Jenny turned out to be
ten years older than me. I didn't care. We hit it
off from the start. What I liked best about Jenny was her
lightning-quick mind. Jenny was very smart. I liked
that a lot. On our first date, we had a fascinating conversation
about relationships. This was an area I was quite
inexperienced at, so I was willing to soak up any advice I could
find. Jenny's ideas knocked my socks off. She was so
By the time we had
our third date, I could feel myself falling for Jenny. We
went to see a movie. When I touched her fingers, I felt an
actual electric shock of some sort. Jenny noticed it too.
We became lovers that night.
With two jobs, I did
not have much spare time to date. This was not a problem
with Jenny. She lived close to the studio. I would
simply drive to her house after dance class and spend the night,
then go straight to work in the morning. No doubt my dogs Emily and Sissy
missed me, but I was having a great time. I spent the
night with Jenny every other night for the next two weeks.
I was in love, so I would have gone every night. However
Jenny put her hands up. Jenny explained that our marathon
late nights were exhausting, so give her a chance to recover.
As our relationship
entered the third week, one night Jenny didn't look the same.
I had driven over after finishing dance class. One glance
was all I needed to get a bad feeling about this. To begin
with, I noticed several cigarette butts in the ashtray.
Jenny didn't smoke. Uh oh. Jenny was pale as a ghost
and looked like she had been crying. Her arms were folded
and she quickly covered herself with a pillow as she sat down in
her comfy chair. She was clearly upset about something.
Considering I hadn't done anything wrong, I was baffled.
What was this all about?
Jenny didn't waste
"Rick, I have
something to tell you. I have been hiding something
from you. I am in a long-term relationship with
another man. His name is Randy. He and I have an
understanding that allows us to see other people if we
choose to. Last night, Randy and I had a long talk.
Make that a very long talk. Unfortunately, I am going
to have to stop seeing you."
I felt like I had
been punched in the gut. Jenny's words hurt something
fierce. Memories of Rachel and Vanessa came flooding in.
Another goddamn triangle... here we go again. Me and
Sue and that guy too. Once I was able to breathe, I took a
long look at Jenny. She was crying hard. I hate it when
women cry. Jenny had just delivered a knockout blow and
now she was crying. Good grief. What about me?
While I waited for
Jenny to compose herself, I couldn't help but compare her to
Vanessa, my tempestuous lover back in Colorado. It had
been nearly five years since I had formed feelings this strong
for a woman. And yet somehow I had managed to pick another
one with a secret boyfriend. Just my rotten luck. Do
attractive women ever come without strings attached? I
decided the answer was 'no'.
Unlike Vanessa, at
least Jenny had the guts to tell me to my face. That in
itself impressed me no end. Jenny was a keeper. So
how was I going to win Jenny over this Randy guy? Finally
she calmed down a little, so I spoke up.
"Jenny, this doesn't
make much sense. The last time I saw you we couldn't get
enough of each other. How do you explain this sudden
change in the weather? I cannot believe you were faking
your passion. Nor do I believe you can turn it on and turn
it off. Since I am convinced you have feelings for me,
your decision seems artificial. Will you explain the
reason why we have to break up?"
right. I do have feelings for you. Randy and I
have what is known as an open relationship. I am not
cheating on him. I can see other men as I chose to
without guilt. We have had this arrangement now for
nearly a year."
"How has that worked
"It worked fine
up till now."
"What went wrong?"
"Pardon me if I
forget to apologize. Just for the record, what did I do to
"You made me
fall in love with you. When Randy realized how serious
I was about you, he realized things were too far out of
control to continue our arrangement. Randy said that
once feelings get involved, this open arrangement becomes
mean about what he said. He is a very good man.
He simply asked me to choose between you and him. It
wasn't easy, but after some thought, I said I would choose
him but only on one condition. I told Randy that he
needed to let me see you one more time to explain. I
felt I owed this to you. Randy was so surprised that I
had chosen him that he didn't argue. In fact, he broke
down and cried. Apparently Randy had expected I would
Hmm, so why didn't
Jenny choose me over Randy? As I listened, I was upset,
but not as upset as I thought I should have been. For one
thing, I was absolutely fascinated with this conversation.
For another thing, the way Jenny explained things, I didn't feel
that I had come up short in any way. Of course I was sad,
but I really admired this woman's honesty, especially
considering how Vanessa had told me one lie after another in a
similar situation. In addition, Jenny had just told me she
was falling in love me. For a guy who hadn't had much luck
with love, I was proud to know I had the ability to touch the
heart of this woman I respected so much.
