18~ Have you ever been in a love triangle...with you as the object of desire?
Hmm…let me examine this closely.
I could reference Love Challenge 8, but it wouldn’t be entirely accurate, since I technically didn’t get involved with Neka until after my relationship with Ant had greatly deteriorated.
So let me take you way back. Back to Ronnie. I know you are like, “Isn’t that the guy you mentioned in the beginning?” Well, yes.
It will all make sense in a moment; I promise you.
Go on back to fall 1993. I started dating this guy named Eric. Many would say Eric and I were a strange pair, particularly when it came to our mental capacity. I was deemed as super intelligent, in Advanced Placement classes, the whole nine; Eric…well, Eric was in “the special class”.
But special people can love, too. They have the same emotions as others. I was not one to discriminate on that type of capacity, either. I guess you could say I was an EOL= an Equal Opportunity Lover.
He was nice to me. He was a gentleman. He made me laugh. My needs were pretty simple. He never tried to force the sex issue (cause I was still saving it at this point). And up until I went on my school trip, he was honest and faithful. He and Ronnie were friends; in fact, Ronnie and my then friend, Amy (who is now currently his fiance and baby’s mama) encouraged our union.
But after finding out about Eric’s actions during my trip, I wanted to be done with him. Eric begged me to give him another chance, but I refused him and went on about my business. Ronnie was there to console me; my friendship with Ronnie deepened and later, he and I ended up together.
Well, once word got around that Ronnie and I were together, quite a few people were outraged. Eric and his cousins were on the top of the list.
Eric wasn’t man enough to confront Ronnie about his displeasure. He sent his cousins to do it about two weeks into my union with him.
Ronnie was already getting heat from his side of the fence (his race), so it didn’t help that members of my race were coming at him as well. Eric’s cousins had cornered him the day after school and threatened to hurt him badly if he did not end the relationship with me.
Ronnie did not want to end the relationship with me, but he didn’t want to get put in ICU, either. Plus, a couple of Eric’s cousins were known to be gang affiliated.
At first, I thought it was just random people threatening Ronnie, but once Ronnie revealed what the guys looked like, I knew they were related to Eric.
“Let me talk to Eric one on one,” I told Ronnie. “Maybe we can come up with a solution to all of this.”
“What solution can there be besides ending it?” Ronnie mumbled.
“Just leave it to me,” I told him.
So the following day, I told one of Eric’s friends to let Eric know I wanted to meet with him one-on-one during lunch. Eric got the message and we met up.
I let Eric know that it was a chicken shit move to have his goon-like cousins threaten Ronnie. He told me he didn’t know of any other way to get Ronnie to let me go. He expressed that he felt betrayed when Ronnie decided to get with me and wondered if Ronnie wasn’t plotting it out the whole time.
“Would you have gone through this trouble if I was dating someone else other than Ronnie?”
He admitted it would not have been as extreme.
“I want you to call off your goons.”
“Are you going to break up with him?”
“No, I’m not,” I answered. “Why should I be miserable just because you are? You should have kept your hands to yourself while I was away. You are the reason our relationship ended, not him!”
“I want to give us another chance. I love you and miss you. I want a chance to re…re…”
(well Eric wasn’t good on big words either)
“You want a chance to redeem yourself?”
“I’m not going to break up with Ronnie. But I want you to call off your goons; if anything happens to Ronnie, I assure you something is going to happen to your cousins..”
I started to walk away.
“Come on, Moni; don’t be like that…”
“So what is it gonna be?”
His face wrinkled in agitation. This was not going how he had wanted it, and he didn’t want his cousins to get in trouble. Eric knew I was as good as my word if anything were to happen to Ronnie.
“I will do it on this condition….”
“If you get back together with me…”
“Look, I already told you…”
“You don’t have to break up with Ronnie. I just want you to be my girl again; I just want you in my life again.”
My jaw dropped; I had never heard of anything so crazy in my life. But it would be killing two birds with one stone. I would still have Ronnie. Eric would have what he wanted. Ronnie wouldn’t be in ICU. But would Ronnie agree to it?
“Look, you don’t have to decide right now. But you have to decide soon. Talk it over with Ronnie; see what he says. They aren’t going to move unless I give them the go ahead.”
I shook my head in bewilderment, “But I’m not going to sneak around with Ronnie. How are you going to explain to them the situation if we all agree?”
