Word Count 462
THREE’S A CROWD
By Nan Ressue
While I always considered the face which looked back at me in the mirror to be quite ordinary, I had a friend who was breathtakingly beautiful from the beginning. The boys discovered her when she was inappropriately young. Small gifts left on her desk, unfamiliar young boys walking by her house, a bouquet of wildflowers tucked into her bicycle basket.
Several years later, the attention had intensified, turning into love letters, young men circling the block in freshly simonized junk cars, telephone calls at inappropriate times, multiple invitations to the prom, wolf whistles and provocative invitations on shopping trips and family vacations,. And now, the ultimate agonizing choice has been offered; two men have proposed simultaneously and are impatiently waiting for her to make a choice. And so, as women will do, she and I conducted lengthy analytical conversations. Or rather, she analyzed while I listened.
“I’ll tell you one thing I know they have in common,” she declared. “They know more about themselves than they know about me.”
“Little did they know about what made her laugh or cry, or even angry or frustrated as I do”, I told myself silently.
Then, as if counseling herself she mused, “James is tall, muscular, and aggressive when necessary, gentle in sensitive situations; a kind, intelligent man but having obvious shades of vanity.” She looked at me expecting a comment but I gave her none.
“Michael is a picture of Adonis manhood, capable, caring, compassionate, talented and hardworking, but maybe just a little bit too steady with no sense of adventure. Still no comment from her best friend.
“You probably won’t approve of what I’ve decided to do but I think it is the best way to quickly solve the problem. I’ve decided to have them both come over at the same time”, she stated with a firmness that was a surprise even to me.
“Well, this ought to be interesting” I said to myself. “Will they shake hands? Have a fist fight? Attack her physically? Yell, threaten, or insult each other? Or all of the above? I came out on the porch and stood beside her, looking down on these handsome men.
My friend turned to me and asked,” Would you help me decide what to do?” The next chapter in my life depended on this decision. Turning and looking at each other, we both realized with a flash of insight that that there were three choices instead of two.
Uttering no words, I turned her towards me, took her face between my palms and kissed her eyelashes, now damp with tears. Holding her in my arms, I looked down into their astonished faces and declared with a victorious smile, “I guess you guys have got your answer. Maybe we’ll see you around sometime”