Jenny was quiet for
a moment. I could see this conversation was upsetting her
tremendously. Give the woman some credit. Most women
would not have had the decency to sit there and lay it all out
in the open like this.
"Knowing what you
knew, why didn't you keep things superficial with me? Why
did you let me get close enough to upset the apple cart?"
"Rick, you are
special. I don't know how you do it, but you pry stuff
out of me I didn't even know existed. I cannot believe
all the things I tell you. I must trust you a lot.
I have never met someone before who I felt was on the
identical wavelength as me. Well, I take that back.
I felt the same way about Randy when I met him."
"Out of curiosity,
what does Randy do for a living?"
"Randy is a
psychotherapist. He does family counseling."
I smiled grimly at
the irony. Jenny must like therapists, even lapsed
therapists like me.
typically recommend open relationships for his clients?"
"Oh, heavens no.
Randy thinks that free love is very risky. This thing
between Randy and me is his pet psychology project."
My eyes widened.
"Just my luck to be one of the lab rats. Do tell."
"Don't be so
sarcastic. One of the reasons I care about Randy so
much is he is willing to take risks. The guy is really
brilliant. He asked me to do this as a way to explore
human sexuality. He read some book called the
Harrad Experiment that espouses a free love
philosophy. The whole idea is that human beings are
capable of loving more than one person at a time.
Jealousy is something people can learn to overcome."
This was the second time the
Harrad Experiment had crossed my path. I grew very
silent as my mind raced back to Mark and his ill-fated Love
Triangle in February 1975. At that time, I had just
finished reading the
Harrad Experiment and had disagreed with its premise.
I was incredulous to find I had inadvertently fallen into
another love triangle and that this book of all things was in
"I suppose Randy's
experiment includes having sex with more than one person at a
"How did you
"If you only knew.
Have you done this before?"
You are the fifth man I have been with during this project.
The other four men were great guys, but you are totally
different. You absolutely take my breath away."
That hurt. Her
words thrilled me, but they also really hurt. I had been
tough up to this point, but now the pain began to creep in.
Losing this woman was really going to sting. But maybe I
didn't have to lose her. Maybe if we kept talking, Jenny
would change her mind. Historically, I always lost the
girl to the Better Man. But Jenny was worth fighting for,
so I decided to hang in there and keep talking.
"Out of curiosity,
are there any rules to Randy's game?"
"Yes, I am
supposed to have Randy's consent. He wants to be kept
abreast of developments. He says it is not right to
carry on more than one intimate relationship at a time
unless it is with the knowledge and consent of the other
"I don't mean to be
rude, but can I assume that at some point you discussed me with
Randy prior to inviting me into your arms?"
"Yes. I told him
about you right after our first date."
"And now you are
breaking up with me? I thought you had permission to see
"Well, I did,
but when I told Randy I had fallen in love with you, Randy
"Are you saying you
can have sex, but falling in love isn't permitted?"
ruefully. It wasn't a happy laugh, but rather the kind of
grim laugh one gets for an ironic situation.
"I respect Randy
a lot. I don't honestly believe he is using this
project just to get laid a lot although the thought has
crossed my mind. Randy is a very honest guy. He
is really fascinated with the human psyche. We had
been dating off and on for a year when he brought this up.
Randy revealed that he had taken a couple lovers during our
first year without really discussing any ground rules.
To his surprise, I said I had done the same. So Randy
had an idea. Why not keep track of who we see and try
to learn from it? We could share notes afterwards."
This Randy was a
brave guy. Knowing my propensity for jealousy, I could not
imagine pulling this off with a woman like Jenny.
"What do you mean by
'keep track of it'? Do you guys actually discuss
each lover in detail?"
"Well, like I
said, there were no ground rules in the first year.
Randy and I avoided talking about it when we slept with
other people. He wouldn't call for a while and I
wasn't going to wait around. Randy's a big boy.
He knows my phone number. In the meantime I had some
men asking me out. A couple guys were interesting so I
let things develop.
Then one day
about a year into our off-and-on thing, Randy said he had
something to talk to me about. When he came over,
Randy said he had driven past my house the other night.
He saw the car outside my house and had gotten the distinct
feeling I was with someone else.
I didn't see any
point in lying about it, so I told the truth. I
expected him to walk out the door, but to my surprise he
Randy said he
had a confession to make. Over the past year, he had
been seeing a couple of women in addition to me.
