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The Break Up
We sat in his 1973 Ford Pickup Truck talking for about a half hour in my driveway when he brought it up for the very first time.
He took my hand, and looked me straight in the eyes, "Lynn, I love you more than anything on this Earth."
I smiled warmly. I felt special to hear those words spoken to me for the very first time from his lips.
"I love you too, Paul." I closed my eyes and kissed his hand which held mine. Danny crossed my mind, even though I knew I meant what I had just said.
"Lynn," Paul started slowly. He was looking at his steering wheel, "I know we're still young...but I have a very important question I'd like to ask you."
I squeezed his hand, "Anything Paul, go ahead." I didn't have the slightest clue of what was about to leave his mouth.
"Lynn...Will you marry me?" Paul asked queitly, barely a whisper.
My heart almost exploded from my chest in shock. What was I supposed to do? Say, "I love you, I really do, but I might love Danny as well, I don't know if I should be with you or him, and this isn't making much since...it's never happened before, I'm so sorry?"
"We're still in high school...isn't that like...illegal?" I asked, afraid of hurting his feelings.
"It's illegal to be married before you are 18, but it is not illegal to be engaged. We can be engaged and get married the day you turn 18 if you wanted..."
"I wouldn't want to get married on my birthday..."
"I was just saying," He said, and after a moment he added,"Well, what do you think?"
I don't know. I don't know what I want. This dug down deep into my heart and soul, and I didn't know what to say without breaking his heart.
"We've only been together for a couple monehts, Paul. I don't know...that's a lot of commitment."
"Tomorrow will be six months. You are already commited to me. It'd just be finalizing it with a ring."
"I don't want a ring!" I shouted, "What will I tell my parents? 'Hey mom, Guess what?! Paul asked me to marry him! I know we're only 17, but we really do love each other! Look at this ring, isn't it gorgeous?!"
Paul thought for a minute, "You could be my fiance unoffically..." He asked it like it was a question.
"I'm sorry Paul," I said after a minute, "I'm just not ready to be engaged."
"What's stopping you?" He challenged.
I looked at him, and when his eyes met mine, my words weren't coming out right, I was shouting things as they popped into my head, "Everything! I'm only seventeen! I'm not supposed to be engaged! People would think I'm insane! My grandma would begin to wonder what I was doing with you to be engaged this ear-"
"Danny would be pretty upset, wouldn't he?" Paul casually added.
I stopped in my tracks. Time stopped. Literally froze in place. My face instantly swelled up with tears, "What?" I asked, unsure of what was going on.
"When I picked you up from school the other day, I saw you two talking. You can tell by the way he looks at you that he's in love with you. The thing is, you are in love with him too."
"Paul, no..." My tears ran down my cheeks, out of hiding, "I love you, Paul. I really do!"
"I know you do, Lynn. It's normal not to know who you truly love sometimes. But if you love Danny, and he's the one for you, I don't want to get in his way, I don't want to see you upset."
"Wait...you aren't mad?"
"No," Paul reassured me, "I mean I might be a little upset that my girlfriend is not only in love with me, but with another guy, but I couldn't be mad at you. We can't control how we feel sometimes. I want you to make your own decision and be happy with it. Don't worry about what everyone thinks. If we end up together in the end, then I'm glad. But if not, then it wasn't meant to be. Sure, it'd be hell to lose you, but if Danny was made for you and you were made for him, then there must be someone else out there for me. I just don't want you to be miserable with me."
"I'm not miserable when I'm with you..." I choked out.
"I know you're not. But what about in a month...or two? If you don't have a relationship with Danny, you'll never know if he's the one. You'll never know how happy you could be with him."
"...so you are breaking up with me?" I asked.
Paul squeezed my hand, "Something like that. But if you and Danny don't work out, we can date again?"
He kissed my hand, "Are you okay?"
I looked him in the eyes, and only honesty could come out, "I...I don't know."