Keeping Secrets

By: Kristol Locks

“You don’t have to know you are being cheated on to be hurt by it. Everyone gets hurt when it happens. My suggestion to you is a good one; don’t get involved with married men. You don’t want to ride a train to sadness.” We stopped walking and he turned to me. “I am a business professor-not a counselor, but I think my prospective on this will serve you well.”

“I hear what you are saying, Professor.”

“I know you can hear me, but are you really listening, Charlotte? Everyone does not cheat. It’s a choice, and it’s a bad one. Your soul mate is out there. Give it time. In the end, you will be glad you did.”

“I don’t believe in soul mates. I don’t believe I was put on Earth to search for my soul mate. I find the entire idea crazy. Professor, I am not lost, and I don’t think anyone is looking for me. I just want to . . . I want to tell you something. . .”

“Charlotte, you are young, and you have hopes and dreams. You don’t want to deal with nightmares. Listen to me, do not date or get involved with someone who is married. And by all means, do not ever open up to a married man. You don’t want to live in the shadows of someone else’s life.”

His soft hazel eyes and the way his brown hair was swept back by the wind made me tremble inside. “Professor, I want to . . .”

“Charlotte, people want a lot of things in life. Everything anyone wants comes with a price. If you are thinking about opening up to a married man, I think it is an unwise move. You don’t want to put yourself into a situation that will come with scars.”

I looked away and back into Professor Andrews’ eyes. “I just wish I could . . . feel. Every guy I have had a relationship with never even bothered to ask me what my middle name is. My engagement last summer was a complete joke. I wanted to believe in someone or something. . . There was nothing there to believe in. I’d like one true-connection with a man. Maybe then-I would feel something other than . . . dead inside.”

He bent down and petted Samantha. Then he tossed the stick, and we started walking again. “I understand. . . It takes time to find the right person. You say you are not looking for your soul mate, and he is not looking for you. This may be true. However, when you meet him, you will know it. He will make you want to open up more. In fact, do not be surprised if the sky seems bluer and the grass greener when you find him. And when you do find him, you will be glad that you listened to my advice.”

I watched as Samantha jumped over a large branch and headed back toward us. “What if the guy I want is married?”

“Then he is not the guy for you. He will hurt you. Charlotte, there are many fine young men on campus that are single. You just need to open up more. Don’t be afraid to let others know who you are. Share yourself more. You will find that there is someone out there that will love that you did that, and he will want to take you out and tell everyone that you are his girl. He will not want to hide you from his world. A married man could not give you the true-devotion you deserve.”

Professor Andrews’ phone started ringing. He quickly pulled it out of his pocket and answered the call. “Hello.”

Someone was clearly yelling at him on the phone. He just listened. Then he responded. “You never said anything about that to me. I will get it on the way home. . . Don’t you remember? I said I was dog sitting today. . .”

I watched as he looked at his phone in disbelief. Someone had just hung up on him.

“Was that your wife?”

“Yes. She has allergies. She hung up before I could finish. . . She seems to think I want to take Samantha home with me. I am taking Samantha back to her house. I just need to let her out and in a few times today and feed her. . .”

“I see.”

“Sorry-I seem to be explaining myself so much these days-that I never know when to stop.”

Samantha sat down and dropped the stick.

I smiled at Professor Andrews. “Well, I need to head back the other way. It looks like Samantha is done with chasing that stick.”

Professor Andrews petted her. “I think she knows she is home. We are standing in front of her house.”

“Wow. It’s a nice house. I like all the windows. Is that Professor Smith’s boat? I hope he does not put Samantha in it. It does not look safe. . .”

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