"Pamela?" I said after literally stumbling across the
30-year-old beauty in the elegant theater room on this warm
and overcast Monday afternoon. Nestled side-ways upon a
chair with her legs curled over the right armrest, Pamela
appeared to be totally despondent and lifeless. "Pamela?
What are you doing in here? Is everything okay?"
After several seconds of silence, Pamela took a deep
breath and finally glared up at me. She certainly did not
seem all too cheerful or happy. "Does this room have any
sort of special significance for you, Jeremy?"
"The movie room?"
"About two weeks ago," Pamela reminded me, apparently
trying to hold back an onslaught of tears. "A mere two
weeks ago, Jeremy. Do you remember what happened here?"
I nodded my head at her. "We had that incredible talk
here in the movie room."
"A talk that lasted for six hours," Pamela sniped in a
bitter, hurt voice. "It was the best night of my life
because, for the first time in a very long time, I felt
like an actual human being. I wasn't an object that night
like I am used to being at the strip club where I work."
Pamela shook her head at me. "You made me feel special,
Jeremy. You made me feel important. You... you... you
said that you... that you love me."
"Nothing has changed," I told her. "You are still a
very special person. An important person. I do not care
what your job is, or how many people you were forced to
put yourself on display in front of in order to get along
and survive in life. It does not define you as a person,
or make you a bad person. And no matter what happens, I
still care about you, Pamela. I always will."
She shook her head at me once again. "You don't care
about me, Jeremy. You never did..."
I offered her a quizzical expression. "What? Why? How
can you say that to me, Pamela? How?"
"Because it's the truth!" she spat out, curling both arms
around her front as if she was shivering.
"What do you mean?"
"If you loved me, Jeremy, and really cared for me, you
would not have been engaged to Kristanna just one week after
that long, amazing talk we had here in the movie room! I
have NEVER sat and talked with anyone like I did with you
that night! I walked away from our discussion thinking to
myself, _this is actually the man I am going to marry_. Then
at the breakfast table yesterday morning, you allow Kristanna
to flaunt and flash her engagement ring at everyone and even
call her your _perfect woman_. You were feeding me that same
line of BULLSHIT two weeks ago!"
I could not believe that Pamela was screaming at me in
such a manner. This warm-hearted and very cerebral woman -
who rarely let her emotions show - was giving me an earful.
The more I thought about it, though, the more I felt as if I
deserved this kind of verbal beat-down. Pamela was right.
But I had some legitimate reasons for my recent actions.
Instead of raising my voice at her in return and making
this a full-blown argument, I sighed and spoke in a peaceful
tone, "I'm sorry, Pamela. I apologize. I know that all of
the things that have happened in the past nine days between
Kristanna and myself has ultimately come back to hurt you."
"Why did you lie to me? I thought you were honest! I
THOUGHT YOU WERE HONEST, JEREMY! You said all those nice
things to me... it was a lie! ALL OF IT WAS A LIE!"
"I did not lie to you, Pamela. I would never do that."
"YES YOU DID!"
"No I didn't..."
"YES YOU DID!"
"NO, I didn't..."
"I want to go home!" Pamela suddenly declared, which
caught me completely off-guard.
"I want to go home!" she reiterated. "I've thought about
it, and made up my mind. I am going to pack up my suitcases
and I want you get me a one-way ticket back to the U.S."
I was stunned. "Why... why do you want to go h-h-home?"
"Because there is no place for me on this island any more!"
Pamela hissed. "I am SICK AND TIRED of you, Jeremy, and I am
sick and tired of this Godforsaken island! All the other
girls do any more is gossip and talk about me behind my back.
I cannot go anywhere without hearing the whispers and the
snickers! _Oh look there's Pamela, she got kicked to the
curb by Jeremy_. _Hey it's Jeremy and Kristanna hugging and
kissing in the corner, let's look over at Pamela to see what
type of reaction she has to it_."
Pamela flailed her arm outward in an extreme fit of anger.
"I'M DONE WITH IT! Absolutely done! It is no longer fun for
me here, and I just want to go home. Now!"
"Pamela, please... let me..."
"I want to go home!" she repeated, cutting me off in the
middle of my sentence. "That was part of the deal, Jeremy!
You promised all of us before we agreed to come to the island
that if, no matter the reason, we wanted to go home early, we
could at any time we so desired." Pamela nodded her head and
surmised, "I'm exercising my _out clause_. If you cannot get
me on a flight out of Lima today or tonight, I want one first
thing in the morning. Make it happen!"
