Pamela took a deep breath and sighed rather dejectedly.
"What happened between us, Jeremy? What went wrong?"
Confused, I tilted my head at her. "What do you mean?"
"You and I were as hot of an item as any two people could
possibly be during my first couple of days on the island,"
Pamela began. "I remember the way that you talked to me...
the way that you treated me. You made me feel so special,
Jeremy. For those few days, at least, I was on cloud nine.
I was never happier in my whole, entire life. Like, ever."
"I know that the circumstances are very different now," I
told her. "But the opportunity for you to feel that way once
again is still there, sweetheart. It always has been. And
it always will be. You do know that, right?"
She shook her head at me. "Once I thought everything was
perfect between you and I, you and Devon were suddenly a hot
item. I see you spending so much time with her, and I wonder
to myself why you are not spending it with me instead. What
did I do wrong? DID I do anything wrong? Did I do anything
to make you like me less? I don't think I did."
Pamela shook her head yet again. "Do you remember our
first time alone together, Jeremy? It was in the library.
Remember? It was AMAZING. I was ready to marry you right
then and there, and run off with you into the wild blue
yonder. I was already that much in love. I never felt so
strong about someone, so fast. I was under the impression
you felt the same way about me, but apparently you didn't."
"First I was competing with Devon," she continued. "That
was hard enough. But then, all of a sudden and totally out
of the blue, you are engaged to Kristanna." Pamela laughed,
then tossed both hands in the air and gave me an exaggerated
look. "I mean... really? I know Kristanna is your friend
and all. I do. But you want to marry her now instead?"
Clearly agitated, Pamela shrugged her shoulders and asked,
"What did I do wrong along the way? What happened to what
you and I were building together those first few days?"
"What are you talking about?" was my only response. I
was a bit confused (not to mention perplexed) as to where
Pamela was going with this long diatribe of hers.
"US!" she exclaimed. "You say that you care about me.
You want to be with me. You make references to commitment
and marriage with me. Then, you are chasing after Devon.
I find myself competing with her for your attention. Then
two weeks later, you and Kristanna are suddenly engaged and,
not only that, but Devon is getting involved too and she will
ultimately make it a three-way marriage. Did I do something
wrong, Jeremy, to make you lose sight of me the way you did?"
Now, Pamela was very upset. "Because if I did, I sure as
HELL would like to know what it was."
"You did nothing wrong," I answered, my voice hollow.
"It was hard enough to have to compete with Devon for your
attention at the beginning," Pamela frowned. "It was even
harder with Kristanna constantly in your ear, telling you how
sweet and wonderful Devon is, and how she is such a perfect
fit for you. But now? NOW? There is no way I could compete
with them both. I think I have a lot to offer, but I'm just
one person. I cannot compete with both of them. It shows,
too. You have all but left me behind, in the dust."
"Who said you had to compete?" I asked her, feeling hurt
and distressed. I never thought I would have a discussion
such as this with Pamela. "You've been offered an equal spot
in the relationship. Kristanna, Devon, myself... we all
want you to stay here for the long haul, and be a part of
our lives. We want you to be a permanent fixture."
"I know about the theme of your island, Jeremy." Now,
Pamela was seething. "I told you from the very beginning
that I had no problem with you spending time with the other
girls. I was not going to become jealous at all, even though
I wanted to pursue a monogamous, one-on-one relationship with
you. But come on, Jeremy! You tell me that you want to be
with me... care about me. But the next thing I know, you've
got your head shoved up Devon's ass and you're following her
around like a lost puppy." My eyes narrowed in displeasure
at that comment as she continued, "And THEN... oh yes... the
Norwegian princess, Kristanna, finally tells you of her true
feelings - AND her fake accent, I must remind you - and all
is well in the world of Jeremy. You've found your SOUL-MATE!"
"I'm not quite sure what you're trying to tell me."
Pamela folded her arms and glared at me. "Got a wedding
date picked out yet?"
"No, not yet..."
"Kristanna had this whole thing planned ALL ALONG," Pamela
sniped. "Her favorite girl was Devon. Kristanna fell in
love with Devon from the very outset. She made sure that
you fell in love with Devon too - even if it meant kicking
me to the curb in the process. Then, Kristanna saw her
opportunity and she pounced on it like a hungry lion. She
snapped you up, Jeremy. Now instead of a wife - which is
all you've ever really wanted, remember - you get to have
TWO. And Kristanna gets what she wanted all along, which is
to be married to you with some pussy on the side."
