I don’t have regrets. Well, there’s nothing I feel like I’ve not at least had an opportunity to learn from. I’d like to think I learn enough not to repeat something that has resulted in shit.

I regret not something I’ve done, but the fact that I knew something my friend had done.

My friend and I worked together. Our boss was – to me at least – a father figure. I could not picture him in any sort of sexual situation. He made jokes with sexual innuendo and he dated various women, both customer and employee, but I couldn’t help but think of him as an unsexy old man. I think he was all of 40 at the time.

I thought my friend felt the same until she told me that she and he had been having an ongoing sexual affair for some time. I simply did not believe her. I didn’t want to believe her.

Rather than letting it go – rather than let me believe that they hadn’t fucked, which is what I so desperately wanted – she tried to convince me. With details. I was young – in my late teens. I hadn’t yet learned not to ask questions to which I don’t really, really, really want to know the answers.

So I asked.  And she told me.  She told me where they had fucked.  She reminded me of various times the three of us had been together and I had stepped out of the room, where they would then be all over each other.  She reminded me of several such situations.

I was not only grossed out, but I felt very stupid.  There were so many obvious signs I had completely missed.

I was incredulous exactly because I had missed so much that was so obvious.  So I asked more questions.  She had to give me minute details as a way to prove it was actually true.  Also, I was being a bit voyeuristic.

I thought it was titillating as well as disgusting that they had fucked.  It took me quite a long time – way longer than it should have – for me to stop asking questions.  I finally got my fill of salacious details.

Things had most definitely changed.  I felt weird being in a room with either my boss or my friend, and most definitely with the two of them together.  I scrutinized them to distraction; it took me longer to count down my drawer at the end of the night.  I worked as a hostess at a bar at the time.  The cash register drawer I counted down was for the 27 pool tables the bar’s patrons paid hourly to rent.

I couldn’t help but look at both my boss and my friend as strangers.  I thought I knew them, but they were keeping this huge secret from me.  I didn’t fuck my friend any more after that.  Oh yeah, I had been fucking my friend.  Not much, probably just a couple of fucks and one or two make-out sessions.  But not after she’d been with … him.

Him, who I could no longer respect.  I thought he was smarter than to fuck one of his employees, and certainly smarter than fucking one of his employees so much younger than he.  But then I supposed after his divorce he had gone a little nuts and didn’t have the best judgment after his wife had cheated on him.  [No, I did not have any idea my own life would be mirroring his several years later.]  I knew she had cheated on him because I saw his wife kissing someone right there on the bar’s dance floor, and I told him.

But after I found out he had fucked my friend, his employee, I didn’t tell him much of anything.  When he told me I shouldn’t go to college – that I should continue to work in a bar – I didn’t value his opinion much, and figured it was purely selfish because I did a good job, not out of any desire to actually give me sound advice.

At least a year after I stopped working for him – I decided that I should go to college – I testified against him in a sexual harassment arbitration hearing.  I don’t know if he sexually harassed the woman who accused him in that case, but I do know that I was disappointed that he behaved in such a way that made a sexual harassment lawsuit a possibility.  (Not that there aren’t frivolous lawsuits.)

I talked to the friend again several years later.  She was still working for the boss, but they had long before stopped fucking.

Now, of course I’d be much less judgmental of the two, and hopefully a bit more observant of what were probably some damn obvious signs, but I was still disappointed them.  And I regret I found out they fucked at all.

I swear.  True story.