In her words
His best-hidden asset was me
By: Charlotte Perkins
Although Edmund and I had been seeing each other regularly, he never introduced me to his friends. He certainly had friends, because the phone in his flat rang constantly, and he was very open about his callers. They were women friends, he said. Excluding one edgy neighbor down the street, all of Edmund’s friends seemed to be women, and single women at that.
After great betrayal comes a certain kind of resignation. When my former husband, Julius, left me for a young beauty, I resigned myself to the fact that a mate will eventually do whatever suits him: relationships, marriages and children be damned. And so I tried not to be bothered by Edmund’s uneven balance of women friends. If he really wanted to be with one of them, he wouldn’t be spending so much time with me, I reasoned. Anyway, Edmund’s side of the phone conversations came across as chatty and gossipy, not romantic.
One day, he invited me to a party. His friend, Ann, who worked in public relations, had organized a cocktail party to be held in the Rodin Sculpture Garden. I was excited. Finally, I’d get to meet one of his woman callers. It would be the much-discussed Ann, who was doggedly hanging on to the man she shared with Edmund’s other friend, Rose.
That evening, on the drive to campus, Edmund seemed twitchy.
“Let’s find Ann,” I suggested. I was eager to meet her and felt she must be curious about me as well. But, Edmund seemed in no hurry to locate Ann. Finally, after about an hour, she found us.
Edmund didn’t offer introductions. He simply turned away from the group and started to speak with her privately. I finally interrupted and stuck out my hand. “Hello, I’m Charlotte,” I said. Ann seemed a bit taken aback, but she greeted me politely. Shortly after, she hurried off. She was working, I told myself. There was little time for her to stand around and yak.
Edmund and I had a bite to eat and then spent some time listening to the band. Another hour or so passed. When we were just about to head out, he stopped and declared, “I really should thank Ann for the invitation.”
Back through the sculptures we trudged until we found Ann, who was now ready to linger and chat. “How did you meet Edmund?” I asked, relying on the old party standby. She laughed but didn’t answer. A moment later she exclaimed, “Oh, Edmund, all the many women I’ve tried to fix you up with!” Didn’t she know we were a couple?
To be continued…