It was a little over five months ago that Nina interviewed for her first job; interviewing her for the position was Allan, who would become her boss a short time later. Even then, she felt something between them, but she had no idea what this “something” would grow into.
Nina was only twenty-three years old, but was no stranger to dating. She beams with pride when asked to describe her already rich sexual history. She generally prefers the company of older men, because more often than not, they are far more interesting than boys her age.
In terms of dating, she refers to herself as quite the perfectionist, and attributes the fact that she had never really been able to commit before to this very fact—there was always this fear in the back of her mind that something better might come along.
It was all subtle at first—compliments too vaguely put to be called flirting, or looks that lingered long enough to be noticed, but not long enough to be inappropriate—but nevertheless charming, and she found herself developing an attraction for him.
There was some disappointment at first when Nina found out that Allan was married and had a daughter. She played off the fact that he was flirty and charming because he might have been just naturally so with everybody. But he was only like this with her, and as such, the disappointment began to fade away, and slowly got replaced by a seductive mix of confusion and attraction.
She honestly didn’t know why she was attracted to him. Nina could only pinpoint very specific traits—his humor, his butt, and his shoulders—but even then, Allan was a deviation from the type of men she normally liked. Maybe it was the fact that it was taboo on two particular levels—that he was her boss, and that he was married—that made Allan all the more attractive to her.
Subtle hints became outward flirtation, then outward flirtation evolved into romantic gestures. He would accompany her at the end of the day to her stop, talking and laughing all the while. One day, he held her hand across the street, and it was at this point Nina knew that it was going to happen. It was only a matter of how soon.
Holding hands became a common occurrence. If sent on work trips out into the field, they would find themselves holding each other’s hands in the backs of cars and taxis, neither of them ever mentioning anything about what this was turning into.
It was after a particularly stressful bout of overtime when they broke the barriers. They had gone out to dinner and had quite a bit to drink, and Allan asked if he could sober up at her place. She knew what it might lead to, but she obliged.
“Yes,” she said coyly. “But you stay on the sofa.”
She was sitting on the sofa of her apartment, fiddling with the air conditioning, when he bridged the gap between their lips with a soft, tentative, but passionate kiss. It felt almost a stolen question, one that Nina did not know she could answer until that very moment.
It was quick, and when they broke, Nina felt the guilt well up within herself. She looked into his eyes, almost pleadingly, the words, should we really do this, behind her stare. Allan’s lips found hers yet again, making sure to flood her senses that she might not come to them before the night ended.
Nina felt as though she were caught in a tempest. Allan was almost relentless in the way he almost tore through his clothes, then hers. In the darkness, he kissed her again, his hands exploring, and caressing. When Allan finally laid his mouth against her, she felt like her body was the oasis to a man dying of thirst, and whatever hesitations she had were pushed away by Allan’s sheer hunger.
“I think I love you,” he said as they lay together.
“That’s what you think,” she replied.
That night, they talked about all the times he wanted to make a move—all the moments he wanted to reach out, pull her close, and throw caution to the wind. Now, their trysts were regular, with Allan sometimes allowing Nina to forego work so that they’d have more time for their affair.
Nina herself did not feel much guilt or shame; only perhaps a fear of getting caught, but even that was not enough to stop her. When I asked her why she did it, she offered no rationalizations or excuses, nor did she deflect the question. Only the truth: the twisted sense of pride she felt at having been able to live out one of the dirtiest fantasies imaginable. She knew that she might have underestimated what consequences may come, but even so, she did not want to think of it.
Nina asked him if he felt guilty about the whole thing, and found herself at the end of every unfaithful man’s rationalizations. Allan and his wife weren’t having sex enough, he couldn’t be himself with her, he married her out of obligation. He has often said he loves her, and has joked about leaving his wife. Nina knows it isn’t true (even if Allan himself thinks it might be), nor does Nina think he should or will leave his wife.
In any case, Nina doesn’t see herself ending this illicit affair any time soon, even with rumors starting to spread in their company. They’ve been together for almost a month now, and she knows that there is no way this can end well. Humiliation, shame, and possible unemployment. She acknowledges that the reasons she’s doing this are a twisted mix of immoral and amoral, but as the old adage goes: masarap ang bawal.
Disclaimer: This is a true story, with the names and certain details changed to protect the identities of all those involved.