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Page 24




the distance would cool things down, quickly. I had lost face with them when I got axed from my job with Tom Hammond. Before I was the nice guy with a wild streak, that also had a good job and was dating their daughter. Now I was a lunatic bum that was dating their daughter.

After the break-up, there may have been some truth to their assessment. Post Heather I truly went off the deep end. Maybe they saw that seed of lunacy in me and recognized the potential for evil. On the other hand, I had been ready to settle down and make a life time relationship with their daughter. That grain of lunacy was being harnessed in a positive direction.

WSU has a state-wide reputation as a party school. Every now and then the images of frat parties that turned into drunken riots will flicker across the TV screens of Northwest households. Evidently, this was a preferable environment for Heather, than spending time with me. Every week or two I would mount up on my new form of transportation, a Honda CBR 600 motorcycle, and visit Heather at the University.

As soon as Heather began college, I could feel the emotional gap widening. She seemed emotionally distant when we spoke by telephone, and though our actual visits began to recapture some of the former spark she seemed, at times, vaguely disinterested or distracted.

I called Heatherís dorm room one afternoon and an arrogant male voice answered. "What?"

"Hello, is Heather there?" I asked.

He snorted. "Who is this?"

"Well, who is this?" I retorted, a tinge of suspicion beginning to eat at my gut.

"Itís none of your damn business."

I was getting angry now. "I think it is. Iím Heatherís boyfriend."

He still didnít sound too impressed. "Well, hold on and Iíll check to see if sheís not busy."

For a few minutes, while I waited, I contemplated hopping on my bike and making the several hour trip (even at the speeds I rode) and beating the hell out of whoever I had just talked to. After an interminable wait, Heather finally got on the line.

"Who was that?" I asked.

"Nobody," she answered. "Heís just a friend."

"Heís a jerk," I said.

Immediately, Heather began to get defensive. She could sense my jealousy and got angry at me for not trusting her. "What is your problem?"

"My problem is that I call up to talk to my fiancee and a man answers the phone and gives me the fifth degree. That shouldnít be too hard to understand."

"Get a grip, September. Heís just a friend."

"Well, I donít like him."

Our conversation continued for another ten minutes with neither of us making much headway. I had vague suspicions and she was doing nothing to allay them. She just stonewalled and passed off my concerns as negligible. Maybe some girls would have been flattered that I was jealous, and I didnít think I was being unreasonable. Maybe some fiancees would have explained what another man was doing in their room; there may have been a logical explanation, after all.

About a week later, through a mutual friend, I found out what was the logical explanation. She was dating the guy in her dorm room. Evidently, she had neglected to mention to me that our engagement was off. Iím sure it was a mere oversight on her part. These things happen, right?


 
     
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