We both knew it was wrong.  Yet we were both willing.

                At first, it was only lust.  I wanted him, and he wanted me.  We knew it was wrong, what we did, but we couldn't stop, no matter how we tried.  We couldn't suppress the lust; suppression only made us want each other more.

                As time passed by, I fell in love against my own will.  Yet he never could belong to me; his heart already belonged to someone else.  And I hated that, hated how he felt guilty every time, how he could never truly enjoy what we did.

                He did love me, don't get me wrong.  He just didn't love me the way I loved him, the way I wanted him to love me.  He loved me like a protective father while I loved him the way he loved his wife.  And I hated her for stealing his heart away from me, the heart that should have been mine, the same way my heart was his.  The same way I should have been his.  I should have been the one to give him the gold band on his ring finger, I should have been the one to receive a diamond-encrusted ring from him.

                It all started some time ago, three months, one year, five years, it's all the same to me.  I had known him since I was 13.  Back then, he was just—him.  I never thought anything of him except that he was kind and gentle.

                He was my Jujitsu instructor.  And I looked up to him.  He was absolutely nice and wonderful. And he was one of those family men who had a nice, stable income.

                He was wonderful towards me, always encouraging me and helping me.  And I thought he was a great person.

                Then, one day, I caught myself checking him out.  And I told myself that it was wrong and that I needed to stop.  I tried.  Desperately.  But I couldn't stop.  I found myself becoming more and more attracted to him as time went on.

                We had a party once.  I was teased endlessly and mercilessly, not that I minded or cared.  I was a most resilient person, and they couldn't bruise my ego, my pride, no matter what.  That was when I started believing that he wanted me back.  After all, someone doesn't offer to hug you ever few seconds, do they, without some ulterior motive?

                I craved for his touch.  I needed his touch.  I needed him to hold me, to touch me, somehow.  I needed to feel his arms around me.  Not surprisingly, I spent class staring at him and messing up miserably, me, the star student.  They all thought that I was sick and should take a day off.  I was sick.  Lovesick.

                I bristled when he went over to help someone else.  I found myself asking him ridiculous questions and messing up on purpose so that he would come over to attend to me.  I helped him with the lower belts.  I did everything I could to get myself close to him.  Accidental brushes were nothing uncommon.

                I never thought of him as a pedophile.  All I cared about was that he wanted me back.  Wanted me back, even though he was married, married with three children.  Oh, how I wanted to squeeze the life out of those fragile necks.  He was mine.  He was not supposed to be attached.  I guess you could say that I'm a little possessive.

                One of his girls was the same age as me.  I knew it was wrong for someone the age of one of his kids to want him, yet I envied her for being able to be near him all the time.

                Only one other person knew.  My friend Pryce.  Pryce, who never judged me for what I did.  He always spoke the truth about his opinions.  He didn't tell me what I wanted to hear.  He commented honestly about his feelings.  He told me that my lust for him was doomed.

                We had another party when I was 14.  It was at his house.  He had just recently installed a hot tub, and well, let's just say that it was absolutely delicious, sitting next to him and "accidentally" brushing against his bare skin.

                He became incredibly aroused, sitting next to me.  And I know it was from sitting next to me.  His wife was next to him on his other side, (which made me want to kill her), but he was leaning more towards me the whole time.

                His hardness accidentally brushed against my thigh.  He quickly excused himself and left for the house, intending to make it go away.  I followed him.

                I followed him to his private bathroom, he not knowing it until he turned around to lock the door.  And that was when it all started.

                I guess you could say that I seduced him.  He told me that I should leave.  I paid him no heed and kept on advancing while he backed away the whole time.  This continued until I had him backed up against the wall.

                I took the plunge.  I kissed him.  I kissed him as I slid his trunks off.  And my hand relieved him of his tension while he moaned out my name through our kiss, his hands pulling me against his toned body.

                Afterwards, as I washed my  hands, he told me that this was a one-time thing.  A one-time thing that would never happen again.  But, as my mom always said, "If something happens once, then it's bound to happen again."

                Classes were awkward, at least at first.  He avoided me as much as he could and refrained from touching me as much as he could.  I, on the other hand, did the exact opposite.  No one noticed anything.

                Then, one day, we were the last ones in the room.  Everybody else had left but us.  he was trying very hard to ignore me and pretend that I wasn't there.  I, however, saw it as an excellent opportunity.

                I strode over to him.  He just stood there, as if daring me to do something.  I did.  I kissed him, even though there was a security camera.  It wasn't even pointed our way, though, so I was safe.  And I played with his crotch.  Soon, he was completely hard, pressing against me.

                I smiled.

                "If you want something done about that, you know what to do."

                He followed me home.  My mom left for work soon, and I let him in.  My mouth solved his little problem.

                This became our weekly affair.  Every Saturday, he would make some excuse and come to me.  It started slow, me doing him some favors.

                Several weeks later, it escalated.  It became sex.  Wild, passionate, lustful sex.  Forbidden sex.  There was always danger in it—us being caught.

                And he started staying overnight, parking his car by the neighbors' curb.  And after sex, I would lie cuddled up next to him in my bed, and his strong arms would hold me while our legs tangled together in the sheets.

                After my mom came home and retired in the mornings, I would take my ritual shower.  And he would take it with me.  I always washed my hair on Sunday morning, and he helped me.  I always wondered, while his hands were working in my hair, what he told his wife, not that I really cared.

                I think I fell in love with him from that.  The tenderness in which he held me as we lay together, how it contrasted so very sharply from the roughness of our sex.

                This continued for four years.  Four years in which I was truly content.  It was winter, and a thick blanket of snow covered everything.

                My mom didn't come home that day but stayed at the hospital as she had another shift in the afternoon.  I slept peacefully in his arms.

                He liked kissing my hair and my cheeks while he held me.  And I loved the attention.  I awoke with his arms around me, our bodies under the down comforter.  He pressed his lips to my hair, then spoke.

                "I'm leaving."

                I turned around to look at him.

                "I can't keep doing this.  I want you, but I love Natalie."  Natalie, his wife.  "It's not fair to either of you.  This has been great, but, one day, you'll find someone else, and you'll regret it then.  Good-bye."

                And I knew that he meant it.  I knew that he would never come back.  I knew that trying to keep him would be of no use.  He threw my down comforter off, climbed out, and gathered his clothing, which had been thrown haphazardly around the room.  I shrugged on my nightgown.

                As sat on the bed and put on his shoes, he spoke, without looking at me, "I'm sorry."

                I followed him out of the house into the chilly winter morning.  He didn't glance at me once but got into his car and drove away.  I collapsed onto my knees in the snow.

                Later, I awoke in bed, three comforters over my body.  Pryce sat by me, holding a bowl of soup in his hands, the steam escaping into the frigid air.  He helped me sit up, then held the bowl to my lips.  I drank.

                "I was driving by your house, and I found you out there.  The door was open, and I got you inside."

                Does he always drive by my house?  He had known from the beginning, after all, that this was doomed.

                When I finished drinking, Pryce put the bowl onto my nightstand.  He looked at me piercingly, then asked, "Something happened, didn't it?"

                I broke down.  The last bond connecting the two halves of my heart broke, and tears rolled down my face.  Pryce held his arms out to me, and I sank into his comforting hold.

                He didn't interrupt me once as I told him what had happened.  When I finished, I drew back a bit, not out of his hold but just enough to see his face.  I knew that he was going to say something, something blunt like usual.

                However, he didn't say, "I told you so."  Instead, he said quietly, "I've always wanted to hold you while you cried."

                And I let him.