"Can we just..."
"You promised us, Jeremy!" Pamela interjected once again.
"You promised we could go home at any time, for any reason!
Or is this another promise that you're going to break?"
Okay. That comment made me angry. But I was able to
hold it in. There was no point in arguing back-and-forth.
Anything I once had with Pamela was obviously gone, and she
was well past the boiling point with her perception of me.
If she wanted to leave, I had no right to stand in her way.
"Very well," I simply told her. "Go to your room and get
all of your belongings. I will call for the helicopter to
come and pick you up. If I cannot get you on a flight today,
you'll spend the night at the airport hotel in Lima and you'll
be off first thing in the morning." Did I just say that? Did
I really just agree to let this woman, who I cared about so
very much, go home and seemingly exit my life forever?
Pamela sprung out of her chair here within the movie room
as if she had been shot from a cannon. "Good. Looks like I
got some packing to do, then." She turned and literally
hopped and skipped her way to the exit of the theater.
"I will also see to it that you get your money."
She stopped, then turned and looked back at me. "Money?
What money are you talking about?"
"You were guaranteed $100,000 for coming to the island and
spending six weeks of your life here," I reminded her. "And
there was supposed to be one of the girls who got $500,000.
Even though you are leaving early, I will still pay you the
full amount. I think you deserve it, Pamela."
She shook her head. "I don't want your money."
"What?" I narrowed my gaze at her. "Why?"
"I don't want your money!" she exclaimed. "You think
paying me off is gonna put an ease to all the pain and
suffering I have been through since you shacked up with
Kristanna, and all but forgot about me?"
"I... I'm not trying to PAY you off," I countered. "It is
your money, Pamela. You are entitled to it. You earned it."
"I don't want your money!" she insisted. "You can take
the $100,000 and shove it clear up your ass!"
"Not only do I NOT want your money, but I do not want your
pity, either! You can build that private school you spoke of
in my hometown, Jeremy. Go ahead and build it if you want.
Spend millions of dollars on it. But I won't be teaching at
it. I want there to be nothing in my life from this point
forward that reminds me of YOU or this FUCKING ISLAND! I
want to erase these four weeks from my memory completely!"
Now, I was visibly upset. "What are you going to do? You
going back to the strip club?"
She nodded her head and shot me quite the evil, sadistic
eye. "At least at the strip club, I know where I stand."
Stunned and speechless, I just stood there.
"I'm going home!" Pamela burst out into song, turning and
prancing about as she exited the movie room. "I'm going home!
I'm getting out of this Hell-hole and I'm going home! No more
lying men! No more back-stabbing skanks with fake accents!
I'm packing up my things and I am going home!"
* * *
It did not take long for the island to be buzzing with the
news that Pamela wanted out. I tried to think of a plan
where I could get Pamela to change her mind and ultimately
stay, but I knew in reality that there was nothing that could
possibly be done. This whole thing with her was a lost cause,
unfortunately. We were so incredibly past the point of no
return that Pamela going home early was the only option that
really made any logical sense. It was sad, but true.
She was obviously miserable here, and there was no way to
fix that. Kristanna and I had offered Pamela a place in our
lives, but she was so focused and intent on the idea of a
one-on-one relationship with me that it was the only scenario
she would truly accept. Unfortunately for Pamela, that was
not going to happen. I was not leaving Kristanna for her.
I was in love with Pamela and cared for her with all of
my heart, but those emotions simply did not even begin to
compare with how strongly I felt about Kristanna. It was
that simple. I knew that Pamela was in a horrible state
right now, but there really was nothing I could do to help.
I was not going to jeopardize what I had with Kristanna - as
well as Devon - in order to make things right with Pamela.
I simply wished that Pamela was more open and receptive to
the idea of a group relationship. Was she really going to be
happier returning to the strip club in Maryland? How could
that be better than surrounding herself with three people who
would love and care for her, and see to her every whim?
Would dancing and degrading herself in front of total
strangers for really be better than what was offered here?
Alas, I suppose the question was meaningless. Pamela
wanted to go home. I had no choice but to grant her request.
I was not going to force her to stay here against her will.
I called Kevin, my friend who owned the helicopter, and
told him that I would be requiring his services again.
