Stephanie, I could always invite you
to stop by the office one day after school and I might just happen to bump into Reginald..."
Annabelle continued to go on about getting her daughter
to pursue the dashing Callison heir.
"Annabelle, if Stephanie wanted to go after
Reginald, she would already have done it." Sara spoke up.
"Sara, dear, Stephanie has lots of womanly
skills that are just going to waste on these little boys in her class.
They are so beneath her. She needs to set her sights higher. You
would be wise to do the same, young lady."
"I have a boyfriend." Sara stated
firmly as she clinched her teeth. "Dane is going to go to law
school. I'm going to be a lawyers wife, someday. I don't need nor
want another man."
"Well, alright, whatever...."
Stephanie only half listened to their exchange as
her thoughts drifted off. All of her mother's talk about Reginald had
forced her to remember things from the past...things she had so tried to forget.
So you're planning on seeing me and
both? she'd asked on more than one occasion. I thought you
were just saying how much you loved her.
I do! Reginald had replied. I
just can't let myself get too involved. I'm not ready for all that a
serious relationship requires. You can keep me from getting too involved,
Stephanie. You're the one who can remind me that I'm way too young
to think about settling down.
Oh, how his words still rang in her ears.
Sure, she'd been a fool to believe that he could continue to see both of them at
the same time. She'd been an even bigger fool to fall in love with
him. She'd know all along that he would never leave Jillian. He
called her "the greatest love of his life". Stephanie had only
been a pleasant diversion. But it felt like more than that when they'd
made love. What a fool she'd been to get caught up in the moment.
Then it was over.
Why can't we still see each other? She'd
cried on his shoulder. You can still be with her. I just want
a part of your heart. There's room enough for both of us.
Stephanie, I can't. I realize now
that I was wrong. I love Jillian too much to even consider betraying her
again like I've already done so many times. Besides, it's not fair to
you. You are so special, Stephanie. You deserve someone who can love
you with his entire heart without reservation. I can't do that. I
care about you so much, but I love Jillian. That will never change.
Maybe if circumstance were different. Maybe if Jillian and I weren't
together. There are lots of maybes, Stephanie. All I know is what's
real right now, and what's real is me and Jillian. And with those words,
Reginald left her to cry herself to sleep. That had been some time
ago. Since then, Stephanie had tried to force herself to forget about
him. She would almost succeed, but then she'd read his name in the
masthead of the newspaper or her mother would tell her how perfect they would be
"Stephanie! Are you even listening to
a word I'm saying?" Annabelle's voice invaded her thoughts and
brought her back to the present. "Are you going to take my advice and
go after Reginald or not? You know as well as I do that Jillian Stokes
can't even hold a candle to you."
Stephanie paused for a moment and looked at her
mother. She remembered, once again, the beautiful times that she'd shared
with Reginald. Slowly, she straightened her shoulders and flipped her hair
behind her ear. "Yes, Mother, I'll do it. You're
right." She lifted her glass slowly to take a sip.
"Reginald is the perfect man for me and I want him for my own.
Jillian doesn't stand a chance."