There it is, again. That feeling, that question...Is it really there? Am I being hyper sensitive?
I've been here before. Once before. And to say it ended awkwardly would be an understatement. Where am I, you ask? In an awkward situation.
I am caring for a child. A child whose parents are unhappily married but pretend it's all okay and plow forward. A child whose care falls primarily to the father. A father who works hard for his family, comes home, cares for his child, and goes to bed in a cold marital bed. A father who drops his son off at my house nearly every day and picks him up every evening.
It starts innocently enough...the daily chatter, this many naps, that many bottles, overall mood. A couple of mutual comments shared over non-child related life details. A smile and "have a good night."
Then the conversations get a little longer, a little more personal. The smile gets a little more genuine. A friendship forms out of mutual concern for the child.
Then the texts become more frequent...and the pit in my stomach starts. Next the texts would move into less child related subjects and the pick-up time conversations would go a little too long. Then the friendship would solidify out of mutual care and concern. Then... I've been here before. I will not go there again. This time it ends NOW.
Last time it ended when the dad met me at the country club to take the reins while his kid was in her swim lesson. Last time it ended with drinks and a mutually enjoyable conversation while the kid swam. Last time it ended with the conversation taking a turn. Last time it ended with the alcohol blurring my better judgement. Last time it ended with a sexual proposition mere weeks before my wedding. Last time it ended with me making a quick exit. Last time it ended with me being both flattered and disturbed. Last time it ended with me driving home probably more intoxicated than I should have been for driving. Last time it ended with alcohol on my breath, crying my admission that I'd allowed the situation to happen and the conversation to take that turn. Last time it ended with weeks of tension, an ended friendship, rebuilding trust with my fiancée, and an awkward employment situation.
And so it begins...and it ends NOW.