Gloria was astonished at how quickly her jealousy was dispelled when Jeremy reassured her that the e-mail from the heartbroken woman had not been addressed to him. Still, anxiety continued to plague her. After a few seconds of silence that seemed like an eternity, she decided to broach the issue head-on.
About Dr. Leonard Rosmarin
Leonard Rosmarin is Professor Emeritus of French Literature and former Chair of the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures & Cultures at Brock University, situated in the Niagara Peninsula in the province of Ontario, Canada, very close to the American border and Western New York State. He began his university teaching career at Yale in 1964, then went on to Wesleyan for three years before moving back to Canada where he taught at Brock University till his retirement in 2003. He has also been Visiting Professor at the Université de Perpignan in France. He has been twice decorated by the Government of France for distinguished service in the cause of French letters and is a specialist on the literature of love relationships, both tragic and comic. He has published hundreds of articles and ten books, including a very recent novel titled "Getting Enough", the story of a mangled marital and sexual relationship that manages to heal itself against almost insurmountable odds. For more information on this novel, kindly access this website: www.strategicbookpublishing.com/GettingEnough.html. Leonard has taught thousands of students during his university career in the U.S.A., France and Canada that has spanned almost 40 years. Now he looks forward to helping anyone coming to the LoveDetour website who has a problem to be solved.
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Still reeling from Jeremy’s open declaration of love, Gloria walked back towards the kitchen table and mechanically picked up the sheet of paper on which he had scribbled various cost estimates. She absentmindedly turned the page over. That other side contained a detailed e-mail. At first glance, the message didn’t make sense. She was still mesmerized by what she had just experienced. On second glance, however, as she figured out what the message meant, Gloria began to shake with indignation, then anger.
After a tormented, sleepless night, Gloria vowed to herself that she would maintain a calm exterior come hell or high water. No matter what is going on inside of me, she said to herself, I won’t ever betray me feelings again to Corey. I won’t ever let him know again how much Jeremy’s presence is affecting me. And I’ll keep Jeremy at a distance, too, as much as possible. I know now, in my heart of hearts, that the more I see him, the less I’ll be able to resist.
During the first two months of their married life, Gloria was such a good actress that her husband never suspected she was only pretending to be aroused when they made love. It never occurred to him that his wife could be sexually excited only by thinking about his business partner, Jeremy. And yet this is exactly what was happening. Gloria could only be aroused when she imagined that Jeremy, not Corey, her husband, was penetrating her. After their lovemaking, once Corey drifted happily off into sleep, Gloria would stay awake for hours, tormented by guilt. How long can I play these psychological games with myself? she asked herself. How long can I pretend that I feel erotic passion for a man whom I love only as my dearest friend? Am I condemned to being a hypocrite for the rest of my life? Do Corey’s happiness and the stability of my marriage depend on my projecting an illusion? Even as a child, I loathed ambiguous situations. I’ve always cherished forthrightness and honesty. Now here I am, married only two months, and faking orgasms like any high-class prostitute. Where is all this going to end?
During the course of the wedding dinner, Gloria tried her utmost to repress the erotic turmoil that Jeremy’s presence had unleashed within her heart. She smiled graciously at all the guests, made witty conversation with all who approached her, and went out of her way to show tenderness towards her new husband, Corey. Corey was so entranced by his love for his new wife that he didn’t notice that anything was amiss. And Gloria vowed to herself that she would never give him any cause to doubt her loyalty.
Gloria and Corey agreed that their wedding would not be a Hollywood spectacular. They would invite only those friends and relatives with whom they had enjoyed a significant relationship. Through a process of elimination they reduced the guest list to 200 people. Since Gloria’s mother, Estelle, was not wealthy, Corey very generously offered to cover a sizable portion of the cost. This act of generosity endeared him even more to his future wife and mother-in-law.
Corey took Gloria to the swankiest restaurant in town, Chez Justine. It was the place to dine for people who had either made it to the top or were aspiring to get there. It was the place to see and be seen. With its crystal chandeliers, massive gold-framed mirrors, luxuriant green carpets, immaculately white, starched tablecloths, vases filled with spring flowers on every table, dark wood paneling, and waiters in smart uniforms, Chez Justine could have been the opulent reconstructed movie set for a film unfolding in France’s Belle Époque at the turn of the 20th century.
Gloria had always been close to her mother, Estelle, and this closeness was reinforced when her father passed away several years before. Gloria was never a rebellious adolescent. She never rejected her mother’s values just to assert her independence as so many of her contemporaries had done. Estelle took advantage of the trust and esteem her daughter showed her in order to impress upon Gloria the importance of leading a virtuous life. Estelle was smart enough to avoid depicting sex as something evil. She even told her daughter that sensual attractions could be very exciting. She emphasized, however, that a girl who allowed herself to be used as a fornicating apparatus was her own worst enemy. In the first place, the man who took advantage of her would never respect her. In the second place, once she had been used as an object, she would never respect herself either.
Her high school classmates called her “The Ice Queen” when they were in a good mood. When they weren’t in a good mood, they would call her “Sexless”. It’s not that she was ugly. On the contrary, Gloria was without a doubt the most beautiful girl in her school, and wherever she went, people who didn’t know her were riveted by her physical presence. Gloria could have been the most popular girl in her school had she been more accommodating, sexually speaking. Every young man in her graduating class would have given anything to bed her, from the clumsiest oafs to the most adulated football players. She however, remained completely indifferent to their sensual longings or even their admiration.
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