Eric was silent for a while before replying, “They won’t like it, but it’s still my life. I have to be the one happy not them.”
After school, I met up with Ronnie and let him know I had talked to Eric.
“So what did he say?”
I explained the situation to Ronnie, and at first, he was outraged.
“Okay, so I will tell Eric tomorrow it’s a no-go…”
I guess flashes about the upcoming ass whooping entered Ronnie’s brain because he told me to “hold on” and to “weigh the pros and cons”.
Don’t get me wrong. I still had love for Eric as a person but was just upset at how things went down in the end. However, I didn’t want anything bad happening to Ronnie; if Ronnie’s safety meant I had to do some PA (public appearances) with Eric, then I ultimately decided I would do it. I loved Ronnie just that much…because of all the strife he and I were going through just trying to be together.
So, the next day, I went to Eric and let him know my answer. He was thrilled and gave me a hug. I let him know the three of us would have to meet up to figure out how everything was going to go. This was a new situation for me, and I am sure it was new for Eric and Ronnie, too. I think we all wanted things to go as smoothly as possible.
We met up after school to work out the particulars.
We had to coordinate times we spent together in the morning, during lunch, and after school, since I had no classes with either of them; they didn’t have classes together. Each guy got two days; we had one day where we all hung out together. On weekends when Ronnie got access to the truck, he would let Eric have an extra day with me at school, since Eric didn’t have transportation and was never able to see me on the weekends.
There was no limit to the amount of calls we could make to each other.
If there was rotation on the days (or swap offs), all parties had to agree to it.
When it came to any public displays of affection, I couldn’t do to one that I was not willing to do to the other one; it would arouse too much suspicion.
Eric recognized that Ronnie was the primary relationship; my close friends knew I considered Ronnie my boyfriend. However, I was not going to say anything that would lead others to believe that Eric was not. His cousins, although not happy about the situation, was looking for any break in the routine.
Some of you are probably thinking I must have had fun having my cake and eating it, too.
But it wasn’t fun for me.
I knew my heart was with Ronnie; it felt so weird the times I was just spending with Eric.
Eric and I always had fun, good laughs--he never made me feel awkward. Even the hugs didn’t feel weird….only when it got to the kisses.
For I knew when Eric kissed me, he was kissing his girlfriend. He felt as if he had me back; he was in Heaven; I felt the passion and saw it in his eyes. I just couldn’t mirror it to him--as convincing of an act I performed around others.
When I spent time with Ronnie, it was usually during the times when Eric’s friends and cousins were in class or not there. I didn’t feel as on edge because I knew when I was holding him and kissing him, it wasn’t an act. During these times, my relationship with Ronnie was strong, damn near unbreakable. I felt his passion with every gaze, every touch, every kiss.
The only tricky part was on our shared day, particularly in the mornings. Mornings more so than after school.
Mornings, you are waiting for the bell to ring so you can go to class.
So everyone is outside…trying to finish up homework they should have done last night or being nosy to see what action was going on.
If the people looking represented bees and the three of us represented honey, then we were surrounded by swarms.
At first, people didn’t pick up on it. They just figured we were three people who liked to hang out together. Usually, Ronnie would be sitting down, and Eric and I would be standing. Eric would hold my hand or hold me from behind. Other times, they would be on each side of me while we all would be engaged in conversation.
But as Ronnie started caring less about who was watching, the body language began changing. Then it started becoming apparent something was there.
Sometimes, during lunch, we all had the opportunity to go off campus. We would stop by the grocery store across the way or just hang out along the pathway which cut across the baseball field. That was our usual spot for a little extra hanky panky.
The arrangement lasted for a while, but soon, feelings started to get involved.
Eric’s feelings had escalated to a fever pitch. He confessed that he thought he could handle the sharing but was starting to realize he couldn’t.
And I’m not sure whether Ronnie was really tired of the sharing or feeling guilt because he had taken up with the other female (unbeknownst to me), but he, too, started becoming dissatisfied with the arrangement.
I expressed to Eric he knew I was involved with Ronnie, that I wasn’t going to stop. I was glad Eric had become a better person and had remained faithful to the cause but it wasn’t enough to make me be solely with him. Ronnie told Eric he no longer cared if the cousins came after him; he was wrong for putting me in that type of predicament.
Eric’s eyes was full of anger as he walked away. Ronnie and I braced for the aftermath, but I guess Eric decided to drop it because Ronnie’s beat down never came.
(and there it go....)