However, he always felt guilty. He said he had come to
realize he had some strong feelings for me.
When Randy said
that, I laughed awkwardly because I had felt guilty too.
I have never been fond of this 'love the one you're with'
strategy. But I didn't know he liked me that much.
Randy got the
strangest look on his face. I actually thought he was
going to ask me to go steady. If he had, I would have
said yes. That's what I had wanted to do all along,
but it isn't my style to give hints. Instead Randy
absolutely blew my mind when he suggested we continue to see
each other but deliberately take lovers on the side.
In addition, he wanted to openly discuss our experiences and
how we felt about them."
and risky. How well did it work?"
worked pretty well. I like sex a lot better when I
don't have to feel guilty. Plus they were nice guys,
guys I met on business trips, you know, one-night stands.
I wasn't lonely afterwards because I had Randy as my center.
I never came close to developing feelings for the other men.
It was fun, recreational sex with some interesting men."
"So why did you
develop feelings for me and not those other guys?"
"Well, I broke a
personal rule for you. Previously I made sure not to
mess around with men from Houston whom I was attracted to.
Too complicated. But I had a thing for you in dance
class. I liked your sense of humor. I had
intended to avoid you just because you interested me.
If you hadn't approached, I would have never returned.
But you tracked me down before I could leave. After we
talked, I couldn't help myself."
"Don't blame me.
It's your own fault for smiling at me. Let me ask you a
question, Jenny. During your experiment, don't you ever
get jealous of Randy?"
"Oddly enough, I
haven't gotten too jealous so far. Whatever Randy is
up to, he always comes back to me and shares what he has
learned. Yeah, I feel a twinge from time to time.
However, he never seems particularly gaga over the other
women so I don't care. I just make sure I am having
fun pursuing other men. If I am going to share my
boyfriend, at least I am going to get something out of the
deal. I like not feeling guilty. Even better, I
don't feel used in any way. What's fit for the goose
is fit for the gander."
"What about Randy?
Does he get jealous of you?"
"Well, not until
you came along. Mostly Randy was mad at me because I
let things go too far with you. His ground rule is to
break it off when the feelings started to warm up.
This was never a problem before. None of my other guys
stuck around long enough to worry about getting attached.
I guess the difference is that business trips are flings,
temporary. Having you in my arms all the time pushed
me over the edge. Randy accused me of breaking the
rules. Randy said that a major feature of our project
involved closing the door when things heat up. He was mad
that I waited too long to tell him how serious I was about
yes? You are supposed to check in with Randy and let him
take your temperature during your flings?"
"Yes, but I
think it is a stupid rule. If I want to have sex with
a man, I don't intend to call Randy on the phone and ask his
permission to have an orgasm. I want to have sex and
enjoy myself. Talking with Randy about his free love
project would ruin everything."
"I imagine so.
Did you ever get around to telling any of these other four guys
"No. I saw
a couple of the guys a second time when my trips brought me
back to their area, but things never heated up to the point
where I thought it mattered."
"So what about me?
Were you planning to tell me about Randy?"
"Yes, I suppose
I was going to have to tell you about Randy sooner or later.
But Randy moved up my time frame. I never expected he
was going to pull this stunt."
"How did Randy find
down the street not too far from here. He comes by my
house every night on his way home from work. I suppose
he counted the number of nights your car was parked out
front. I should have told you to park around the
corner. I didn't think I had to be sneaky about this."
"So tell me again
what the rule is. If either of you develops feelings for
someone else, then you are supposed to report in to the other
pretty much it. But I wasn't going to tell Randy.
I was enjoying you too much."
"So what about me?
Was I going to get permission from you to pursue other women?
I mean, if you can have Randy, was I supposed to have similar
rights? If I were to get a second girlfriend, would that
cool things back to an acceptable level between us?"
"Don't be a
"Why not? What
do I have to lose?"
ruefully. "Rick, you can be so sarcastic. You really
get under my skin."
"If I stop being
sarcastic, do I get to keep you?"
Jenny didn't answer.
She took a deep breath and tried to settle down. She was
having trouble maintaining control. That made two of us.
"So I have another
question, Jenny. Isn't your behavior exploitive of me?
What makes you any better than Vanessa, the woman I told you
about? I had no idea you were sleeping with another man.
When exactly were you going to tell me what was going on behind
"I had decided I
was going to have to tell you pretty soon. I figured
before we got more involved, you needed to know what you
were getting into."
"Why didn't you tell
me at the start? Three weeks is a long time to keep
me in the dark."
