Home again I texted him about how much I regretted not having been able to talk to him. Truth was, I had not been ready for that talk. I would not be ready for years to come, but that I didn’t know back then.
After having laid my cards down, it became a certainty that there would be a talk about it on our next meeting. What was I to say? Would he understand that I didn’t want to leave the Knight? Somehow I knew he would. He had once confessed to me on Skype that he had been in a similar situation before…
“Had there never been a girl you were willing to move in with?”
“No. I’ve never met one I could imagine living together with, or there were other obstacles, like her already sharing an apartment with her boyfriend”
“Did he know about it?”
“She gave me the impression that she was about to break up with him, but over time it became clear that I was just >The other man<“
“In retrospect I could have guessed, because our whole relationship was rather focused on one thing.”
“Did he ever find out?”
“They are still together, so i guess not.”
“do you still see her?”
“she lives down the street”
“That must have been hard! Unless you were just in it for sex and it didn’t mean that much to you.”
“She meant a lot to me. I have no interest in getting involved with someone I don’t really care for.”
“What was it like, knowing there was someone else?”
“It didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would”
This was not the only hint I had.
When I had visited the Witcher at his family’s place, I had learned that a close relative of him was in a relationship with a married woman, a young mother even, with everyone knowing about it. “But, how?”, I asked him when he told me. “I don’t know. They somehow worked it out in a way that’s ok for everyone involved.”
It seemed like the Witcher had already experienced that life is not always as simple and straightforward as we want it to be.
But what about me? Clearly, to the Knight there were no shades of grey in that matter. Could I really risk losing him? Could I really lie to him? My feelings for him had not changed, no matter what he would think, but that made it even harder.
And nevermind my feelings – it was just something you didn’t do. It is a form of deception especially despised by everyone. The Knight often explained to me how he thought the origins of monogamy are in the patriarchal society, because for a man there is no other way of ensuring the legitimacy of his offspring than keeping a close eye on his wife. He also mentioned several times that he would not want to raise children that are not his own. So, did this mean I could do anything I wanted as long as it wouldn’t get me pregnant? No.
Because there is more to jealousy. There is the fear of losing a loved one, the dread of being replaced. Last of all, there is also vanity involved, the feeling of dethronement, of not being the only one, though this is in fact rooted in an intrinsic insecurity, a battle one has to fight with oneself.
Just like me, the Knight is a vain creature. He would leave me to keep his face, not even listening to how he was still irreplaceable to me. He had made clear that if he ever found out, even about a single mishap, he could never trust me again. “It is selfish to confess a thing like this to a partner, because the main motivation behind it is just to find absolution. It is the surest way to end a relationship. You want to keep your partner? Learn to live with your guilty conscience.”