So you made it to the end, did you? Congratulations, and thanks for reading. I appreciate that you’ve allowed me to share this sliver of my life with you.
It really is strange, to look back on the person I was fifteen years ago. As I read through this journal, I experienced a few sparks of recognition, but for the most part I rolled my eyes. Particularly when, in the very last entry (the one you’ve just read), I caught myself in a lie.
Did you notice that line that “He fantasises about our wedding”? Yeah? That stood out like a sore thumb? Well, it should have, because it isn’t true.
What Lawrence really said that day was that he fantasises about attending MY wedding (not OURS) as a guest—not as the groom. He told me he had this happy idea in his head that one day I would meet a nice young man and we’d get married, and Lawrence would see me in my white dress, smiling and oh-so-happy, and he’d be over the moon with delight.
But that’s not what I wrote in my diary.
I specifically remember that lie, because I told it to my friend Christie, too, as some pre-emptive measure of saving face. And that’s only the lie I remember! I can’t help wondering how much more of this material was fabricated by a 19-year-old me, in an attempt to assuage my own fears that he didn’t love me like I wanted him to. I guess I knew, deep down, that I was investing far too much energy in a relationship that wasn’t going anywhere.
Now I’m wondering if you’re wondering what happened after July 2nd of the year 2000. If you don’t want to know, then stop reading now.
You can’t stop, can you?
Maybe you’ll be bored to discover that Lawrence and I waited out the Ontario government’s legislation. What I didn’t know at the time was that this “legislation,” as I refer to it in the diary, was a document released in April 2000, called Protecting Our Students: A Review to Identify and Prevent Sexual Misconduct in Ontario Schools. To this day I’ve never read it (the behemoth is listed on Google Books as being 569 pages long), so I can’t verify there’s really a rule dictating that a student and teacher must wait a full year after the student graduates before beginning a sexual relationship. I still couldn’t tell you whether this is law or Ontario College of Teachers best practices or complete hearsay.
At any rate, by the end of Summer 2000, Lawrence had confided in me that being in contact was too much temptation. We had a “tearful goodbye” day at the end of August and managed to stay out of touch for… oh, about three weeks. I started university, fell into a terrible depression, tried and failed to extract myself from the relationship/non-relationship, and that contact/non-contact continued for two full years before we ever went to bed together.
I still have the hotel receipt. The hotel itself has since been torn down.
The first time we had sex, I remember thinking, “I hope I never have to do this again.”
But we did. Again and again. I fictionalized that portion of the relationship in an erotic series called Audrey & Lawrence, which highlights the wild emotions, spanning from jealousy to schadenfreude, that a mistress experiences during an affair with a married man. The stories are fictional, but the emotions are real.
My relationship with Lawrence came to an end eight years ago, when I fell in love with a woman who, strangely enough, shared his birthday. My 18-year-old self would have found that tidbit deeply intriguing. Anyway, Lawrence didn’t take the split well and we haven’t kept in contact, though he still sends me a Christmas card every year.
So, do I regret the affair? Probably less than he does. Lawrence always had such a guilty, shame-filled spirit. I have no idea whether he’s still teaching, as he’s well beyond retirement age, but I wish him well whatever he’s up to. I remember him often saying he was worried he would ruin my life.
He didn’t. Only I hold that power.