I sat on the bed in my newest dress. It was purple, and I had bought it especially for him. He had seemed so distant lately, and I didn't know what was wrong. Tonight, I was going to make him the happiest man alive, and then we would talk. Seriously talk. We were engaged. Richard was the most perfect man alive. We had been in love for three years, and every day I saw something new about him. The way that he smiled, the serious but ever so handsome look on his face when he was thinking, just everything about him was perfect. And when he proposed, he had this different look in his eyes, the look of a man who's life was changed forever. I never wanted that look to go away. The night we got engaged, we had made love for the first time. It completely went against everything that I'd been taught, but we'd been in love for three years, and now we were going to be together forever. It was everything that I'd dreamt of and even more. However, now he was late for our date. He had been disappearing ever so often. Once we both graduated, that wouldn't be a problem. We'd buy a big house together, and I could host all the parties that I wanted. My friends all thought that I was insane, but I wanted a job as well. I wasn't sure what yet, but I had all the time in the world to find one, because if I didn't, Richard would support me.
Thirty minutes late, he walked into my room. "Hello, Richard."
"Sorry that I'm late," he muttered. "I had some business to attend too."
"Oh, Richard, you know that I don't care about what time you get here as long as you're here. I have some exciting news for you so come and sit down here with me and I'll tell you."
He sat on the bed, with an odd expression on his face (reluctance?) I wrapped my arms around him, and kissed him deeply. "Now that made up for your lateness. And do you know what would make up for every time you've been late?"
"This." I started to kiss him again, while caressing his back, finally all the way down to his belt buckle. As I started to undo it, he pushed me away. "Richard? What's wrong?"
"Lynn, I can't do this."
I gave him a flirty smile. "Of course you can. And you happen to do it very well." I leaned in again.
He stood up from the bed, and I felt a wave of rejection wash over me. "Richard?"
"Pennilyn, you know that I love you very much. But it's not the same anymore. Surely you've noticed that?"
"No. I still feel the same way I've always felt about you. The only difference is you. You've been less talkative, and now you won't even kiss me?"
He smoothed his shirt down. "Lynn, I can't honestly marry you the way I feel right now. We might be happy for a few years, but then what? Nothing feels right anymore. It wouldn't be fair to do that to you. You're already unhappy with the way things are."
My head was spinning, and I managed to whisper, "But, I'd be fine if you just came over here and kissed me and let me undress you and..."
"I'm only thinking of you in doing this. You need a man who loves you as much as you love him."
"You don't love me anymore?"
Richard sighed. "Pennilyn, you'll always be one of my best friends. But I can't go through with the wedding. I'm sorry."
Ladies don't scream, I told myself. Ladies just take every complication in stride and make the best out of life. I looked up at Richard, who was so far away from me, and said enough of being a lady. "You were the one who proposed to me! You wanted to get married! I never asked you to marry me. I want to love you forever, Richard, but it was your idea first."
"I'm terribly sorry for that."
"Sorry is all you can say? You'd rather be alone than be with me?"
He didn't answer, and then nodded. "You'll understand soon, Pennilyn. You'll find someone much better than me and realize that you never loved me."
"No. I will never love anyone the way I love you, Richard Gilmore. Just go. Call me if you change your mind?"
"I won't be changing my mind. I want to make this better in some way for you, Lynn. I'm really trying. I'll pay for any wedding plans that aren't refundable."
I just stared at him blankly until he turned around and walked out. I didn't know what to do, or where this was coming from? What had I done to not make him want me anymore? Was he going to cast me away just because we'd gotten intimate? No, Richard wasn't like that. Whatever it was, I would just bide my time. I would sit here and cry if necessary, but I would find out exactly why Richard left me.
Two weeks later, I found out. I was visiting a friend in Hartford, and I saw Richard. My heart started beating fast, and the pain started again. It was so hard to see him. And then my eyes traveled to the girl holding his hand. Emily Johansson. I didn't know her well; we traveled around the same circle of friends but she was always concerned with the prettiest and the smartest girls, and absolutely no one else. I didn't think that she was cold enough to do this, though. She had absolutely no heart and I couldn't believe that Richard was swept away by her. From then on, I knew that we would fight a war. And she'd probably win it. But there was only one way to deal with my pain which seemed to never go away. The only consolation was that Lorelai Gilmore called, telling me that she knew I was the perfect choice for her son and that he was an idiot.
The next summer, I received an invitation in the mail. He was getting married to that awful woman. My hands shaking, I called him, half expecting her to answer the phone. He answered, and I asked him flat out, why on earth he thought I would want to go to their wedding.
"Pennilyn, we're friends, and I want you there."
"Have you ever thought of what this would do to me? It hurts, Richard! It hurts to see you with her and I'm sorry that I can't be there for you, but maybe you deserve to be left for once."
The wedding went well. The happily married couple was lavished with gifts and they bought a house in Hartford. I was left with a broken heart. I did get the job that I wanted though, something Richard would have never let me do. I got a job in New York at an editing company, and I was at home with my books. The day I got the job, a few days after Richard had returned from his honeymoon, I got a call.
"Lynn, do you want to have lunch with me?"
And I listened to the voice, and thought, maybe I can do this. I can be friends with him. I can be strong. So I went. And it really hurt. Every year, on that same day, we went out to lunch. Emily never found out. And when, finally three years later, the pain had diminished, I found my Ben. He's perfect. He loves me. He would never leave me for the devil. But he's not Richard..