"The secret I won't tell anyone is..." - character free-write
I cheated on Greg.
Years ago. At a conference.
I just felt so goddamn dead inside.
And then I went to this event where I was on my own for a few days--just me and several hundred (thousand?) other conference attendees. I had my own room. I ate when I felt like it, went to sleep when I felt like it. And on the last night, a bunch of us went to the hotel bar afterward.
I’d seen this guy the day before--had some innocuous exchange.
But then at the bar, I was feelin’ him, as the kids say.
He just made me feel sexy in this way that I guess I hadn’t felt in a while.
It was exciting.
I never thought anything would happen. I just was enjoying the attention. I felt young and I felt powerful. And then I drank too much and made a huge mistake.
I knew it was a mistake immediately. As he was climbing on top of me in the hotel bed I already wanted him to leave...
But I think most women know the guilt that comes with that.
I know it shouldn’t, and I know we’re telling girls these days that they can stop at any point, but that’s just not what it felt like.
And so I pretended to be into it, then made an excuse to go back to my room when it was done.
I slipped out the next morning even though I had a couple more talks to go to. I didn’t want to see him and I didn’t want to be there anymore.
I just wanted to go home.
When I got home early, I told Greg that I had missed him and that the conference was stupid anyhow.
I hated myself. I still do when I think about it.
So I try not to think about it.
There are so many other things to feel shitty about that most days I can manage.