Kevin agreed to be here in two hours. He would fly Pamela
to the mainland, then make certain that she found her way to
the airport hotel in Lima. She would stay the night, then
be on the 6:45am flight to Miami in the morning. A connector
flight to Baltimore would be awaiting her there.
Seated at one of the computers in the study room as I
finalized Pamela's travel package via the Internet, that
voice made me look up toward its source. Oh great, I said
inwardly. Of all people on the island, _this_ was the one
that I cared to see the least right now. She did not like
me, and it had gotten to the point where I did not like her.
I was too upset and frazzled to really deal with her now.
"I want to go home, too."
I looked at her. "Huh?"
"You volunteered to give Pamela her money and let her go
home," Camille said. "It's not fair you do that, you know,
and expect the rest of us to stay here the full six weeks.
I want to go home too, and I want you to pay me my money."
"Why do you want to go home, too?"
"Does it matter?" she retorted. "I already know you won't
give me the $500,000 prize. That's easy, because I know it's
going to one of your little squeeze toys - Lindsay or Amy."
My eyes narrowed at that comment as she pressed on, "You can
give me $100,000, and I be happy with it."
Camille motioned toward the computer. "Come on, Jeremy.
Be fair. You offered to do it for Pamela. Don't play
favorites, though I know you love doing it. Get on there
and get me a plane ticket to San Diego or Los Angeles. I
can have all of my stuff packed within an hour. You can even
put me on the same helicopter with Pamela."
"Fine," I told her, angry. I did not want to deal with
this now. I did not want to deal with any of it. Nor did
I honestly care if Camille wanted to go back to San Diego.
"I'll have $100,000 wired to your bank account by the end
of the day. But may I ask why you want to leave?"
"Do you really want to know?"
"Are you sure? Do you REALLY want to know?"
Camille shrugged her shoulders and answered, "Because you
are a filthy, rotten, disgusting, chauvinistic pig of a man."
My eyes nearly bulged out of their sockets. "Excuse me?"
"You lead Pamela on, and break her heart. You play
favorites. Amy will suck your cock and let you tie her up,
so you take her to Lima for a full day of shopping and
sight-seeing while the rest of us are left behind here
twiddling our thumbs. Lindsay will play dress up for you
and act all coy and innocent, and interested in you, but all
she really wants is the $500,000. Do I have to suck your
cock for you to notice me, and do something nice for me too?"
Camille nodded her head. "I want nothing to do with you,
Jeremy. I'm not going to stoop to the level of Lindsay or
Amy to win favors from you. Pamela went to that level too,
but look where it got her. I don't want to be a part of your
perverted, little sex fantasy on this island any more."
Camille flashed me a bright, dazzling smile and mused, "I
hope that when you die, you burn and rot in Hell for the rest
of eternity." She turned and pointed toward the exit way of
the study room. "I'm going to pack my things now. Get me
my airline ticket and the money you owe me. After that, you
can go and fuck yourself for all I care."
Once Camille left, I must have stood there, frozen, for a
good 15 or 20 seconds. Things were boiling up inside of me -
and fast. Then all of a sudden, I snapped. I grabbed a hold
of the computer monitor and with a strong heave, I tossed it
against the far wall in a fit of absolute rage. Not only
did it damage the wall, but the monitor was shattered and
broken, and electrical sparks were shooting out of it.
I needed to get out of here.
* * *
It was not all that often when I skipped dinner, but with
the utter catastrophe which took place earlier, I was in no
mood to eat. In fact, I felt downright suicidal. Pamela
wanting out was bad enough, but the words that Camille said
to me afterward were absolutely crushing. Never before in
my life had someone been so vile and hateful toward me.
Instead of being in the dining room with the others at our
customary dinner time of 7:00pm, I found myself all alone in
the quaint, three-bedroom guest cottage which was totally
separate from the mansion. Feeling worthless and defeated, I
had been lounging on a leather floor comforter for the better
part of the past four hours. This was my new refuge. Here,
I figured, no one could hurt me.
Despite my rage earlier, when I destroyed the computer
monitor, I was able to put a travel itinerary together for
Camille so I could get her out of my life for good. Trish
volunteered to drive Pamela and Camille to the heli-pad in
the _Jeep_, and I allowed her to do just that. Yes, Pamela
and Camille were no longer on the island. They were most
likely relaxing in a Lima hotel room at this very moment,
each awaiting separate flights back to the United States.