"I wish you
hadn't asked that question. I didn't tell you because
I didn't want to take the chance that you would hit the
road. i didn't want to lose you."
"But now you are
willing to lose me when you can have me? How much sense
does that make? If I had my druthers, I would prefer to
stick around. If I have to share you with Randy, I will
take that over losing you completely."
I took a long, deep
breath. Considering my jealous streak, I couldn't believe
I had just said that. But I meant it. I was willing
to share this woman if it meant seeing her again. In the
back of my mind, I thought Jenny liked me better. That
gave me the courage I needed to fight for her. The longer
this three-way continued, I might get the upper hand. If
Mariah could steal Sean from Mark, maybe I could steal Jenny
from Randy. It was about time Cupid's arrow flipped in my
direction for a change.
"You know, Rick,
you have a point there. I begged Randy not to force me
to choose. I said I needed more time. It was too
soon in my relationship with you to make a decision."
Oh my goodness.
That hurt. It sounded like my hunch was correct.
Jenny saw potential in me. Maybe I did not have to come in
second after all. At this point, I took my own pulse. So
far I wasn't devastated. To be fair, I had not been
completely blind-sided by tonight's bad news. I wasn't
quite as naive as I used to be. I had started dating Jenny
knowing full well there might be other guys in the picture.
Jenny seemed to know her way around men, so I had deliberately
kept my guard up.
Gaye had opened my eyes on that issue. She said at the
start of any relationship, I should always expect surprises.
Gaye explained that pretty girls always have several men to
choose from. Like ice cream, they taste a little bit of
each and eventually decide which flavor they like the best.
I decided Gaye was right about that. So to protect myself,
I decided to assume from the start that Jenny might be seeing
someone else. Jenny's alternating-night strategy had
served to further arouse my suspicion because Vanessa had used
the same trick.
Now I was beginning
to be angry at Jenny. This situation was
borderline-Vanessa. Jenny wanted to have both men just
like Vanessa did without warning me. And I was also upset
at myself. It bothered me that I had not told Jenny about
my suspicion. Long ago I had told myself I would never let
myself be deceived again and yet I had let it happen anyway.
Then I told myself not to be so self-critical. At a
certain level, I had known. I had simply chosen not to act
on it yet.
I felt my jealousy
creeping in, but I wasn't nearly as stupid as I used to be. I
could have picked a fight the same way I had with Rachel.
However, I knew damn well if I did that, the game was over.
The better strategy was to stay cool. I believed if we
kept talking, Jenny would change her mind. There was no
longer any doubt in my mind that she preferred me to Randy.
So I decided to
disguise my anger and jealousy. Rather than chew Jenny out
for deceiving me, I decided to explore the subject. You
never know, maybe I would face this same problem again some day.
I decided to let Jenny educate me as much as she possibly could.
"Jenny, you might be
surprised to know that I agree it is possible to care deeply for
two lovers at a time. I have never had two lovers at the
same time, but I have been on the other end of the stick.
My problems with Vanessa long ago forced me to wonder about all
the ramifications. Any time you have a triangle, the
problem arises when your two lovers discover each other,
"Yes, that is what I am worried about, Rick. Things become
unstable at that point."
"I recall being
angry at being deceived. I remember being hurt because I
didn't feel important any more. Then I felt used. I
know all about these angles because I lived this with Vanessa
back in Colorado. Vanessa wanted the same thing as you do.
You want Randy and me at the same time. Vanessa wanted
Kenny and me at the same time. The only way Vanessa could
have us both was to lie about it. There is no doubt she
would have lost one of us if either of us had known the truth.
So I have to hand it to you for having the guts to explain what
is going on. Now tell me what Randy said. If he so
clever about open relationships, then why did he force you to
I stared at Jenny
for a while while she thought about her answer. I was
curious what she would say. Personally, I believed Jenny
and Randy were playing with fire just like my friend Mark had
years ago. I could not help but remember how much trouble
my gay friend Mark had gotten into with his three-way.
Taking a huge risk, Mark had eventually lost both Jim and
Mariah. These were strange times we were living in.
Can't anybody settle down with anybody? Have the Swinging
Seventies made it impossible to be faithful to one person?
night Randy was supposed to come over to check on how our
relationship was progressing. When he walked in the
door, the first thing he did was mention your car seemed
permanently parked in front of my house. He asked how
you and I were coming along."
