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Love knows no shackles

Why can’t I just tell her? This cannot go on forever… Rick’s conscience was nagging away at him for several months now. He finally convinced himself to tell Elsa the truth. Yet he couldn’t bring himself to say it. Lying in bed beside her, tossing and turning, he watched his girlfriend of two years sleep, her face innocent with a childlike smile. Rick feared that the truth might shatter not just their relationship, but also her fragile heart. God, help me do the right thing… Rick sighed.

As he reminisced about that warm summer evening ten months ago, Rick’s heart sank a little. He had been sitting alone at that bar after work, waiting for his co-workers to join him. He could never forget that moment when he first saw Kenny across the room. Their eyes met and the chemistry between them was too obvious to ignore – for either of them. It was an overwhelming urge to get to know each other. Promptly, numbers were exchanged, texts and calls going back and forth every day. The two of them connected as if they’d known each other forever. Even as Rick realised he was fascinated by Kenny, he remained faithful to Elsa. In fact, he had made sure to tell Kenny about Elsa, and discouraged any expectations from Kenny’s side. Kenny being a gentleman respected Rick’s decision. Over the course of time, however, being just friends wasn’t easy. Rick realised that sooner or later he would have to make a choice—a choice that would shake and disrupt everything his life had been until then.

Rick snapped himself out of his train of thought. He finally gathered enough courage to initiate the dreaded conversation. “Elsa, I’ve been meaning to tell you something… actually for months now…,” he said, his voice shaky, the next morning. Elsa came and sat beside him. Taking a deep breath, he continued, “I love you with all my heart. But, not too long ago, I met a man whom I am dangerously drawn to…” Elsa was quiet. Rick searched her eyes for a reaction, any reaction at all. He was expecting anger, tears, a fit, perhaps. But there she was, calm and poised as ever. He was prepared for anything but that.

“We’ve been friends since childhood, Rick… We’ve literally grown up together… I am not sad or hurt or angry. I’ve known this for a while. If anything, I admire your courage and honesty,” she said softly. An awkward silence filled the air. “So, how is it going between you and Kenny?” she broke the silence. “Wait… How do you know Kenny?” Rick looked puzzled. “Well, he is a friend of mine from work… I thought you two would be perfect for each other, and I might have told him about you…” Elsa replied timidly. Taking his hands in hers, she then quickly added, “Kenny is a good man, Rick. He truly loves you.”

“Are you saying that you set us up?” Rick asked, his eyes wide. Elsa nodded. “We’re still friends, right?” she asked. “Of course,” Rick smiled as he planted a gentle kiss on her forehead.

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