Just like that - _POOF_ - Pamela was gone and out of my
life seemingly forever. She no longer wanted to be here, and
it was not my place - or my right - to force her to stay. I
did not want anyone to be here if they were not happy.
I tried my best since day one to be a courteous and
gracious host for all of the ladies. Camille and I got off
on the wrong foot somehow - why, I do not know - and we had
never recovered from it. She and I had never really sat
down and had a good, long discussion. I was interested in
her as a person, and wanted to know more, but I always got
the sense that the feeling was not mutual.
It was common knowledge that Camille hated all men. She
probably condemned me from the start simply because of my
gender. But I had tried to be nice to her. I gave up a few
days ago, though, when it was apparent that I was getting
nowhere with the continued effort. But at least I tried.
It was okay, really. It got to the point where I disliked
her, too. I did not care for her one bit.
Camille wanted me to _burn and rot in Hell for the rest of
eternity_? Wow. I was incapable of saying such a thing to
even my most hated adversary. Not only did Camille say that
to me, though, but she did it with a smile on her face. It
made her happy to vocally wish such a horrible demise on me.
Keep in mind that this was merely seconds after I agreed to
let her go home and give her the full $100,000 payment. How
could she have said something so despicable to me?
Most troubling of all, however, was that Pamela was
apparently going right back to her job as an exotic dancer
at the strip club in Maryland. What hurt me most was not
what Camille had said, or that Pamela was leaving, but it
was the fact that she was returning to her old job. Out of
all possible conclusions, _that_ was what I wanted least.
Pamela would never climb out of that so-called abyss now.
Not only did Pamela refuse her $100,000 pay-out, but she
was not going to accept my offer of becoming a schoolteacher
at a private institute that I was willing to finance and have
built in her hometown. Pamela had always wanted to be a
teacher and was close to getting a degree, but was fearful
that her years as a stripper would preclude her from getting
the job and career that she ultimately wanted. That would
not be an issue at the private school I was going to have
built, though. I would be the boss, per se, and my plan was
for Pamela to have a safe and secure teaching job there.
But now? Pamela was so angry and disgusted with me - and
perhaps more specifically the way things transpired on the
island - that she would not even accept my assistance as it
pertained to her future and career. Pamela rather go back to
the strip club - a place which she _hated_, mind you - than
allow me to help her achieve her career goal.
Indeed, it had been a horrible day. I felt miserable. I
simply wanted to curl up into a ball and die.
Resting upon the large floor comforter, I became alert
and sat up when I heard the front door open behind me. No
one was supposed to know that I was hiding in the guest
cottage. I had even deactivated the surveillance system so
Kristanna and Devon could not find my whereabouts with the
voyeur room. I just wanted to be left alone. But somehow,
Trish had come upon me and found my so-called refuge. The
30-year-old from Toronto stepped inside, and moved toward me.
"Hey," she simply greeted, waving her left hand.
I looked at her, but did not offer a response. Trish took
the initiative by sitting down beside me on the floor and
then gently patting my knee. "You okay, Jeremy?"
"What do you think?" I asked, my voice hollow.
Trish frowned momentarily, but then titled her head and
offered me a curious, thoughtful look. "I remember not too
long ago, Lindsay dumped me. She just flat-out dumped me.
I was in the recreation room and when Lindsay left after
telling me the bad news, I was all upset, all crying."
Trish hesitated, then smiled faintly. "I also remember you
showing up, Jeremy - seemingly out of nowhere - and doing
your best to cheer me up and be a good friend when I needed
it most. It worked. You did a great job that day."
Trish then grasped my left hand with her right and
squeezed firmly. "Now it is my chance to return the favor,
and cheer you up. Do you know, Jeremy, that Kristanna is
worried sick about you? She has no idea where you are.
Have you been here hiding away all day?"
"Sometimes it's good to hide from others when you're
upset," Trish nodded. "Other times, it's not. Kristanna is
really worried about you, Jeremy. I mean, REALLY worried.
You should try and find her as soon as possible."
"She'll find me soon enough," was my listless response.
"Or I will find her."
"I heard about some of the nasty stuff that Camille said
to you," Trish pouted. "Want to talk about it?"
"What do you think of me as a person?" was my question for
Trish. I do not know where it came from, or why I had asked
it. Perhaps I just needed some positive reinforcement?
"Do you really want to know?"