"You make Krissy out to be all vindictive and cunning,"
I shot back, upset myself. "Both you and I know that isn't
true, Pamela." Some pussy on the side? That was how Pamela
thought Kristanna viewed Devon? Did she not realize just
how much Kristanna and Devon were in love with each other?
All she had to do was watch them interact for five minutes.
Not only was it pure magic, but it was also true love.
"The circumstances were unique, I agree, but nothing
Krissy did was cold or calculated," I added, continuing to
defend my fiancee. "Things just sort of happened a certain
way, and we find ourselves here today. But I... I don't...
I don't understand. You. We want YOU to be part of the
relationship, Pamela. We want you to be part of our lives.
_I_ want you to be a part..."
"I may sound bitter and jealous, but I'm not," Pamela
told me. "I'm really not. Nor am I saying one bad word
about Kristanna... or even Devon, for that matter. You
may think I am, but I am not. I have nothing against them
as people. They did... they did what they had to do... to
win your affection. It took two of them, though, to beat me
out." Pamela took a deep breath and then proclaimed, "What I
am ultimately saying, however, is that I do not want to be a
part of the little harem that you want to develop."
"Harem?" I was dumbfounded now. "HUH?"
"What happened to us, Jeremy?" she reiterated. "You and I
were supposed to be together. The lonely recluse who has
spent two decades in hiding, and the equally lonely stripper
who lost her faith in the rest of humanity long ago. We were
supposed to come together, Jeremy, and make each other happy.
We were supposed to pick each other up, dust each other off,
and then ride off into the sunset together. We were supposed
to have babies and grow old together. It was our destiny.
So, what happened? Why did our relationship fail?"
"It is still there if you want it, Pamela."
"With Kristanna and Devon involved, too?" she huffed.
"If we could work everything out and the four of us were
in agreement about everything... yes," I answered. "But it
seems as if you have some sort of vendetta against Krissy
and Devon. So, right now, I doubt things would work out."
"I do not have a vendetta against them," Pamela insisted.
"Both of them are really nice, good girls. They are real
sweethearts. I just... I don't look at them the way you do,
Jeremy. They are beautiful girls and yes, I admit, there is
a physical attraction for me there. I would be lying if I
said there wasn't. But I have no emotional attraction toward
either of them. I do not want to settle into a relationship
where there is no emotional attachment. Plus, I just do not
believe in the idea of three- or four-way relationships. A
girl would have to be really special for me to even consider
such a thing. I don't view Kristanna or Devon as special.
In fact, the ONLY girl that I could myself sharing you with
in a long-term relationship is Amy."
"Amy?" I countered, surprised.
"Yes... Amy," Pamela confirmed. "Amy has been my friend
and had my back since day one. I trust her."
"You care about me, and I care about you," were my words.
"Give it some time, Pamela. Give it time. It might take a
few weeks, maybe a month or two, or maybe even a year. But
give it some time. I think you could start to develop those
feelings and emotions that you speak of, and fall in love
with both Krissy and Devon. I really do."
"That is just IT though, Jeremy!" the 30-year-old snapped
back. "See, you DO NOT understand! I DO NOT WANT to fall in
love with them. The way I look at it, Kristanna and Devon
both stole the man that I love right from underneath my nose.
They plucked him away and ran off like two thieves in the
middle of the night!" Her face suddenly awash with an
onslaught of tears, Pamela used the back of her hand to wipe
some of the excess away. "Ca-Can't you see th-that?"
Ever have the feeling that someone just jammed a knife
straight through your heart? Not only that, but it seemed
that after hearing those words, I got punched in the gut,
too. I was not prepared for that.
"I w-would never kick you t-to the curb," Pamela quaked,
now sobbing. "I l-love you, Jeremy. I would never d-d-do
anything to hurt you. B-But you... you... just tossed me
aside like yesterday's garbage." I made a move to reach out
and grasp her shoulders, but Pamela suddenly recoiled back
in a violent manner and roared, "DON'T TOUCH ME!"
My hands frozen in mid-air, I was in a total state of
shock as I simply stared at Pamela.
It was still Saturday. Amy and I had returned from the
mainland (and her trip to the doctor) several hours ago, and
the time was approximately 9:30pm. I came across Pamela in
the central room, which was located in the underground
portion of the mansion, and began talking to her. It was
casual and friendly at first, but one topic led to another,
and our discussion eventually morphed into where it was now.
I had kept my distance from Pamela in recent days. She
had done the same for me. I figured it would be best to
allow her to sort through her feelings and emotions with all
of the many things that had been going on as of late.
I had been quite hopeful, of course, that Pamela would
accept my offer of entering into a relationship with not
only myself, but Kristanna and Devon as well. The absolute
last thing that I wanted was for her to return to Maryland
and go right back to working at the strip club. Plain and
simple, it was beneath her. She was better than that.
