidden Heartbreak


It ended suddenly, as forbidden love often does. Not with a Shakespearean-style death or a public scandal but with an anonymous email to his wife. Sarah knew their affair couldn’t last forever but she was still unprepared for the abruptness of the ending.

“She knows everything,” Kevin wrote in an email. “I won’t be seeing you again. Goodbye.”

Her heart pounding, Sarah couldn’t believe it at first. She re-read the email several times, thinking it must be a joke. How did this happen? And how could he be so terse after everything they shared? Luckily her husband had already gone to bed because she couldn’t stop the tears from flowing.

He called the next day and Sarah realised that it wasn’t that he didn’t care; it was just that he wanted to save his marriage. That meant removing Sarah from his life immediately and completely. Sarah tried to be gracious about it. She ached to hear the strain in his voice and wished she could hold him and kiss away the pain. But she didn’t beg or demand to see him again. The last thing she wanted was to see sympathy or worse; coldness in his eyes. So she told him she could be his if he ever changed his mind and said goodbye.

Unlike ripping off a Band-Aid, an abrupt end did not mean the pain was shortened. In the weeks that followed Sarah cried whenever she was alone. They used to email each other several times a day to share details of their lives or just something amusing but now there was nothing. Nothing but an empty void where his virtual presence had been. She wondered if she had simply imagined the connection they shared. He had said he loved her but how could he bear not to be with her if he felt the same way she did? Sarah didn’t even know why he had cheated on his wife if he wanted to stay with her. She knew why she did it — she had married the wrong man and had been too much of a coward to leave him. She knew she deserved to be punished but that didn’t make it easier to bear.

Kevin wasn’t perfect either, of course. He had his flaws and she loved him all the more because of that. Even if they could have had a real relationship, Sarah knew there was no such thing as happily ever after. But she loved the way he teased her. He was intelligent and competent but didn’t take life too seriously. Unlike her husband, who was prone to sulking if something didn’t go his way. She didn’t believe in the idea of a soul mate but she thought they would have been a really good match. As time passed with no contact she realised he obviously didn’t share her opinion. She felt guilty about the fact that his wife was hurting too, but at least she got to keep him. Sometimes Sarah felt angry at him for not choosing her instead. Sometimes she was angry at herself for falling for him. Why was she not good enough for him?

So Sarah hid the gaping hole in her heart and life went on. She tried to be the best mother, wife and employee she could be. Her children kadıköy escort had always been a source of joy and wonder and that should have been all that she needed. Now they would have to be enough. She tried to spice up her marriage but her husband was about as enthusiastic as a wet sock. The problem was not that they had lost the passion in their relationship, more that they never had much to start with. He was a good man and probably could have made someone else happy. But Sarah wanted someone who had initiative and enjoyed trying new things and didn’t stress about the small stuff. She had been discontent long before she met Kevin but could never quite put her finger on why. Now she knew what she was missing but it seemed just as unobtainable as ever.

Weeks turned into months and then years. They were not unhappy years. Her children grew into bright and inquisitive youngsters and they had many wonderful experiences including holidays at the beach and mountains and trips to amusement parks. Often her husband preferred just to stay home but that didn’t prevent them from having family fun without him. Her career progressed as well, and she even took up art again – when the children were old enough to be trusted not to put their sticky fingers in the oil paints. Her paintings had a more melancholy tone than when she was younger but no-one seemed to notice.

Sarah never ventured again to the online chat rooms where she had met Kevin. She had no interest in starting another relationship built on lies. Sometimes she looked him up on the internet but he was not the type to share his life publicly using social media so there was never anything to see.

Eventually her husband came to share her opinion that their relationship was more akin to flatmates or friends than lovers. Comfortable and safe but ultimately unfulfilling. So they agreed to separate and he got his own place nearby. The speed at which he found a girlfriend made Sarah wonder if she had something to do with his change of heart but she didn’t begrudge him his chance at love. The new woman was a bit wishy-washy but seemed to genuinely adore him. Thankfully the children took it all in their stride. They were used to doing separate things with mum and dad anyway, and it probably helped that the split was amicable.

So it was that Sarah found herself unexpectedly single after being attached her entire adult life. It seemed a lifetime ago that she had been a shy, chubby 19-year-old. Her first thought, of course, was to contact Kevin and see what he was up to these days. But she decided against it. The fact that he never contacted her implied that he was either still married, or single but still didn’t want her. It had been 5 years since they parted and he probably didn’t even think of her anymore. Her relationship status on Facebook was publicly üsküdar escort visible if he ever cared to look.