Hmmmmm. That was the _exact, same thing_ Camille said to
me before turning all nuclear and dropping those bombs on me
earlier today. Could I get a similar response from Trish?
At this point, in my current frame of mind, I would not have
been surprised one bit.
"I think you are an amazing and wonderfully kind, gracious
person," Trish answered. "You are the nicest and most caring
man I have ever met in my whole, entire life, Jeremy. And if
it wasn't for Kristanna and, to a lesser extent Devon and
Pamela when she was still here, I wish I set my sights on you
instead of Lindsay from the very beginning. Who knows? I
could be the one with the big engagement ring now."
"Is that what you want?"
"No," Trish assured me. "I don't want that at all. You
are with Kristanna now. You are also with Devon. I would
never interfere or try to cause any problems between the
three of you. You know that, right? Plus, remember that no
one is happier that you and Kristanna are actually together
than I am. I told you from the very outset that the two of
you make a great couple. You and Kristanna belong together."
The Canadian took a deep breath and sighed. "But you like
me being honest, Jeremy. You tell me to be honest with you.
So... that was honest. I wish I looked at you a month ago
the same way I look at you now. I wish I invested the effort
into you instead of Lindsay, although I know that you and
Kristanna would have still ultimately wound up together. No
matter what, she would still have the engagement ring."
Trish shrugged her shoulders and concluded, "But maybe I
could have had a bigger role in your life."
"You don't think I'm pathetic and should burn in Hell for
the rest of eternity?"
Trish giggled slightly, then shook her head and insisted,
"Fuck Camille, Jeremy. FUCK her. Just FUCK her. Camille
had something bad to say about everyone on the island. She
is a very mean and angry woman; there is no reason to lose
sleep or fret over anything that bitch said to you. I, for
one, am glad that Camille is gone. I know for a fact that
she said many bad things about me behind my own back. No
one on the island is sad to see her go."
"Camille did have an opinion on everyone," I sighed.
"I just can't believe you still paid her."
I shrugged my shoulders. "It was a drop in the bucket to
me. I agreed to pay her. I just don't want any trouble. The
money is worth it as long as I never have to see her again."
"I understand why Pamela left, but I do not agree with
much of anything she has said or done in the past month."
"What do you mean?"
"Pamela should have did the smart thing and agreed to stay
on the island with you, Kristanna and Devon when the offer
was still there," Trish commented. "I do not think it was
very bright of her to just throw her hands up in the air and
basically run away. I mean, what does she have to go home
to? A big, brass stripper pole? Pamela should have stayed
here and did whatever she could to make things work out."
"Krissy wants nothing to do with her," I frowned. "She
was all for the idea of Pamela staying and being a part of
our lives at first, but then changed her mind completely."
"Kristanna learned how jealous Pamela was of her, and how
much she truly resented her," Trish said. "Pamela has been
very upset and angry the past several days. I tried talking
some sense into her, but it was no use. I could not get her
to change her mind. So, I cannot blame Kristanna. I would
not want Pamela in my life either if I was her, and in her
situation. Kristanna is better off with just you and Devon,
and no one else. Just my opinion, of course."
Trish shook her head again. "Pamela comes to a place like
this - the island - and expects to walk away from it with a
traditional, one-on-one relationship? That doesn't make any
sense to me whatsoever. She basically comes to a sex resort,
and expects you to notice and be with no one but her."
"There's nothing wrong with her wanting that."
"No, there's not," Trish agreed. "But it still don't make
any sense. I wanted Lindsay, you know, but I watched her
have sex with five other girls all at the same time - six if
you include me. I watched you take her virginity, Jeremy."
"You helped me take it," I corrected her.
"I watched Lindsay, when I felt I had a future with her,
with all these different people," Trish continued. "But I
was okay with it. Look at where we are - this island of
yours. If Pamela did not like the idea of a free-spirited
and sexually charged atmosphere, she should not have come
here. And not only that, but Pamela is a stripper too.
Seems like this lifestyle would be right up her alley."
"Pamela is very different, and unique," I volunteered.
"She is not like the stereotypical stripper at all."
"You are better off without her," Trish told me. "I hate
to say it, but you are, Jeremy. You really are. She would
have caused nothing but trouble for you and Kristanna."
Trish hesitated, then offered, "Pamela HATED Kristanna."
"She hated her?"