Unfortunately, however, I had the inkling that if she
declined the offer - which apparently was the case - Pamela
would indeed return to exotic dancing. She would go right
back into that black hole, and thus, probably never find her
way out. If nothing else, I had to do whatever I could to
make sure that did not happen.
"I freely admit that I look very bad in hooking up with
first Devon and then Kristanna, and eventually both, after
all of the things I told you during your first few days here,"
were my words for Pamela. I needed to make this speech count.
"Kristanna and I... we had some extraordinary circumstances
that led us to where we are now in terms of our relationship.
Kristanna has been in my life for four years. She is my best
friend. I did not realize... just how much Krissy meant to
me until that night you caught me in the voyeur room, Pamela.
I don't know... maybe Krissy saved my life that night. I
was so upset and distraught, but she... she calmed me down."
"I have never lied to you," I added, not allowing Pamela
to get a word in quite yet. "Nor did I kick you to the curb.
All of the times I told you that I care about you and want to
be with you - the times that I said I love you - nothing has
changed. Nothing at all. It would crush me, Pamela, if I
lose you. I DO NOT want to lose you. I want you to be here
with us. I want you to be happy. I want you to spend the
rest of your life with us... WITH ME."
Now, Pamela appeared as if she was ready to cry yet again.
"Then how come you go to bed with Kristanna and Devon every
night now instead of me? Tell me that!"
"Because I love Kristanna and Devon," I replied. "But
certainly, that does not mean I don't love you. I do love
you, Pamela. I want Kristanna in my life. I want to devote
myself to her. I love Devon. I want to devote myself to
her. But I would also like to have YOU in my life. If
things were different, I would like for Trish to be in my
life as well. Lindsay, Amy too. If things were different
and all was right, I'd want all of you to stay. All of you
except Camille, that is."
Now Pamela was angry again. "You want a HAREM!"
I shook my head at her. "No, I don't want a harem. I
want to give all of you girls - you, Kristanna, Devon, Trish,
Lindsay and Amy - the absolute best life possible. I fully
believe that all of you would be happier with me than anyone
else - or anywhere else - in the whole, wide world. Why?
Because I would see to it that all of you are treated the
way you should be treated - as angels."
"From the time I wake up in the morning until the time I
go to sleep at night, my goal in life would be to see that
all of you girls here are happy. This is my island,
Pamela... my home. I brought all of you here. I feel
responsible for all of you. I cannot, in good conscience,
feel good about some of you returning to the lives that you
lead back home. Devon, Amy, yourself... all come to mind.
The three of you, specifically... I KNOW I can make you all
a million times more happy with me than without me."
Pamela almost laughed at me. "Do you honestly believe
that you could take care of and satisfy six women?"
"I seem to be doing a pretty good job of it thus far."
"Why not throw Camille in there and just make it seven?"
"I don't like Camille."
Pamela placed both hands on her hips and snapped, "I was
under the impression that you brought all of us here to find
your future wife!"
"Now you want SIX wives?"
I chuckled. "I fully realize that not all six of you are
going to stay with me. Kristanna and Devon are going to
stay. That is the plan, anyway. I have a sneaking suspicion
that Trish is strongly considering the idea of asking us if
she can stay on the island. How would Trish fit into things
long-term, though? Would she get along with Kristanna and
Devon? Lindsay is too young to even think about any sort of
a commitment. She is not interested in one, either. Amy? I
don't know about Amy. Amy needs to get her life in order -
get herself WELL - and think about what she truly wants."
"So you want FOUR wives, then? You gonna have a big
wedding ceremony for you and Trish, too? Or maybe you can
just have one big wedding for everyone, and walk all of the
girls down the aisle and marry them one by one!"
"I never said anything about marrying Trish..."
"I'm sure that is what you want, though!"
I chuckled yet again. "Pamela, I want what is best for
you. But even more importantly than that, I want what makes
YOU happy - as an individual. From everything you have told
me since you came here to visit, you are not happy in life.
You've been a stripper for 11 years. You want out, but
there is no place to go because no job will pay you anywhere
close to what you earn now. You do not want to go back to
being the french fry girl at _McDonald's_ like you were in
high school. That is not a job for a smart and beautiful
30-year-old woman such as yourself. Plus, you are lonely,
and you are depressed. Being a stripper has ruined your
outlook on people and how they perceive you." I swung my
hand out and added, "All of that is in the past now. I do
not look at you as a stripper. I look at you the same way I
do Kristanna and Devon - as angels. Give me a chance, and I
will do everything in my power to see to it that you are
happy and taken care of in life - in every facet."