Sarah wasn’t afraid of being single. She had stayed with her husband to avoid hurting him and the children, not herself. Now she felt an incredible sense of freedom. She had plenty of free evenings when the children were with their dad so was able to indulge all the fantasies she had saved up over the years. She was in pretty good shape for a woman in her late thirties so she acquired a sexy new wardrobe and explored the city nightlife. It was a lot easier to flirt with men when she didn’t care if they rejected her or not. With all the scar tissue around her heart no other man could even scratch it.

So she lived out her younger man fantasy and had threesomes (both ways) and a man with a sexy Scottish accent. Sarah had no interest in one-night-stands but formed several friends-with-benefits arrangements. The men were all intelligent, charming and well-groomed (she did have some standards, after all) but she didn’t have any strong feelings for any of them. Some of them expressed interest in a deeper relationship but her indifference soon drove them away. The sex was exciting for a while but ultimately unfulfilling. She soon got bored with having the same trite conversations with different men and gave up on going out altogether.

Sarah decided to indulge another fantasy she’d had for over a decade. She bought a run-down old house and set about renovating it from top to bottom. Her ex-husband thought she was crazy but she didn’t have to listen to him anymore. The children were excited, especially when she told them there was space enough for a pool and a large themed play area.

For months Sarah spent every spare moment designing, planning and working on her dream house and garden. She had to do as much as possible herself to keep costs down. As she put the kids to bed in their new bedrooms she realised she had never been so happy in her life. It would have been nice to have someone to snuggle up with at the end of a busy day, but she didn’t NEED a man. She found herself thinking less and less about Kevin.

Sarah was so busy she hardly noticed she had a new neighbour in the similarly ramshackle house next door. She did notice when he replaced the roof. A few weeks later he started building a fence out the front. It seemed he had similar renovation ambitions to her. It would have been rude not to acknowledge him when she walked passed so she got into the habit of saying hello. He seemed about her age, maybe slightly older. She never saw a woman but there was a boy and a girl there sometimes so she assumed he was divorced as well.

She was perched precariously on a scaffold and sanding a flaky window frame when she heard his voice behind her.

“Pardon?” she asked, trying to turn around without over-balancing.

He tuzla escort was leaning over the fence holding a tall glass with ice cubes in it. Water condensed invitingly on the surface. “I said, would you like a cold drink?”

Sarah wiped the sweat from her brow. She had been working all morning and the sun really was getting uncomfortably intense. “I guess I could do with a break.”

“Excellent,” he smiled. “As much as I like seeing your backside in those shorts, it’s very tiring to watch you work for hours on end.”

His comment caught Sarah off-guard and she almost blushed like a schoolgirl. “Well, I wouldn’t want to tire you out,” she replied. “I accept your gracious offer”.

She walked around to his front porch where he had a couple of deck chairs set up in the welcome shade. “I would invite you in,” he said apologetically, “but it’s a health and safety hazard in there at the moment.” He handed her a glass of ice-cold fruit juice with a slice of lemon in it.

“I can relate to that,” she said with a rueful smile.

They sat and chatted for a while. Sarah learned his name was Tim and yes, he was divorced. They talked a lot about their renovation plans. Sarah often found it difficult to make small-talk with people but when it came to something she was passionate about she could converse for hours. Eventually he asked what else she was interested in.

“Art, travelling and having threesomes,” she said matter-of-factly.

Being more open and direct was something she had learned from Kevin. There was no point in hiding who she really was in case someone didn’t like it. If Tim was as prudish as her ex-husband it would be better to know sooner rather than later.

Tim raised an eyebrow and grinned. “Interesting,” he commented. “I enjoy watersports and playing with power tools, although a threesome sounds like fun too.”

Sarah gazed out over his front yard, which was scattered with building supplies and various tools including a circular saw, nail-gun, thicknesser and the most intimidating power drill she’d ever seen. “You do seem to have a lot of big tools,” she said with a sly grin. “One might almost wonder if you were over-compensating for something.”

“Hey!” he glared at her in mock outrage. “You’re lucky you’re cute or you wouldn’t get away with that.”

Sarah froze. “What did you just say?” she whispered.

“What’s the matter, you don’t like being called cute?” he asked in bemusement.

She shook her head. “It’s not that. It’s just that someone else used to say that to me.”

The smile faded from Tim’s face. “Sorry, I didn’t realise.”

“It’s ok, really,” she reassured him.

Later that night Sarah lay in bed, unable to sleep. She sifted through her emotions and found the part of herself that was still holding on to memories of Kevin. She examined it from every angle and then made a conscious decision to let go of the hurt and regret. It was time to move on. Not necessarily with Tim, but it was worth giving him a fair chance. She opened a photo of Kevin that she still kept on her phone. He was grinning mischievously in a way that used to make her knees go weak. She looked at him for a few more moments and then pressed the delete button. “Goodbye,” she whispered.

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