"Yes," Trish clarified. "I talked to Pamela a lot in
recent days. I mean, a WHOLE LOT. When you became engaged
to Kristanna that was one thing. But when you gave her that
massive rock of an engagement ring, it was something else.
That was what really set Pamela off. Pamela kept telling me
over and over that Kristanna was a thief; she stole you."
Trish shook her head and ended, "I didn't see it that way."
I let out a long-winded sigh. "It's water under the
bridge now. What's done is done... you know?"
"You need to go and find Kristanna," Trish reiterated. "I
think her and Devon are in your bedroom in the mansion right
now. She is really, really worried, Jeremy, about you and
your safety. She is also worried that you're upset at her."
"Upset?" I exclaimed. "Upset about what?"
"That you blame her for Pamela no longer being here."
I hung my head low and growled. Kristanna and I had been
down this road before. How many times would I have to tell
her that she had done absolutely nothing wrong? I would
never force her to agree to accept Pamela into our lives,
especially with all of the animosity that existed between
them. Besides, Pamela did not want in, either.
"Fine. I'll go talk to her."
* * *
When I opened the door to my personal suite moments later,
I found the two most important women in my life waiting for
me just a couple of feet away. Devon was seated and leaning
against the wall, her legs outstretched, with Kristanna's
head resting upon her lap as she lay on her side. Devon was
tracing a fingertip along the side of Kristanna's face. Both
ladies, I could tell, were visibly upset and shaken.
Once Kristanna got her first glimpse of me, however, she
sprung to her feet in one quick, agile motion. "WHERE HAVE
YOU BEEN?" she demanded, her voice loud and booming, as she
closed the short distance between us. "Where have you been?
OH MY GOD, I have been worried sick about you!"
Kristanna placed both hands upon my shoulders and squeezed
tightly. She then made two fists and flailed away at my
chest with them. "DON'T YOU EVER DO THAT AGAIN, JEREMY!
DON'T YOU EVER RUN OFF AND HIDE, AND SHUT DOWN THE VOYEUR
ROOM!" Horribly distraught, the young woman seemed to tire
quickly and ceased her assault upon my chest. Kristanna
then began to cry as she hugged me, saying, "I know what
type of person you are, Jeremy, and how upset you get when
people hurt you! I've been worried to death about you!"
"I'm sorry," was my simple response.
"Where were you?" Kristanna insisted, still upset. "I
had no idea where you went, or what you were thinking with
first Pamela, then what Camille said!"
"I just needed some time alone..."
Her blue eyes flashing like I had never witnessed before,
Kristanna made a fist and held it in front of my face and
warned, "Don't you EVER run off while angry again, and
deactivate the voyeur room. I do not know how to turn the
system back on like you do." She slapped my shoulder with
an open palm one more time and whined, "I had no idea where
you were! You could have jumped off a cliff for all I knew!"
"The thought did cross my mind," I admitted, which made
Kristanna grunt and squeal in horror. However, I pulled her
into my arms for an embrace and offered, "But I realized that
I have too much to live for." I then kissed the very crown
of her head, then made eye contact with Devon and smiled at
her. She smiled back, but continued to idly sit there.
"Shhhhh," I consoled Kristanna, still holding her. "I'm
here now. I'm okay, and in a good frame of mind. And I
promise that if I ever get upset or angry again, I won't
deactivate the voyeur room."
"You wouldn't even answer your cell phone!" Kristanna
complained. "I had no idea where you were..."
"I didn't even have my phone with me, sweetheart."
"You don't like us going out anywhere on the island by
ourselves," Devon reminded me. "You always say the jungle
can be a dangerous place. If you went somewhere and got
hurt, how could we have found you without the voyeur room?"
"I won't do it again," I promised them once more.
"Where did you go?" Kristanna wondered.
"The guest cottage," I answered. "Been there for hours."
Kristanna stepped back and looked at me. Her face was
saturated with tears. "I... I'm so sorry, Jeremy! I cannot
believe that Pamela would just want to leave the island like
she did! I know how much you cared for her..."
Devon stood up, her own face suddenly tense and distraught.
"Don't you dare, Krissy! Don't you dare say what I..."
"I want you to go to the airport hotel and see if you can
talk Pamela into coming back to the island."
"Krissy!" Devon screeched, obviously not liking those
words. I quickly got the sense that they already had a
discussion of their own concerning this very subject.
"It's okay," Kristanna assured her.