Pamela slumped her shoulders. "With Kristanna and Devon
too? You want all of us to be a family, right? Everything
you just said to me sounds wonderful, Jeremy. Everything,
that is, except the fact that I would have to share you with
two other women - if not more. That's not right."
"What is the one thing you want more than anything else
in life, Pamela? What is the one thing you have always
dreamed about having? True, unconditional love. Total love.
Knock-down, drag-out, break-down-the-walls type of love.
You want to be loved for the person that is inside you. Not
because of the way you look, or because you can dance and
gyrate like no ones' business when music starts playing.
You want to be loved for the person that is inside of you."
"Yes, I do..." she gently murmured.
"I can do that, Pamela. I DO love you. I love you for
WHO you are... not WHAT you are."
"What can I give you, Pamela? I can give you all the
love and compassion that you could ever handle. I would
treat you the same, exact way that I treat Kristanna and
Devon. You would be a princess to me. An angel. I would
do whatever it took to make you happy."
I paused for a brief moment and then added, "What CAN'T
I give to you? What CAN'T I provide you with? I cannot
give you a one-on-one relationship. Things are different
now because of how Krissy and Devon have both stepped into
my life. But a one-on-one relationship is it. That is the
only thing that I cannot you. Everything else, though..."
"But think about it, dear. Think about it. Say if we
had a typical one-on-one relationship... I wouldn't love
you anymore than I do now. I would not want to be with you
anymore than I do now. I could make you so happy if you
just give me the chance. But Kristanna and Devon have to be
included, too. More importantly, you have to care about
them and they have to care about you. Everyone has to be in
agreement. I'm not asking you to marry me, Pamela, or marry
us. All I'm really asking for is a chance. You have two
more weeks on the island. Get to know Kristanna. Get to
know Devon. All of us could be really happy together. I
would not say this to you if I did not think it was true."
Pamela shook her head. "This is insane..."
"I can't lay it out to you any simpler than this. Give
us a chance, dear. Let me love you. Let me treat you the
way that you DESERVE to be treated. Let me put a smile on
your face, and make sure it stays there EVERY SINGLE DAY
from now until the end of eternity. All of your problems
would be in the past, and they'd STAY in the past."
"At the very least, give it a chance. Please. Kristanna
would not have any problems accepting you into our lives -
provided you hold no grudge or vendetta against her, and you
are willing to get to know her, and love her. Devon is about
the sweetest, most easy-going girl I have ever met. She
would have no problem accepting you into our lives, either.
Devon is so friendly and gracious, she could probably fall
in love with just about anyone. Just a chance, Pamela.
Please. I want the opportunity to make you happy. Please!"
"You make it sound all so nice and wonderful," Pamela
offered, her body shivering as she curled both arms across
her chest. "But... but I just... I just don't know."
"What is there not to know?"
"What?" Pamela retorted, her nerves wavering. "Because I
still cannot get past the thought that I would only be able
to spend one-third the time that a normal wife does with her
husband. One-on-one time, I mean. It doesn't seem right!"
"That is the one thing I cannot give you... yes," I told
her. "But I could give you everything else that you have
ever dreamed of having in your life. And so much more. All
of the things I have said to you in the past... nothing has
changed. I never once lied to you. I'm offering you the
ultimate opportunity to change your life, Pamela, and make
it better. A chance to be happy. That is all you have ever
wanted in life - to be happy. I could make you happy. I am
offering you the chance to be loved... to be cherished."
"This is INSANE!"
"Take all the time you want to decide, dear."
"Marriages are not supposed to have three or four people
in them!" she exclaimed. "Relationships aren't, either!"
I patted my chest and told her, "I got a lot of love in
this heart of mine. I could love you, Pamela, as well as
Kristanna and Devon all at the same time, and treat you all
like the princesses that you are."
"I'm not a princess, Jeremy," Pamela said, breaking up a
bit as she shook her head. "I'm a stripper..."
"You're a princess who is stuck in a bad job," I corrected
her. "You know what, Pamela? You don't have to accept my
offer of staying with us. I just want you to do what makes
you happy. But, guess what? If you decide to return to
Maryland... you're worried about finding a job as a teacher
in the future because of your current profession. You told
me last week, sweetheart, that you have went to college to
get your teaching degree for so many years. But you worry
that no school would hire you if they learn you were once a
stripper - no matter how qualified you are."
"What I will do - IF you choose to go back to Maryland -
is I will have a private school built in whatever town you
want. I will own it, and whomever I hire to manage and
operate it, I will make sure that he or she hires YOU and
keeps YOU as an employee. Provided, of course, that you
finish college and get your teaching degree."
