The Prelude

October 1, 2008
By Betty Hodge, Jonesboro, AR

I looked between their faces, my mind screaming, trying to select one of them. Both seemed so perfect, it drove me insane trying to favor one over the other.

Number one, his dark eyes staring intently at me, tried to smile. The one I had always wanted forever. The one I would never forget, no matter how hard I tried. Number two, his eyes searching my face, looking for some clue that he had been the chosen one. Me, not giving them any hint.

Choice one looked at me and smiled compassionately. It seemed no matter who I chose, he would always be here for me, just like he had always been. Choice two looked at me and his hands were shaking the slightest bit. He looked impatient.

I had no concept of how I could favor one over the other. To take them both seemed avaricious. They both wouldn't go for that alternative anyway, they were too competitive. Even if they did, it would always seem unusual.

I ached for both of them for various reasons. They were both so valuable in my life. If I lost one, there would always be a deep gash in my heart. But to say if I lost both, well I wouldn't even have a heart anymore. My whole heart would be shattered by the abrupt loss.

My heart couldn't take the strain of both of them, pulling at me in different directions. It was like they both had me by each arm, pulling until one of them got what they wanted. If I could have easily spilt myself in halves for them, I would have.

I would do anything for them, anything at all. If I had to keep myself away, I would. I was doing all I could in the moment. It was agonizing to have to pick from two remarkable people, who changed my life in so many ways.

One person taught me how to love, one of the most important lessons in life. Another taught me how to extricate my sadness. He taught me how to be happy again, and how to love once again.

I didn't know what I should do. I never thought that I'd have to choose. I never thought it would come down to this. I never thought my heart would break because of them. I never thought I would be here, urged to pick one. One, just one. Now even I realized that one is such a lonely number.

You can't have two loves at once. I thought everyone knew that, especially me.

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