"No, it's not!" Devon insisted.
"Yes, it is. It is." Kristanna turned back toward me and
explained, "I know how much Pamela means to you, Jeremy. I
know how important she is to you... how important it is for
you to take care of her, and make her happy."
"Krissy, no!" Devon complained.
"I'm willing to give her another opportunity to be a part
of our lives," Kristanna said, which made me roll my eyes. I
knew this was something that she honestly did not want to do.
So did Devon, obviously, who vehemently shook her head as
Kristanna continued, "I want to do my best to make this work
with her, because I know how important she is to you. All I
have ever wanted, Jeremy, is for you to be happy..."
"No," I told her. "I'm not going to the hotel to try and
talk Pamela out of this. Pamela made her decision and as far
as I'm concerned, it's final." Now, Devon was nodding her
head in total agreement as I ended, "She would not fit into
the style of life that we want, anyway."
"But I know how much..."
"No," I interjected, cutting my fiancee off. "Just NO."
I grasped both of Kristanna's hands with my own and implored,
"Why do you seem to feel so guilty when it comes to Pamela?"
"What do you mean?"
"I don't know," I countered. "It's just... you seem to
take a back seat to her at times. Why are you so worried
about Pamela, and how I feel about her?"
"Because I know she makes you happy..."
"She doesn't make me as happy as you do," I told Kristanna,
whose body seemed to sag somewhat at those words. "Trish was
the one who found me earlier. She said you were afraid that I
was mad at you; perhaps I would blame you for Pamela no longer
being here." Kristanna frowned and nodded her head as I went
on, "Why would I do that? Why would I blame you? It was
Pamela's decision. She wanted nothing to do with you or
Devon in the first place. All she wanted was me for herself."
"I just know how much you care for her..."
"That's what you don't understand!" I responded, my voice
insistent. I looked her square in the eyes and proclaimed,
"I care about you a million times more. A billion times more.
WHY would I be mad at you, Krissy? Why would I blame you for
anything? You're going to be my wife one day very soon, and
I love you. Why do you always go on such a guilt trip when
it comes to Pamela? You have done NOTHING WRONG."
"Krissy doesn't want Pamela in our lives," Devon offered,
"and neither do I. We don't need her."
"Why do you tell me to go to the hotel and bring Pamela
back?" I asked Kristanna. "Why would I bring her back if
the most important person in my life - YOU - does not really
even want her here to begin with? Why would you subject
yourself to that?"
The 23-year-old gulped her throat. "For you, J-Jeremy."
"You need to start thinking about yourself," I told her.
"Marriages and relationships are supposed to be two-way
streets," Devon said to her girlfriend. "You have an equal
say in everything, Krissy. You should not have to bend your
will in order to feel as if you make Jeremy happy, and gain
his approval. Pamela would do nothing but you make you feel
uncomfortable. She would make ME feel uncomfortable. How
can you even suggest that it's a good idea that she somehow
be brought back into our lives? Look at all of the mean and
disrespectful things Pamela has said about you."
"I want you to get Pamela out of your head," were my words
for Kristanna. "There is absolutely no need for you to feel
worried about anything. Devon is right, honey. You have an
equal say in everything that happens between us from now on.
I am not about to force you to do something that makes you
feel even the slightest bit uncomfortable."
"O-Okay..." she relented, her body trembling.
"What else do I need to say or do to convince you of my
faith and loyalty to you?" I asked. "You don't want Pamela
to be a part of our lives? That's fine. I have no problem
with that. I propose marriage to you. I tell you that
you're my everything; you're my centerpiece in life and
everything must conform and fit around you. I'm willing to
move to Norway - of all places - for you. I love you more
than anything, Krissy, and anyone. I tell you these things
every single day. Why are you so concerned with Pamela, and
how I feel for her? I never once thought of choosing Pamela
over you. I gave her up, in fact, so that you and I can be
together, and be happy. Why is she such a concern?"
"Krissy was worried you would change your mind and run off
with Pamela instead," Devon commented, which caused me to
hang my head low in despair. "I think, after four years of
being your friend but not your lover, Krissy still has doubts
of you actually looking at her the way she looks at you. She
is worried you will want to go back to being just friends."
I looked at her and breathed deeply. "Is that true?"
"Yeah..." Kristanna nodded meekly.
"I didn't realize how insecure you are." Lost in thought,
I was silent for several seconds until coming with an idea.