"That's crazy, Jeremy!" she protested. "Open up a private
school just so I can teach at it? Think of the cost!"
"What's crazy about it?" I asked, shrugging my shoulders.
"Don't worry, I can afford it. I want to see your dreams
come true, Pamela - whatever you choose to do. You can stay
with us on the island, as I said, or you can go home, and I
will personally see to it that you become a teacher. You
will not have to worry about hiding your past from potential
employers. There is no way I am letting you go back to that
strip club. You're going to be happy, Pamela. One way or
another, you are going to be happy. I will see to it."
"Oh God..." Pamela moaned, a myriad of emotions suddenly
overcoming her face. I am quite certain that no man - or
woman, for that matter - had ever spoken to her this way.
No one ever wanted to give this much effort in making Pamela
happy. I could see it in her stunned expression.
"You made my dreams come true, Pamela, by taking time out
of your life to spend it with me here on this island. You
and all of the other girls made my dreams come true. Now, I
am going to do my best to return the favor. For not only
you, but everyone else, too - Krissy, Devon, Trish, Lindsay
and Amy. And yes, even Camille. Even Camille..."
I reached out and tightly grasped Pamela's left hand with
my right, and looked into her tear-stained eyes. This time,
she did not resist. "Remember what I said, sweetheart -
whatever makes you happy. I WANT you to stay and be a part
of my life. Our lives. I know, as I said, that Kristanna
would welcome you with open arms. I see no reason why Devon
wouldn't either - again, providing you are open to the idea
of this type of relationship. We could make you so happy if
you give us the chance, Pamela."
"Or, if this life really, truly isn't for you, you can go
back home to Maryland. But if you go home, you're going to
finish your degree and you're going to become a teacher.
That is what you have always dreamed of, Pamela, at least
professionally. You will never need to worry about your
boss digging into your background and finding out that you
were once a stripper. _I_ will be your boss, and you will
have a job as a teacher for as long as you so desire."
As she stood in front of me, it took all of Pamela's
willpower _not_ to totally break down and cry. I could see
it in her face. She was fighting the urge to just lose it.
Even so, Pamela was a wreck right now. She was an absolute
train wreck. My little speech had torn and twisted her
emotions in so many different ways.
"Please don't blame Kristanna or Devon for anything," I
quietly told her. "Neither of them ever meant to hurt you,
or upset you. If you want to blame someone, Pamela, blame
ME. _I_ am the one who told you all those things at the
beginning... and did not follow through like I should have.
I want to make it right, though." I let out a long, audible
sigh and then murmured, "Please sweetheart, I beg of you...
allow me the opportunity to make things right. Allow me the
opportunity to love you, and give you what you deserve."
Defiant, Pamela shook her head. "I am very sorry, Jeremy,
but I need some time to myself." And with that, the
30-year-old turned and literally ran up the staircase that
led to the main floor of the estate as if she was on fire.
Pamela was gone in the blink of an eye.
Just then, my tablet buzzed. I had a new text message
from Kristanna. "We need to talk. I'm in the voyeur room."
"Oh great..." I said out loud, quickly realizing that
Kristanna must have eavesdropped on my conversation with
Pamela from the voyeur room and had been witness to some
not-so-flattering remarks that were made about her.
* * *
"Yes, I did," Kristanna admitted to me, perhaps 20 minutes
later, as she and I sat together in front of the control
panel in the voyeur room. "I fell head-over-heels for Devvy
right away. I also saw the chemistry she had with you,
Jeremy. My long-term goal was for you and Devvy to get
married, then I was going to ask to stay and basically be the
third wheel in the relationship. So yes, Pamela is right - I
had things planned out beforehand. I admit that."
"What I did not have planned out," Kristanna continued,
"and what totally caught me by surprise, is that suddenly _I_
am the focal point of your life. You and I have been friends
for so long, Jeremy, and I always thought you were totally
incapable of looking at me as anything more than that. I
thought that getting close with Devvy, while you and her
build a seperate relationship of your own, was my best chance
of ultimately becoming intimate and long-term with you."
Frustrated, I shook my head at Kristanna and even let out
a tiny growl. "Why didn't you tell me how you felt long ago?
Six months ago? A year ago? Four years ago? I thought YOU
looked at me as nothing more than a friend either, Krissy.
It... things could have been so much different if you and I
had just been more upfront and honest with each other when we
first met. We... we could be living in Norway Krissy, and
you may have even be a mother by now."
