I had never thought being attracted to my co-worker could even be an option after having already committed myself to a man. I had been rather conventional when it came to marriage.
Despite none of my friends or cousins opting for an arranged marriage, I went ahead with it. I met my husband through a matrimonial site, and after the initial talks between my mother and his, he had come over to my house.
He had got a bouquet of roses and chocolates. I had found that cute. It was as though even before meeting me, he was besotted. Or rather, it was as if he was trying to woo me.
And he was doing it in front of our families. It was flattering, indeed. When asked, I said yes to him. And he too said yes.
The wedding date was decided soon, we would get married in a year. Meanwhile, he would take me out for dinner parties, to restaurants and even movies. It was like something out of an old movie. And every time we met, he would get me flowers and chocolates.
His unique romantic gestures are what I loved most about him. He would accompany me for shopping and he never let me pay. He would wait for me outside beauty parlors.
He’d pick me up after I finished school (I’m a teacher). He was never intruding in my life but he tried to support me.
Needless to say, I soon fell in love with him and when I was getting married, I was not marrying for marriage’s sake. Being attracted to my co-worker a few years later was never on the charts.
It’s been just two years since our wedding and my husband is every bit as romantic as he was and trust me when I say this, he is extremely romantic. I love him very much as well.
Our lovemaking is tender and sweet as well. And everything is fine. Well, almost fine until my intense attraction to co-worker bloomed.
Recently the school where I teach hired a new cricket coach. He had played in the Ranji Trophy sometime in his youth. He must be in his 40s now and all the students are crazy about him.
As am I. He has swag. He doesn’t care much about what others think, either. He’s excellent at cricket, has a muscular body and short grey hair. He is single and I guess it must be hard dating in your 40s.
He keeps to himself mostly, except for the time when he comes to the library after lunch. He reads books and magazines on sports.
He’s even sent a requisition for many more books on this. Some students come to meet him, then he tells them about cricket techniques. They discuss players and who did what wrong.
I have tactfully freed myself from too many post-lunch classes and I too end up finding myself in the library. I like watching him. No one has noticed anything except for Mr. Cricketer.
He’s intelligent. He gives me a lopsided grin if our eyes meet. I am attracted to my co-worker but married. That cannot end well, can it?
Last month, during the school concert, he and I were put in charge of the same batch of students – the fairies. It was our duty to see that the fairies from the first grade didn’t end up in a fight.
He asked me if I wanted to go out for a drink. I had blushed. “I don’t drink,” I said. He laughed and asked if I would like coffee or dinner. Wow, I thought. He really knows how to talk to women and impress them.
I was blushing like a little girl. Nervously I had replied, “I am married.” He laughed again and said, “Married women don’t eat or have coffee these days?”
Thankfully, two fairies had started fighting and I had to rush to separate them. I felt lucky to have skipped that situation but I was still attracted to my co-worker.
For the last few weeks, whenever my husband touches me, I end up thinking about Mr. Cricketer. My intense attraction to my co-worker is getting in the way of my married life.
I’ve tried to stop myself. But I can’t. And the strangest thing is that I still am in love with my husband.
He is caring and I care immensely for him. But this doesn’t stop my heart from skipping a beat every time I see Mr Cricketer. I know this is wrong.
But can you stop a heart from skipping a beat? Being attracted to someone, at work is not something I saw coming in a million years. But what do I do now?
I was thinking of changing my school. The new session will begin soon. I’ve told my cousin about this and she says it’s stupid of me. She says that these crushes happen and I shouldn’t take it seriously.
She feels that Mr. Cricketer will perhaps get replaced by Mr. Math or Mr. Chemistry. And how many schools will I change? I feel that she is right. There is definitely a point to her argument.
But what do I do about myself? I’m behaving extremely childishly, and I’m worried. My cousin suggests I do yoga and vipassana meditation for a better marriage.
But honestly, I don’t feel like it. I like the feeling that I feel when I see Mr. Cricketer. I know that being attracted to someone at work is wrong but I love the way I feel.
And despite my extreme love and affection for my husband, I don’t want to let go of that feeling. It’s precious.
I console myself by saying that as long as I don’t act upon it, it’s fine. But then I worry. How long will I be able to resist that half-grin that he flashes at me?
I do not want to think that my marriage is on the rocks because it truly is not. It is the perfect marriage, truly. But what has life brought me to? In love with a co-worker but married to the perfect man? I just don’t want to hurt my husband.
(As told to Joie Bose)
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Tour Operators’ Union of Ghana outdoors maiden newsletter