"Do I need to send the other girls home early, too? I can
pay all them the full amount." Kristanna shook her head in
response as I further explained, "I am willing to devote
every waking moment to you, Krissy. I am willing to devote
every fiber of being to you. I can send Trish, Lindsay and
even Amy home early if you like. If that is what it takes
to prove to you that I am 100 percent dedicated to you - as
well as Devon - I will do it. Just give me the word."
"Leave me out of the equation, Jeremy," Devon requested.
"I know you do not feel anywhere close for me as you do for
Krissy. I trust in time you will, though."
"I don't want you to send Trish, Lindsay and Amy home, and
ruin the final two weeks of their vacation," Kristanna mused.
"Besides, you cannot send Amy home. She needs to stay. She
needs to have your guidance in her life, Jeremy."
"We can talk about that at another time," Devon suggested.
"30 minutes ago, I was all upset because I wanted Pamela
in my life," I spoke. "But now, I realize that I do not.
Not any longer, at least. It was her decision to leave the
island. It was her decision to refuse our offer of staying
here and committing to a long-term relationship." I focused
all of my attention upon Kristanna and stressed to her, "You
need to get the thought, the specter, of Pamela out of your
mind once and for all. I am not going to wake up one day
and go running off to Maryland to find her, and be with her."
"Those kind of ideas are just toxic," Devon murmured.
"If I run anywhere, Krissy, it will simply be to you."
"Awwwww..." Devon grinned.
"Promise me one thing," I pleaded to Kristanna. "Promise
me from now on that you're not going to be insecure about
our relationship and future from this point forward. I love
you, Krissy. I don't know what else I can do to show or prove
that to you any more than I already have. There is no need
for you to feel as if you have to take a back seat to anyone."
"I told you that Jeremy would have this type of reaction,"
Devon said to Kristanna. "Didn't I? Hmmmmm?"
"Yeah," she admitted.
"What about Camille?" Devon remarked. "I cannot believe
that I once thought of her as a friend. She was my room-mate
for the first several weeks on the island. I knew she had a
snippy side to her personality... but nothing like that."
"Camille is the one who needs to burn in Hell!" Kristanna
piped up, suddenly full of anger and disdain. "Jeremy has
done nothing but try and be nice toward that girl since she
arrived here. He agrees to let her go home early and even
pays her the full amount of money... and THAT is the thanks
he gets for it." Kristanna swung her arm outward and hissed,
"Camille is just lucky I wasn't there when she said that."
Devon smiled. "Would we have seen the _Evil Kristanna_
that you told me all about yesterday?"
"Oh, you would have seen more than that," she promised.
"I did not know exactly what Camille had said to Jeremy until
she was already gone in the helicopter."
"There are two more weeks before Trish, Lindsay and Amy
are all scheduled to go home," I reminded them. "What was
once seven girls is now down to five. We have had a very
rough and rocky past couple of days... but none more so than
today. Krissy, you know I hate drama and any sort of
conflict. I never expected there to be so much here."
"Let's have some fun the next two weeks," Kristanna
suggested, her attitude quickly turning bright and positive.
"Let's make those remaining three girls really feel at home,
and welcome here."
"All three of them really care about you, Jeremy, and
would never hurt or back-stab you," Devon offered. "I say
we get everyone together right now and have a quick meeting.
We should clarify everything that happened with Pamela and
Camille, and stress that these next two weeks are going to be
fun for everyone. We need to get rid of the drama."
"The drama left the island earlier," Kristanna frowned.
"But you are right, Devvy. Trish knows what is going on, but
we should clue Lindsay and Amy in as well. I'm sure they
have a lot of questions and whatnot. There is no need for
them to speculate about anything."
"I've tried to look at everyone on the island over the
past month as a little family," Devon cooed. "We learned
that two people do not want to be part of the family any
more, but that is fine. I know Lindsay may want to distance
herself from things here. Down deep, though, I think Lindsay
loves and cares for all of us. I really do. And we already
know that Trish and Amy are both madly in love with Jeremy."
Kristanna nodded her head and voiced, "Let's have that
meeting with the others before it gets too late tonight."
"I meant what I said." Staring directly at my fiancee, I
then added, "No more feelings of insecurity. You are my
girl, and I love you. You need to always remember that."
For the first time since I stepped into our bedroom
several moments ago, Kristanna smiled. "I will, Jeremy."