The 23-year-old frowned at me, her blue eyes welling up
with tears. "I... I like to look for the good in th-things,
Jeremy. If you and I hooked up long ago, ran off and got
married... neither of us would know Devvy. Pamela and Amy
would not be a part of your life. Nothing we have known and
experienced over the past month would have happened."
Kristanna looked at her wristwatch. "It's ten o'clock on
a Saturday night. Pamela would be giving a lap dance to some
dirty, old man right now at the strip club. She would have a
big smile and act all nice and interested toward the man only
because it was her job, but you know it would be killing her
inside. Amy? Amy would probably be soaking herself in the
bathtub right now, trying to recover from that group of five
black guys she let gang-bang her every Saturday. You said
that she does not care about them and they do not care about
her, right? Amy may even be crying right now if you and I got
married long ago, wondering why she feels the need to subject
herself to something so horrible and degrading every weekend."
"But because of how things ultimately transpired, Pamela
and Amy are here on the island with us," Kristanna went on.
"They are safe and sound, and protected, from their normal
lives. No one here looks down or disrespects on Pamela for
being a stripper. Amy had a recent revolution in her life.
She found someone - you - who actually took an interest in
her as a person. Thanks to you, Jeremy, Amy has started
treatment and medication for the health issues that she has.
Without you, there would be no one to protect or guide her."
"What about Devvy?" Kristanna was on a roll with her
ongoing speech. I was not about to stop her just yet.
"Devvy would be back in Pennsylvania right now. She would
have just had a 12 or 14 hour work day, and probably just
got home. But there would be nothing for her to come home
to. Devvy could not even call her parents and speak to them,
because they basically disowned her for something that she
did at the age of 16. Devvy had no romantic interests in
her life because she worked 70 to 80 hours every week. She
was always tired and very lonely in Pennsylvania, Jeremy.
I guarantee you that she does not feel that way nowadays."
"So, I like to look at the good side of things. Devvy
now finds herself with more love and compassion, and support,
than she can even handle. Pamela and Amy both had an
amazing, wonderful man - you - come into their lives and do
amazing, wonderful things for them. Both of them."
"Trish? The island has opened up a new world, and a brand
new perspective, for Trish. She is learning that there can
be more to life than waking up at two or three o'clock every
morning so she can be at work by five. Trish is so loving
and caring; she is a sucker for romance. There is so much
love and romance around her on this island. I believe Trish
ultimately wants in. She wants to stay and get in on some
of the love and romance swirling around."
"And what about Lindsay?" Kristanna mused. "I still think
that you misunderstood what she said about not caring about
the other girls or even you, Jeremy, but that is beside the
point. If there was no island for Lindsay to come to - if
you and I got married long ago as you say we should have -
Lindsay's family would be getting ready to go bankrupt, and
they would lose their house of 24 years. Her father died
last November and had no life insurance. Her mother had so
many mounting bills, and no way to pay them all off."
"But Lindsay learns of the island last December and the
opportunity to help her family out here. She comes here and
you get wind of the dire situation her family is in, and out
of the goodness of your heart, you wire her mom a huge chunk
of money. Now, Lindsay's family gets all of their bills paid.
They finally get caught up on their mortgage, and have plenty
of money left over to spare for future bills and expenses."
"I don't think you fully realize what you did for that
family, Jeremy. I don't think you fully grasp it. Lindsay
was going to be homeless. The bank was getting ready to take
their house. Her mom had 24 years worth of memories in that
house. But you saved them. Out of the goodness of your
heart, you saved them and their house."
"None of that would have happened if you and I were more
open and honest with each other from the beginning," the
Norwegian goddess proclaimed. "Devvy would still feel
unappreciated at her job for all the hard work she did, and
she would lead a lonely life because of it. Pamela would
still be stripping. I KNOW you do not like that idea,
Jeremy. Amy would still be destroying herself. Trish?
Trish led a good and happy life in Toronto, but she needs
more than that and this island is helping her realize it.
Little Lindsay would lose everything her mother and father
had built for her and her three sisters. I could see a
scenario where Lindsay resorts to stripping - or even worse -
if you and this island of yours never came about for her.
Lindsay needed money in the worst way possible."
Perhaps lost in thought for a moment, Kristanna took a
deep breath and sighed. "I'm glad, Jeremy. I'm glad it
took you and I four years to finally get our true feelings
out there, and let them be known. Otherwise, we... YOU,
could not have touched so many lives and made them better."
"You are an amazing woman," I simply told her in response.
"An amazing, fabulous woman. You have always had a way,
Missy Krissy, of putting things in perspective for me... and
reeling me back to the place where I need to be." I leaned
forward in my chair and planted a little kiss upon the very
center of her forehead. "And you are so unselfish. You are
the most unselfish person I have ever met."
