The Mistress at Christmas

Friday, December 26, 2008, 13:03

Lucienne: When I was Miss Goody Two-Shoes, I wondered how a person who has stolen someone else’s husband could be so blasé and conceited about it.

My father would probably have a heart attack if he found out what I’m doing. Since mum died, 10 years ago, I know he has dated – but he has never brought a woman home…he’s that strait-laced.

It’s an addiction – I cannot live with him, but I cannot live without him. We work in the same building, for different companies, so I was fated to meet him.

People accuse mistresses of breaking up marriages; I’ve actually sellotaped his. He was on the verge of leaving his wife before he met me; she nags and her cooking consists of opening tins and packets. I persuaded him to stay; it suits me better like this.

I have made my own arrangements for the festive period – but I will cancel them if he manages to shake her off for an hour or two.

Katie: Most people picture a mistress as a predator with figure-hugging clothes and perfect make-up. I’m not – but his wife is.

When I’m with him, I feel like a teenager again; he says I’m like a breath of fresh air after her speciousness; to her, a broken manicured fingernail is a tragedy.

Too much is at stake for both of us to go public. But I know I have been his only “other woman” for the last 16 years, because I’ve had him followed by a private detective several times.

They will be having a family meal at a hotel with the rest of her stuck-up family. Me? I’m having snack soup and toast. Who cares?

Maria: He is old enough to be my… uncle. Still, I regret not being able to flaunt him.

Meeting him was a Sliding Doors meets Benny Hill moment. I had treated my friend’s twins to an outing. They were careening towards the ice-cream compartment of the supermarket and they bumped into him, making him drop a six-pack carton of eggs. “Double trouble!” he said. I stuttered that they weren’t my sons. He said that blushing suits me.

Talk about audacity and duplicity – he was with his wife the next time I saw him there. I was simultaneously spooked, intrigued, and turned on to realise they were following me; she didn’t even notice. He dexterously palmed his business card into my jacket pocket, and I followed through. This was three years ago. He has spoiled me for other men; those of my age-group seem so childish now. They don’t have his manners, charisma, and gentleness. So I sort of understand why this “imperfect gentleman” cannot be mine these days.

Carmen: “The Other Woman” is his wife. I come first in everything, except in his will. But otherwise I’m well looked after – after all, I have to look nice for him, don’t I?

At his insistence, I have told my best friend about him, just in case something happens to me and he won’t be in a position to know. If anything happened to him, I’d know soon enough, because… just because.

As a child I’d always imagined that at my age (30 last birthday) I’d be settled down with six kids, as my mum was. But, frankly, I’m enjoying almost being almost married without being manacled to a husband.

On my birthday (which I share with one of his kids), on Valentine’s Day, and at Christmas, I feel wretched. He always makes up for it, though. I went into this with my eyes wide open but I resent it nonetheless.

I never berate him for not calling, and I am not always available when he wants to meet me. This keeps him keen. He’d be astonished to learn I cry for him most nights. My biological clock is ticking merrily away, and this really hits me when all my siblings come to our house for the Christmas meal, with their kids.

I know his wife. We were in the same class at school.

* Names and some details have been changed.


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