"Okay, what did you
"I made the
mistake of telling Randy the truth. I told him you are
practically a carbon copy of him, only younger. I said
the same things that had attracted me to him now attracted
me to you. I told him I liked your openness, your
searching attitude, and your willingness to share all your
doubts with me. I told Randy you reminded me of him
with your openness. I thought Randy would take that as
a compliment, but instead he turned white. Randy
suddenly became scared to death of losing me to you. I
never knew it before, but Randy can be insecure too.
Randy confessed he visualized you as a flashier and more
vigorous version of himself. I didn't have the heart
to tell him he was right."
Ouch. Now this
talk was hitting too close to home. I had just realized
that Jenny was probably what people refer to as a soul mate.
This woman and I clicked on some of the deepest levels
imaginable. Her brutal honesty was painful, but it was
also impressive. So far I had been brave, but now I was
weakening. I wasn't crying, but my eyes were watering at
the thought of losing her.
Some girl once told
me there is always another fish in the sea, but I wasn't so sure
there was another fish like Jenny. I doubted I would find
another woman like her for a long long time. Noting the
three-year gap between my unfulfilled crush on Katie and now
this interrupted love affair with Jenny, would it be another
three years before another special woman appeared? I
didn't want to wait that long. Right now it hurt like hell
knowing I was headed back to Heartbreak Hotel.
The words to the Lou
Rawls song popped into my head... 'you'll never find another
love like mine.' Well, Jenny already had another love
just like mine. Since I had the short end of the stick, I
was the one who would be forced to begin the lonely search
again. Well, I hadn't lost Jenny yet. Keep
"So Randy didn't
like it when you developed strong feelings for me. What
happened to Randy's free love philosophy?"
blew it to pieces. As long as Randy shared me
sexually, he could handle that. But once he found out
that I had powerful feelings for you as well, he freaked
out. I think the thing that hurt him the most was when
I pointed out you are just as smart as he is. Somehow
Randy never believed I would find someone as good or better
than him. Now he feels threatened and he is losing his
mind with jealousy. I really don't know. I just
wish I hadn't been so candid. Maybe if I had fibbed a
little I could have avoided the big showdown. But I
thought I was doing what he wanted me to do. Randy
said this experiment wasn't about sugar-coating things.
He wanted the truth. So I gave it to him and Randy
discovered he couldn't handle it."
"So if I hear you
correctly, Randy's personal Harrad Experiment is
again... that same grim, rueful chuckle.
"Yes, I think
so. Randy realized something. What he cherished
the most from me was my regard for his genius. Randy
knew that no matter how many guys I slept with, he was still
the special one. You took that away from him.
Right now, he is ridiculously jealous of you. He says
he lies awake at night visualizing me having sex with you
and laughing at your insights and clever little teases.
I think that's what bothers him the most. He worries
that you fascinate me just as much as he does. He
doesn't feel special any more and it's killing him."
I nodded. That
made sense. We all need to feel special. I remember
how Rachel took my feelings of 'special' away when she
had sex with Aaron, the Rice professor. Unfortunately,
just like Mark, Randy's risky experiment had backfired.
Triangles never work, at least not in my opinion. I was
skeptical that humans are genetically wired to share, but they
always try anyway. It must be human nature for everyone to
want their cake and eat it too. That's when they find out
the hard way that sharing leads to pain.
"Jenny, now that I
know what is going on, what if I consented to a Triangle?
What if I said that I understand this pre-existing situation and
I would become willing to share you with Randy? What would
you say to that?"
Jenny shook her head
'no' in frustration.
"Believe it or
not, I asked Randy that. I begged him to at least let
me run this option by you like we had planned. I
reminded him over and over again it was his dumb idea that
got us in this fix to begin with. How would we learn
anything if we threw in the towel at the first big hurdle?
I told Randy you were different than the other men.
Maybe you would give it a try."
"So what did he
"Randy said it
wouldn't work. It was too late to put this genie back
in the bottle. He said he had made a mistake. He
couldn't share. This Triangle was deadly. Randy
decided that keeping me in his life was more important than
his stupid experiment. Given the power of my feelings
for you and how possessive he had suddenly begun to feel,
something had to give. Randy broke down in tears and
said I had to choose between you and him. He said he
couldn't stand sharing me any longer.
Randy said that
if I chose him, he was ready to give it all up and become a
one-woman man. He said he had learned his lesson.
Randy said this situation convinced him the ancient rules
were the right path. In the long run, it is better to
have a solid one-to-one monogamous relationship. Now
he believes that deep down, humans are just not capable of
sharing someone they really really care about. Randy
said he is ready to commit to me and be monogamous."