Kristanna offered a faint smile. "Pamela said some pretty
distasteful and wicked things about me. She called my Devvy
_a pussy on the side_. She claimed that Devvy and I stole you
from her like two thieves in the night. Pamela basically told
you that I am a cold and vindictive, manipulating person."
Kristanna shook her head and added, "I'm not going to sit
here and fire back at her, Jeremy. It's not my style and,
quite honestly, I understand where she is coming from with
many of those comments. I do not agree with her, but I do
understand where she is coming from with them. But I do agree
with her on one thing, though. Pamela says that she cannot
envision herself in a relationship with me. I agree. I
cannot envision myself in a relationship with her, either."
Sighing deeply, I hung my head low and moaned. That knife
I spoke of earlier? I felt it was back, and now being jammed
into my stomach. Kristanna just dropped a bomb on me. She
did not want Pamela to be a part of our life.
"You need to make a decision, Jeremy," Kristanna murmured,
swallowing hard in her throat twice. "I know that you love
me. These past eight days with you - once we both stepped
forward with our true emotions and feelings - have been the
best eight days of my life. But I... I also know... that
you love Pamela. You are her savior. You are the one who
was destined to rescue her from the abyss that she is in."
Kristanna actually started to sob. "You need... you need to
make a d-d-decision, Jeremy. Who... do you love more?" I
could not believe my ears as she concluded, "Me or Pamela?"
"Think about it," she cut me off. "Just think about it.
You... you have a lot in co-common with Pamela, Jeremy. She
is the damsel in distress, and you are the white knight.
Without you in her life, Pamela may never be happy. In fact,
I guarantee that she will never be happy. Without you, by
the time she is 40, Pamela will be all alone and spend most
of her time in quiet solitary. The bright lights of the
strip club won't be on for her anymore - not at that age.
Pamela will be so dulled and jaded by the time she is 40 -
much worse than she is now - that she will be scared of
human contact." Kristanna looked rather intently at me and
asked, "Does that sound familiar at all to you, Jeremy?"
"I could take Devvy to Norway," she continued. "I could
take her to Norway and build a life with her. We could move
right into my family's farm. I know Devvy would be happy
there. Don't get me wrong - I much rather have you with us,
Jeremy. But you need to consider everything, and make a good
decision. You need to do what is right for you - not what is
right for me or Devvy, or Pamela."
"Krissy, how can you possibly..."
"Maybe Amy could have a place in your life with Pamela,
too," Kristanna interjected, cutting me off in mid-sentence
yet again. "Talk about someone who really needs you in her
life, Jeremy... Amy. Pamela said she would be open to the
idea of a three-way relationship with you and Amy. You are
the perfect cure, Jeremy, for both of them. You would make
both of them so incredibly happy. I know Pamela and Amy
would make you happy as well, because you feel the need to
protect others and do what is best for them. The three of
you could have your own, little life together, while Devvy
and I have our own life in Norway. That way, all five of us
could be happy, and no one is left out in the cold."
"You are absolutely ins..."
"I do not want a year from now, or five, ten, 20 years
from now, for you to have any regrets or second thoughts if
you ultimately decide to marry me." Yes, Kristanna had
interrupted me again. I simply could not get a full thought
across to her. Thus, I folded my arms and decided to just
wait. I was going to wait until she was done talking.
"I do not want you to look back, Jeremy, and think that
you made a mistake by not choosing Pamela as your bride. If
you and I get married, I want us to be 100 percent in and
totally committed to each other. I do not want there to be
any hesitation or second thoughts at all. I do not want you
to sit back and wonder 20 years from now... what if."
"I love you, and I have always told you that I want what
is best for you," Kristanna continued. "I'm not going to sit
here and say that I am better for you than Pamela. I am not
going to say Devvy is better for you than Pamela, either. I
know I have said that in the past, but I am not saying it
now. The only person who really, truly knows who is better
for you, Jeremy, is you. The decision is yours to make. I
just want you to make the right decision."
Kristanna was silent for five seconds. Then ten. Hold
on, now! It was actually my turn to talk?
"Do you want to marry me, and spend the rest of your life
with me?" was my simple question.
Kristanna was sobbing again. "You know I d-do, Jeremy...
YOU KNOW I DO! But I... I also want you... to be happy. I
do not w-want you to have any... re-re-regrets. I know how
much Pamela means to you. I know how important she is to
you. And I know it would crush you if you let her go!"
"But I... I do not want Pamela as a part of our future.
