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Part of the Short Stories Series.

Did You Love Him? -- 05/28/10

Two middle aged women, friends for many years, sat in the park by the famous river falls in the western state where they resided. Of the many topics discussed over the years, little did one of the women reveal about her past before she came to their small city. Now today, the reserved woman opened up to her past a little.

The reserved woman was known in her community. She volunteered in a number of ways. She was considered to be a strong woman. This was the exterior she wanted to display. Only she knew that inside she was still insecure about certain aspects of her life.

This particular day she mentioned that she had many relationships before her long lasting marriage. She started out at a young age for a variety of the usual reasons teenage girls become adventurous. As time went by and she matured in the physical sense, if not the emotional and mental sense. This was the story she wanted to impart to her close friend. She felt she had to tell somebody. The following dialog occurred:

So did you realize what you were doing?
Most of the time, yes. I found it exciting at first, then routine. Manipulating guys was an exercise in learning how to control them. They rarely got to me. I resisted becoming under their control. I always wanted to be in charge.

You say rarely. So there were times when the relationship became more than you bargained for?
My first love was a very foolish experience. He was several years older than I was. He took advantage of my situation and led me to believe he really loved me.

What happened?
He went away for a short time. While he was gone I fell in love with another young man, closer to my age. We shared a lot together. I was his first love. I became confused over which of these two men I loved, loved me more, and which one did I love more.

What did you decide?
I tried the ultimate test on them. One complied and one didn't. It wasn't a very wise way to decide. The outcome was disastrous. I spent a great many years trying to recover from the many omissions of my youth.

So your first two love relationships didn't turn out as you expected?
No. Again, I thought I was in control. I found out none of us were in control. It's not about control. I was forced to rethink what love really was. I needed love. I needed a relationship. I had a few more encounters with men and even married a man for a short time.

I knew you were married once before. You never spoke of it so I know you wanted to forget that it happened. Yet, you still decided to give marriage another try, why?
I finally learned enough lessons in life. Some I had learned years before with my second love, but refused to let go of that "being in control" nature I maintained back then.

It's sounds like you spent some time later in life thinking about that relationship. Do you feel you really loved him?

...

The conversation that followed was very informative. It was one of the special conversations between close friends that happen in life. We all know how wonderful those exchanges can be between those we instinctively trust with our inner secrets.

Think of your own life and the lessons learned. Share when you have the need to participate.

Don


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