I was absolutely
floored with Jenny's candor. I could not believe the
things she was sharing with me. I was also surprised that
Randy had reached the same conclusion about monogamy that I had.
At this point, a wave of futility washed over me. My gut
had just warned me that Jenny was unlikely to change her mind.
I was in a lot of pain now as the reality of losing Jenny was
sinking in. Throughout my conversation with Jenny, I did
not cling to any illusions. After all, I always lost the
girl in these situations... Vanessa, Rachel, Emily.
I realized I had
been in shock up till now. No wonder I didn't feel
anything. Now I hurt all over. I frowned. Oh
well, if I was going to lose this woman, at least I wanted to
know the whole story. I had the same morbid desire to get
the details from Jenny that I had with Rachel. Let's find
out why I came in second again. Tears began streaming down
my face. It took me a while to compose myself, but I
resumed my line of questioning. I wasn't going to stop
until I got every single question out of my system.
Meanwhile Jenny had covered herself with about six pillows.
I assumed she was feeling vulnerable.
"So Randy says he
can't share you anymore under any conditions? It's got to
be him or me?"
Jenny nodded yes.
"So here's another
question, Jenny, and I prefer the truth. Unless you are
just saying these things to soften the blow, I am probably the
more attractive of the two men right now, yes?"
Without a doubt."
Now I laughed that
painful laugh. This was absurd. I was the winner.
Or was I?
"Okay, help me
out here. In the animal kingdom, this is akin to the
situation where the young bull has beaten the older bull.
Typically the older bull slinks off and licks his wounds
while the young bull celebrates his mating rights.
Unless you aren't telling me something, I have won a head to
head battle. So tell me, why exactly does Randy get to
keep you and not me?"
At this point, Jenny
started to cry. I just sat there and watched. Oddly
enough, now that I was resigned to my fate, I was feeling
stronger in a weird way. I was the loser, yet strangely I
felt this woman had given me one of the finest compliments I had
ever received. This parting talk was her gift to me.
"Oh, shit, I
don't want to lose you, Rick. You are absolutely
perfect for me.
But I am also absolutely certain that I am not perfect
for you. You know I can't have any more children.
I know that someday you will leave me for a woman who will
bear you children.
You also know
that I have a young daughter that I love dearly. You
haven't met her because she is away with her father for the
summer. My daughter adores Randy. She looks at
Randy like he is her own father. No matter how
wonderful you are, I cannot bear the thought of putting her
through the pain of losing Randy.
my friends are also Randy's friends. I have an entire
social life wrapped around Randy. I have no idea how
you and your weird dance job will mesh with my life on a
full-time basis. It is thrilling when we make love,
but there's more to a relationship than sugar and spice.
I am already certain that my life with Randy will work, but
I would be taking a real gamble if I were to chose you.
My decision is
the safe one, not the bold one. You are traveling in a
much different life space than me. I know this sounds
cold, but Randy fits the place I am in right now a lot
better than you do.
Rick, my sun is
setting. I have my daughter. I have my career.
I have my painting. I have a witty, intelligent
boyfriend who is popular with everyone I know. You,
you are on the move. Your sun is rising and you have
an entire world to conquer. And I know you will.
There's something about you that will never give up.
That is just as plain as day.
Damn it, Rick,
you have given me more sweetness in the night than I ever
thought possible. I can't believe I am pushing you
away, but I have to. I will hate myself, but I am
certain this is the right choice for me."
At this point, Jenny
threw her pillows on the floor. She climbed into my arms
and bawled her head off. So did I. We just sat there
and cried our parting tears. Except that we didn't part.
Don't ask me how we
did it, but we spent the night together. As we made love,
we both cried the entire time. And I cried some more as I
walked out Jenny's door in the morning. Leaving Jenny was
tearing me to shreds. I had a curious thought as I walked
to the car. I turned to look at her one more time.
Jenny couldn't even stand up. She was leaning against the
door crying buckets. I had the strangest vision. Now
I knew how a woman feels when the man has to go off to war and
she knows full well he may never return.
Sure enough, I never
As a footnote to
this story, I never lost my fondness for Jenny. Believe it
or not, I actually agreed with her decision to keep Randy over
me. I realize it sounds crazy, but she explained her
reasons for picking him over me so well that they made sense to
me too. How crazy is that?
Yes, I felt regret.
But I never felt bitter. Jenny made me feel better about
myself. For that I was grateful. Jenny was a