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The Dilemma
Two Women – One Ring

by Carl Gitland

It had been a tiring drive from the airport to my apartment because I had allowed non-stop thinking to completely exhaust me mentally. I had a problem and the need to solve it was pressing heavily on my mind.  Angela, the woman beside me had gone with me to Jamaica and it was pleasant being with her.  But I had not enjoyed her this time like I usually did.  She loved me and everything to her was beautiful and awe-inspiring.  But it was Karen, the woman I loved, who had occupied my mind on what seemed like a long drive home.  I had lied to get away with Angela and I had lied to get back home to Karen.  They were both beautiful women who each brought something different to the table.

The night following the Jamaica trip was spent in almost total seclusion and non-stop introspection.  It was time for a change and a need to do things differently, but I was confused. Most women I knew seemed to almost expect a man to have more than one woman though they wished it were different.  And I’d had that and more since college.

I thought of Ron, my oldest friend, and how he’d been married to the same woman for ten years and had never stopped seeing his old college love, Diana.  I thought of all my friends and their semi-commitments to more than one woman and suddenly I wanted out of the circle of deceit.

I pictured Karen and the kind way she looked at me whenever I lied about where I was going or where I’d been.  She was different from Angela in that she was content with her station in life, and not always in search of the unknown.  She was total without need for adventure or the company of others.  Walking in the park, watching an old movie, or sitting on a beach laughing and talking all amounted to a “wonderful” time for her.  Karen was there for me and did what she thought would please me, but never if it made her unhappy or uncomfortable.

Now, I was coming to the realization that I wanted to share my life and existence with one woman; in the most intimate way.  My inner turmoil was fastened to the question; do I cling hopefully forever to the woman I unquestionably love or do I hang possibly forever, to the woman who unquestionably loves me?

However, the more I thought, the more I realized, that having an unquenchable love for someone was better than someone having an unquenchable love for you.  The next day I went out and bought a ring.  The following week, I informed Angela that I couldn’t see her anymore because my feelings and commitment level were no match for hers.

She cried uncontrollably, as I backed out of her driveway.  Later that evening, I asked Karen to be my wife, in a dark corner of a very expensive restaurant after I presented her with a 2 ½ carat diamond ring.  She looked at me with a very benign smile and paused long before she spoke.  “Carl, I love you, but my feelings don’t match those that coincide with marriage.  I’m happy with things the way they are.  You have your space and I have mine.  I’m sorry, but I don’t want things to change.”

My heart was broken, but I stiffened my lip and took my ring back.  I never saw Karen again, as I resumed my relationship with Angela, and my search for the woman to give the ring to continues.

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