As the summer comes to an end and fall begins, I decide it’s time to try a new adventure. I’m filled with passion and desire to help people, so I pack my bags and volunteer at a local farm. No harm in it—getting dirty and sweaty is my thing.
In the vast land of Texas there are so many ranches to work for. I find my pick and arrive there. Lush trees and nature surround me, with a river flowing through the ranch borders. Excitement bubbles inside me. I am greeted by a cute little family—a couple in their twenties with a newborn. I did not expect them to be around the same age as me and am delighted to meet them.
I get to work immediately—building a cob building and learning about permaculture. The wife stays at home and I work with the guy throughout the day.
He’s a charming young man with bright blue eyes and an enthusiasm for life that is rare to find. He tells stories about his adventures around the world. He has done it all. He has seen it all. We click instantly and become friends. His keen interest in my life flatters me and makes me realize I am not just a worker for him. And yes, it would be a lie to say I am not attracted to him, because I surely am. He is funny, smart, good-looking, and kind. I believe his wife is lucky, but he has a strange liking for polyamorous relationships and is not shy to talk about it. That should send warning signals my way, but I don’t pay attention.
Who am I to judge? People have insane fetishes. His wife knows and calls it “one of his crazy ideas.” I also don’t care much until that dreadful day he decides to give me a tour of his ranch on a quad bike. He starts talking about our similarities and interests…how it is so hard to find people with whom one can actually have a good conversation. I agree with him and tell him I have found an amazing friend in such a short time.
Then he decides to kiss me!
I freak out. I push him away, saying, “What the fuck?”
I tell him I am not polyamorous or whatever he is.
He starts to tell me how he has developed feelings for me and is in love with me. I stare at him in shock, getting agitated with each word. He tells me that he does not want to sleep with me but loves me and hopes that I will return the love and consider joining his family and be part of it and then we can “make love.” My shock level increases to the maximum.
I tell him I am not interested and would like to go home. But he insists on kissing me again and says, “Just kiss me and we can go home.”
I realize I don’t have many options. I’m in the middle of a ranch somewhere far away from everywhere—even from his home. I have no phone on me. Fearful thoughts cross my mind…what if he rapes me, chops me up, and leaves me here to rot and no one will know?
Yet I also have this dark, curious desire to kiss him. One innocent kiss…how much harm can it do?
I ask him, “For sure just one?” And he says mischievously, “Yes just one ’til you want another one…”
When he leans in to kiss me again, I let him and kiss him back. Sparks of desire light up in my stomach and the kiss gets deeper. His hand moves down from my neck to my waist and my body arches toward him, but I know better and pull away.
I say quickly, “Done. Let’s go home.” He smiles and drives us back in silence.
I contemplate my next move—should I stay or should I leave? His taste in my mouth is still sweet and my head is fuzzy with what I have done. I just kissed a married man!
If I leave, what will his wife think? Will she suspect something? Will I ruin a “perfect” family because of an innocent kiss? I am feeling sick to my stomach and we arrive to pick up his wife at her sewing class.
The wife greets us with the baby on her hips and climbs in the car asking me about my day so sweetly that I almost want to cry. I can’t tell her; I can’t be a home-wrecker—I just have one more day before I go, so I will stay.
What disturbs me is his level of confidence and comfort around his wife and not showing any sign of guilt. On the other hand, I’m dying of it and can’t even meet her eyes.
Next day he drives me to the airport and we talk about random things and don’t mention the kiss. I breathe a sigh of relief, but then he starts talking about polyamory and polygamy and his reasons to support it. I disagree with his views and tell him politely that he is free to make his choices but I shall pass.
We arrive at the departure gate and he pulls me into a tight hug and whispers in my ear, “I kissed you so that you won’t forget me. So you won’t forget the connection we had. So one day you will come back to me.” He lets go and stares at me, his eyes burning with passion.
I feel some truth in his words as a desire burns in my stomach and I want him to kiss me.
I quickly turn away for fear that he might see what was running through my mind. I walk away with immense guilt. The guilt sinks deep in my stomach and makes my moral compass spin in ways it never has. And it makes me realize that truly I will remember him and his kiss.