His new apartment turned out to be the exact opposite of the old one: well-lit, twice as much space, on the uppermost floor of a newly built apartment complex. He has kept the furniture simple and practical, fitting the unadorned white walls, and for the floors he had chosen dark wood panels. Though it fitted him in its simplicity and straightforward functionality, at first I had the feeling of him being displaced there. Sometimes I still do. To me, he has always had something dark about him, something hidden and mysterious, while his apartment gives me the feeling of being inside an iPod.* In the months to come, I would make some minor arrangements, and now it feel like a second home to me.
It was a warm day in May when I first paid him a visit and we had lunch on the balcony. I watched the people on the balconies of the next building, a lot of them also just having moved in and showing their friends and family around and I made up dialogue for them.
He gave me a key to the aparment, because he knew I would be in the capital the following week and I would need some place quiet to prepare a presentation. I guess I don’t have to mention that he wouldn’t take it back afterwards.
When I left – and I left without staying the night, because I had other appointments to attend to – and passed him in the corridor in front of the door, I had a brief moment of “Oh fuck it”, pulled his face down to mine with one hand and kissed him. Very briefly. His disappointment was almost tangible when I pulled away again immediately and stormed out of the door.
In the train on my way back home, all those questions where swirling through my head…
Where does the border lie, the point I am not allowed to cross?
Have I already trespassed?
Have I done it long ago, when I fell in love?
Or was it when I told him about it?
Do I cross it every time I spend time with him instead of my husband?
But then, I would not be allowed to spend time with friends either, because where’s the difference?
Was it kissing him?
I kissed him on the lips, but so briefly, it’s the same way I kiss my daughter. The same way his female good friend kisses the Witcher as a greeting.
I know kissing him is wrong already, but only because of the way he makes me feel.
So the border is falling in love and I have found myself on the other side of it long ago. I cannot help it, all I can do is restrain myself from crossing the second one, the one everybody knows to have a big “keep out” sign.
No matter now much I love him, I may never sleep with him.
Is it possible to be devoted to one another, but not sleep with each other?
Well, it just has to be possible. I have a family to lose.
Why does it have to be like this? I love my family, I always want them to be by my side. But why does this have to exclude loving someone else as well? He doesn’t want to replace them, he wants me to be happy and to him this also means keeping my family happy. I know that if we were ever in trouble, he would help all of us. To me this is the most perfect, most selfless attitude possible. Still, I am waiting for the answer on how this could be wrong.
Actually, I know the answer. We all do. It is the unspoken promise two people give to each other when they become a couple that there will be no one else. The Knight expects me to keep it, and not doing so would mean to disappoint him. If he would think differently about it, if he could just grasp that he will not be replaced, that some things even might be easier if I could just act on my feelings for the Witcher, there would be no problem. I could not care less what society thinks about me, about us. But it is breaking the Knights trust that makes the difference.
* Oh, how I love teasing him with this comparison.