There... there would always be jealousy and resentment from
her. You cannot change the way... she feels, Jeremy. She
simply does not like me... or Devvy. You could try and try,
and maybe we could ultimately become good friends, but there
would always be that jealousy and resentment from her. With
me and Devvy, that does not exist. We get along too well for
any jealousy to ever develop. We are happy to share you with
each other for the rest of our lives."
"It just comes down to what you want," Kristanna frowned.
"I cannot say it enough, but I want you to be happy, Jeremy.
It is all I ever wanted. I think you would be happy with
either choice, honestly. I could make you happy, and I know
Pamela could make you happy, too. I guess the question is,
who would make you HAPPIER? Me and Devvy? Pamela? Maybe
Pamela and Amy together? That is what you have to decide.
I... I will not hold it... against you, or h-h-hate you...
if you ch-choose Pamela over... over... over m-m-me. I... I
have always w-wanted you to look at me as someone..."
I grasped Kristanna's shoulders with both hands and
squeezed tightly, then looked her right in the eyes and did
not flinch. I had heard enough. This time, it was my turn
to essentially cut her off in mid-sentence.
"I choose you, Krissy."
My fiancee covered her mouth and nose with her right hand
and let out a shrill cry in response to my declaration. The
tears really started to flow from her now.
"I would never NOT choose you," I added, moving my lips
to her face and kissing away some of those tears. "I have
known Pamela and all of the other girls for a month... not
even a month, actually. I've known you for four years."
"You have always been my rock, Krissy... MY savior. You
were always there for me when I needed you most. What do I
want? The answer is simple. I want to spend the rest of my
life with YOU. I want to marry you, and make YOU happy."
"Oh Jeremy..." Kristanna cried, tossing her arms around
my neck and shoulders, and hugging fiercely.
"I may care about Pamela, and I do," were my words. "I
care about Devon. I care about Amy, too. But you're my
center. Everything revolves around you, Krissy. Everything
has to conform and fit around you. How could you ever think
otherwise? I would never choose anyone over you."
I ended our embrace and pulled back, just so I could look
her in the eyes again. This time, Kristanna was the train
wreck. "I would have never proposed to you four days ago if
I wasn't 100 percent certain you were the girl for me."
"Jeremy... oh God..." Still sobbing and visibly shaken,
she was close to really losing it.
I smiled at her. "I have a present for you."
The 23-year-old gulped her throat. "What's th-th-that?"
Kristanna was such a kind and giving person; she was so
unselfish and had never asked me for anything in the four
years we had known each other. All she had ever done, it
seemed, was _give_. Now, however, it was time for me to
give back with a little token of the love and appreciation
that I felt for her.
"Do you remember that I made a promise to you when I
proposed? Do you remember what that promise was?"
She shook her head. "N-No..." Luckily for her, there was
a box of tissues nearby. She was a train wreck now, indeed.
But what about 30 seconds from now?
"I had something ordered for you from a jewelry boutique
in Geneva, Switzerland called _Chopard_. I do not know if
you have ever heard of them, but it is a company that deals
with the finest and most exquisite jewelry in the world."
After reaching into my pocket, I extended my right hand
and presented Kristanna with a small velvet box. Perhaps
now realizing what may be awaiting her inside it, she was
frozen. Kristanna simply stared at the box, unable to move.
Thus, I removed the lid of the box for her.
"OH MY GOD!" she screamed, literally jumping out of her
chair and hitting the ceiling in the process.
Inside the box was the most magnificent ring that money
could buy. A blue diamond is one of the rarest and most
precious stones that can be found on our planet. This
type of diamond is so breathtaking that all other diamonds
pale in comparison to it. The ring itself was made of 18
carat white gold and featured the flawless nine carat blue
diamond resting atop a triangular-shaped bed of diamonds.
It sparkled and shined from every conceivable angle.
"I ordered this ring three days ago from the company in
Geneva, and had them express ship it to a contact of mine in
Peru," I quietly explained. "In my travels today with Amy, I
was able to pick it up from my contact."
I moved the box closer to her, wanting Kristanna to take
it. "When I proposed to you four days ago, sweetheart, it
wasn't planned. It was sudden, and spur of the moment. But
I made a promise to you. I promised that I would make things
proper by getting you an engagement ring. I was going to
wait until tomorrow morning so I could give this to you in
front of everyone at the breakfast table, but I changed my
mind and am giving it to you now. Let this ring be an
affirmation of just how much I love you, I adore you, I
admire you, I need you and I WANT you in my life."
And with that, Kristanna lost control of herself. The
emotions too much for her to handle, she just started bawling
like a baby. Needless to say, it was music to my ears...