No one really plans to have an affair. Mine started on the bus. As I stepped up, furiously looking for change, a deep, sexy voice instructed me to "move behind the white line." I looked up and couldn't believe my eyes. The bus driver was one of the most beautiful men I'd ever seen. Dark caramel arms in a cropped, stiff white shirt, dark sunglasses hiding his beautiful eyes, full lips locked seriously, jet-black wavy hair that made me think of Cuba (though I've never been to Cuba). He'd walked out of my fantasies straight into the driver's seat of the GO bus. As my mind raced back and forth trying to figure out how to get his attention, I suddenly remembered a little complication that could make this difficult: my new boyfriend. I was shocked at how quickly I'd forgotten that important detail.
I'd ended a less than satisfying relationship a few months earlier, and now found myself in yet another similar relationship. Rather then admit my lack of interest and the longing I felt to live the single life, I began living in two separate emotional worlds, one real, the other imaginary. While I played "perfect devoted girlfriend" I started to become more and more infatuated with the bus driver.
After I figured out his schedule, I saw him almost every day. Although I had no patience with my boyfriend when he was in one of his moods, I found the bus driver's grumpiness exciting and sexy.
I began to really enjoy those rides, watching him in his rear-view mirror as naughty thoughts raced through my mind. The potholes we crashed over felt so good. Eventually, he noticed, and these stare-fests would get quite intense.
Meanwhile, the desire my affair with the bus driver evoked in me transferred itself into my other relationship. "Honey," I'd tell my boyfriend, "these dark sunglasses, they're so you." It slowly dawned on me that subconsciously I was transforming him into my bus driver, but I couldn't, or wouldn't, stop. "Have you ever thought about growing your sideburns long?" I asked him every day for two weeks, until he finally began to grow them. My boyfriend easily went along with my suggestions and became especially excited when I enticed him into playing a new little game I'd made up called "the bus driver and the naughty passenger. "
One day my friend stopped me in mid-gush about my crush and said my infatuation with the bus driver was just as intense as an Internet relationship with someone I'd never met. She called it an emotional affair. I had never thought of it that way. Was I cheating?
For months I was able to keep these two relationships completely separate, but that all changed one summer afternoon. My boyfriend and I were catching a bus to my place when I suddenly glimpsed my bus driver at the wheel. My heart began to pound so hard that I could hear it in my ears.
As I passed my bus driver, we stared at each other and I looked away, feeling sort of guilty. I walked past my usual spot. I knew I should walk straight to the back of the bus, but instead I sat down where I could still get a perfect view.
It was difficult masking my excitement through the ride. No matter how hard I tried to convince myself, the bus driver turned me on way more than my boyfriend ever had. It must have been my fidgety and awkward attempts at conversation that tipped him off, because my boyfriend began to get more and more suspicious.
"Do you think that guy's cute?" he asked. "Who?" I asked unconvincingly. He made a face and looked at me. "You know who. That bus driver you've been eyeing the whole time." I answered noncommittally. My boyfriend didn't look convinced.
From the corner of my eye I could see him paying closer attention to the driver. They happened to be wearing similar white shirts and sunglasses. My boyfriend took off his sunglasses and began to scratch his sideburns as if they'd caught on fire. Then he turned and looked at me with a quizzical expression on his face.
The next night I met my boyfriend at a movie theatre and almost walked right past him. He had shaved off the sideburns, was wearing one of his usual polo shirts and ski sunglasses. My heart sank as he stood there triumphant. One of us was satisfied, and it wasn't me.
After my breakup, I dreaded the idea of seeing the bus driver. Now our relationship seemed tainted and strange. When I did finally see him, my attraction to him was still just as intense, but it had changed.
I now felt free to make a move and see if the reality would live up to fantasy. But as I thought about it more, I realized this was simply another excuse for me to run from myself by finding a new boyfriend. What I needed most was to begin a relationship with myself - to explore for once in my life how it felt to be single. So I did.
But the bus driver remains my boyfriend... in my dreams. And that's the best kind of boyfriend I've had in a long time.