When Lives Collide
Frank and April slept in until almost noon after the exhausting night they had while she had told her life story.
Frank awoke first and knew he had to get out of bed fast when he saw the beautiful face sleeping next to his. She was very difficult to walk away from, but he knew she still needed him as a friend and not a lover.
He was making breakfast when he heard her upstairs. She came down dressed and took his breath away.
“You have questions for me, and Frank, I have questions for you that are very important for me to know the answers to.”
“After breakfast we can put a log on the fire, sit on the couch and I will answer any questions you have honestly, to the best of my ability.”
They ate breakfast quietly then they sat down on the couch at opposite ends.
“April, you can ask me anything and I will tell you the truth.”
“Do you like me Frank or are you a nice guy being nice because I have a problem?”
“I am a nice guy, and I am being nice to you because you are a nice lady with a serious problem, and they raised me to help others. Aside from that April, I like you very much.”
“My feelings for you Frank have gone beyond liking you. I have fallen in love with you. The question I am afraid to hear the answer to is how strong are your feelings for me?”
“I like you more than I think I should.”
“Then why aren’t we sleeping together?”
“We are sleeping together.”
“Now you are making me angry because you know exactly what I mean. You have rejected my obvious sexual advances and yet you say you like me more than you should and I only know of one step beyond liking. Oh! I’m sorry. I didn’t think. Is there a physical problem and if so could we please talk about it?”
“There is no physical problem although I expect that I would never be considered to be the man I was years ago. It is because I care deeply for you I haven’t allowed a sexual relationship to occur between us. I want better for you. Here are my reasons why I feel that way. As a boyfriend or husband material where you are concerned, I am old. Old enough to be your father. Do you want children?”
“Yes, but old men have children all the time, grandpa. It is the ladies who have the best before date, and I am already thirty.”
“But April, I turned sixty this summer. Don’t you want a father who will be there to help raise the children? I have a best before date too, the problem is nobody knows what it is but everyone knows that I am in my declining years. That is what happens to people who get to lead a long life.”
“Frank do you have any idea how many children are being raised without fathers? Our children might get lucky and you could live healthy into your eighties or longer. If that is not our good fortune the kids are still lucky because there is lots of money to raise them.”
“Don’t you remember me telling you that Luella and I decided not to have children?”
“You said you would be honest with me Frank, so tell me the truth now. Do you regret that decision, now that you are a lonely old man whose only prospect is a woman with a price on her head? Don’t you wish you had children?”
“Wow, I knew trying to explain this to you would be hard but...”
“You are trying not to answer my question. Do you regret not having children? All I want to hear is yes or no or I will scream.”
“Yes, I regret the decision Luella and I made.”
“So children aren’t really a problem. Your age is my problem, not yours and I don’t have a problem with it.”
“But my concern about dying and leaving you with children to raise alone is not the only concern. What if we try to have children and can’t? Then I die in ten years and you are alone at age forty.”
“Life does not come with a guarantee. What if I suffer the same fate as Luella, and I am gone in two years? They could have been two happy years for two people who are in love and having a stupid argument.”
April had tears rolling down her cheeks and Frank’s heart was breaking.
“I am going to the bathroom and when I get under control I will come back, and we will continue this stupid discussion because I am not through yet,” she blubbered as she left the room.
Frank had total admiration for her. Her ship was sinking in an ocean of tears, but she was still at the helm. He got up and had a glass of water and poured one for her hoping he wouldn’t end up wearing it.
It took her about ten minutes to regain her composure. When she came back into the room, he was standing by the window. She walked over to him and put her arms around him. He couldn’t help himself, and he put his arms around her. They stood holding each other.
“Frank is it because I have a price on my head and you are afraid you will lose me or you might get killed?”
“No, I made my decision and crossed that bridge shortly after we met and I have no regrets.”
“Is it because it would embarrass you when we are seen together and people think I am your daughter and not your girlfriend or wife?”
“No. I want better for you than I can offer because of my age. You may want me as a lover, but right now you need me more as a friend. I am the only male available to you at the moment and I know your affection for me is as real as my affection for you but I also know, under a different situation, with other men available to you, you might feel differently. I know you don’t want to change the subject right now but I think it is my turn to ask you some questions. We can return to this discussion after I have my turn if that is OK with you?”
“OK, but I want to say one more thing. I have had a lot of boyfriends and very passionate relationships and I thought I was in love with all of them. They were all of short duration. I didn’t know the meaning of love until I spent time with you without great sex clouding my judgment. While I want a physical relationship with you my love goes beyond that and if you had told me, there was an insurmountable physical problem where sex was concerned it would have changed nothing. I would still want to be with you forever.”
“That is the nicest thing that anyone has ever said and in a moment I might have to go to the bathroom to compose myself. But I need to ask you some serious questions. Let’s sit down.”
“Do you still have contact info for the CSIS lady?”
“Please go over with me again all the details you can remember from the time you arrived back from your tour overseas.”
Frank listened carefully, and it surprised her when he took notes.
Finally, he said, “OK, I have thoughts to discuss with you but it is well past lunchtime, and we should eat.”
There long talk of the morning about a relationship had strengthened their bond rather than weakening it. There was lots of kidding around and brushing past each other as they prepared lunch. Then she suddenly turned to him and said,
“Frank, is a kiss sexual?”
He laughed and said, “Well it depends on the kisser and the kissee and their intent. What the kiss is leading up to.”
“So a kiss is not sexual if they do not intend it to lead to sex. Is that right?”
“More or less.”
“Then I want a nonsexual grandpa kiss on the lips from you that is not leading to sex and there is no intent there will be sex.”
Before he could argue she was in his arms and his resistance melted in an instant. The kiss was lengthy and breathtaking for both of them. She finally broke it off, stepped back and said,
“I lied. I wanted a sexual kiss from a man and boy did you deliver even if it wasn’t leading up to sex. I think your kiss definition is flawed, and I wanted you to have a taste of what you are missing out on. When you aren’t expecting it I will do it again. Frank, you have rejected me and it hurts. Please let me have this.”
“You will give me a heart attack but it is now impossible for me to say no. That is exactly my concern if we had sex. I know I wouldn’t be able to be the man I want to be for you.”
“I would be happier if you were the man I want you to be instead of the man you think you should be. I still love you, and I will keep telling you I do.”
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