The sudden knock at the door nearly made
jump out of her skin. Stephanie's
revelation about Reginald
still echoed in her mind and she opened the door cautiously.
Secretly, she feared Stephanie had returned for another verbal attack.
"Hi, honey, I hope you don't mind my stopping by so
late, but I really needed to see you." Reginald took
her in his arms and held her tightly. He looked down at her and
was quick to notice the vacant look in her eyes. "Jillian,
what's wrong? Y-you don't seem quite too happy to see me. If
it's too late, I can leave. I can see you tomorrow."
"That's not it." Jillian's words were
almost a mumble. She walked away from him and sat down on the
sofa. She bit her lower lip and looked up at him as she tried to
fight back tears. Seeing her emotional state, he sat beside her
and took her in his arms.
"Talk to me. Tell me what's wrong."
"I-I had a visitor tonight." She refused
to look at him. She refused to let him see how much he'd hurt her.
"S-Stephanie Lake." The name caught in her throat.
The mere thought of Stephanie began to make Jillian sick. Reginald
slowly pulled away, fearful of what was coming next.
"Why was Stephanie here?" His heart
began to beat faster. Surely she didn't tell Jillian!
"I know, Reginald." Finally she
looked at him with a mixture of tears and fire in her eyes.
"I know all about you and Stephanie! I know all about your
little affair!" Reginald pulled away and ran his fingers
through his hair as he quickly felt his life come apart at the seams.
"Jillian, I can explain!"
"No! Don't! Don't try to sweep this
under the rug! How could you be with her at the same time
you were with me? I knew! I knew something was going on
then! I saw all the signs! I knew there was someone else,
but I didn't want to believe it! I knew we weren't really that
serious then, but you led me to believe I was the only one! How?
How could you do this to me?" She began to cry and Reginald
felt his heart break. This was the exact reason he'd avoided
He looked away feeling embarrassed and foolish. How?
How could I have hurt her like this? How, when I love her so
much? "Jillian, I was scared. I was scared of
loving someone as much as I love you. I was scared of making a
commitment. As long as there was someone else, I could avoid all
of that! I was wrong. I know I was wrong. I was wrong
to betray you and I was wrong to lie to you. Stephanie Lake meant
nothing to me and means nothing to me! She is a mistake that I
wish with all my heart I could go back and change." He
watched her as she stared down at her hand and nervously twisted the
engagement ring on her finger. Tentatively he reached out and took
her hand. "Jillian, I love you and only you. You are
the one who means the most in this world to me. I don't think I
could survive if I lost you. Please...please let me make this up
to you. Please don't end what we have because I've been a fool.
Please..." She sat up straight and turned to face him.
"Are you still seeing her?" she questioned
through clinched teeth. "Are you still sleeping with
"No! No! I haven't even given her the time of
day since I told her I couldn't see her anymore! I told her you
were the only woman I could ever love. I told her I wanted
a life with you. S-she didn't like it at all, but I told her.
She wanted me to be with her, not you. I told her I could never
love her. She and I were over a long time ago. I still
remember the night I told her I didn't want to see her anymore. It
was the night..."
"The night of the fall formal." She
finished his sentence with ease. He's eyes widened with shock.
"Put your eyes back in your head. I'm not stupid. I
told you I knew something was going on. I knew you'd been seeing
someone else. I just didn't know who. I just didn't want to
believe it." Her attitude slowly began to soften. She
gazed deeply into his eyes and carefully stroked his cheek.
"That was the same night you told me you loved me for the first
time. It was when you told me you wanted to be only with me."
"P-please forgive me." Reginald began to
feel his eyes water as he fought back tears. "I-I love you.
I wanted to tell you the truth so many times. I didn't want
there to be secrets between us. I was just so scared of hurting
you and losing you. Please forgive me."
"I forgive you." she finally murmured and fell
into his arms. "Oh, Reginald, I love you. I still
want to marry you. I believe you when you say she didn't mean
anything to you. I believe you when you say you're sorry."
She pulled away from him again as the fire returned to her eyes.
"But if you ever, ever lie to me again...if you ever
betray me again...if I ever find out that this thing between you
and Stephanie Lake is not over...we are finished! No excuses and
no exceptions! I don't even want you to be in the same room as
her!" She crossed her arms over her chest and glared at him.
"Never! Never will I make that mistake again.
I love you." He pulled her into his arms and they
kissed passionately. Reginald heaved a sigh of relief that their
love had managed to weather this storm. Privately, he feared that
the worst was yet to come. He knew hurricane Stephanie had only
just begun to brew up trouble.