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Darling, Why Are You

Telling Me This Now?


Mario V. Farina

Copyright 2018 Mario V. Farina

Smashwords Edition

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Correspondence may be directed to:

Mario V. Farina

Email: mario@mariofarina.com

"Darling," I said. "Before we were married, there had been another woman in my life!"

"There's no need to tell me that, honey," Angie responded. "This is our wedding night! What happened before belongs to the past! Beginning today, we are building a new now and a new tomorrow!"

"I'm sorry if what I've said has bothered you, dear," I said. "It's been weighing heavily on my mind. I thought you should know."

"No need!" she insisted. There was a short silence. Then, in a muted voice, she asked, "Was she pretty?"

"Yes," I said. "Very!"

"Nice figure?"

"Yes," I said. "Let's sit, I want to tell you about it."

"That might be a good thing," she mumbled. We sat side by side in the love seat. Angie Smith and I had been married that afternoon at All-Faiths Church and had just registered at the huge Builtshore Hotel. We were in the luxurious accommodations of the Bridal Suite on the Seventeenth Floor. We had changed to more comfortable clothing.

My name is Robert Bradbury. I'm 25, a recent graduate of Franklin Polytechnic. I work as an Engineer's Assistant at Reynolds Products. Angie was born in California. She is a year younger than me, a college graduate, trained as a Psychologist. We plan to make our home, ultimately, in the her home town. Meanwhile, we'll be living in Springfield where I work.

This is the story I told Angie:

About a year ago, I was keeping a dental appointment. While in the waiting room, I was browsing through a magazine. There was a small ad that intrigued me very much. It indicated there was an opportunity in Hollywood for a young man to be involved in a special project with a popular actress. I knew who the actress was. I had a crush on her. She was my favorite star. I'm bashful about telling you this; in my mind, I thought of her as My Sweetheart! Though she wasn't a superstar in the films, she was the one I admired most. With great enthusiasm, I responded to the ad, and included a photo of myself as the ad requested. I was hoping for a response, but did not have a great expectation of actually receiving one. Imagine my joy when I received a handwritten, perfumed personal letter on pink notepaper. It was from My Sweetheart herself!

My Sweetheart was inviting me to come to Hollywood to participate in a promotion where I was to play the part of her fiancé. All expenses would be paid for the transportation, and I was to receive $5000 for my participation in the undertaking. To say that I was enthused beyond measure could not even began to express my joy. Just the mere idea of being involved with something involving My Sweetheart had been far beyond my most fantastic daydream! The letter had included a private phone number by which I could communicate with her. I phoned, and was invited to leave a message, which I did. She responded within the hour.

The mere sound of her voice nearly sent me into Swoonsland! We had a very sweet conversation. My Sweetheart assured me that the ad had been perfectly legitimate; that every word was true! I was expected to meet with her in Hollywood in about a month where all would be explained. I readily agreed, and, after we had hung up, I sent her an email confirming this. In return, I received a debit card containing sufficient money to pay for my traveling expenses and payment in full for my part in the enterprise. There was also a generous additional amount to be used for living expenses while in Hollywood. A note with the card advised me that a large portion of this money was to be used as funds dealing with the cost of escorting My Sweetheart to the most visible places in town.

I don't know how I survived the days and weeks that led to my great adventure. I had told my supervisor about what would be happening, and he assured me he would excuse any serious blunders I would make in my work. He smiled as he said this, and gave me a sly wink as I left his office!

The flight to Hollywood was uneventful. I was met at the airport by several men and women, including My Sweetheart herself! She was even more beautiful than I had imagined. I knew I was blushing uncontrollably as she held out her hand in a greeting. Then she kissed me on the cheek. I nearly fainted! She smiled her understanding!

My Sweetheart seemed to be accompanied by an older gent who, I assumed, was her father. He was introduced to me as a Mr. Smith. His first name was also included, but I made no attempt to remember it. A Rolls Royce limousine was waiting. The chauffer drove the group to an impressive office building on Hollywood and Vine. We were escorted to a luxurious meeting room where we sat on luxurious velvet-covered chairs around a huge, highly-polished oaken desk.

There, a distinguished-looking gentleman, who introduced himself as a producer, told me what the purpose of my visit was to be. According to his narrative, My Sweetheart's career had been stagnant for many years, but was, just now, beginning to greatly improve. However, even though she didn't look her age, she was fifty-one years old, and married to Mr. Smith, the man I had thought was her father. The venture was to give the illusion that My Sweetheart was much younger than she actually was. It was not generally known by the public that, in real life, My Sweetheart was married. A concocted fiction was to announce that I, Mr. Robert Bradberry, heir to a wealthy oil magnate, was to be wed to a beautiful starlet. The beautiful starlet was, of course, My Sweetheart. In the meantime, the entire pretense was to be kept a secret. Not even Mr. and Mrs. Smith's children, studying at a prestigious school in Europe, were to be told.

My purpose was to escort the lovely young starlet to many of the most visible places in Hollywood, as her fiancé. Later, I was to be phased out of the scenario as inconspicuously as possible. The entire purpose of the charade was to enhance the star's aura of youth! My dream of someday being married to My Sweetheart was, obviously, about to be shattered, and my heart broken. Personally, I didn't care that she was much older than me; I didn't care that she was a movie star, and I was a nobody. I loved her and that was all that mattered. Escorting her around town was going to be pleasurable, yes, but, also, bittersweet.

The ruse worked well. We went to many places. As I write this, the names Musso and Frank's, Papilles, Baroo, Ultrasound Nightclub, Avalon's, Bardot's, and others come to mind. In accordance with the hoax, my visits around town with the presumed young starlet, gradually decreased in number until they virtually ended. I was, however, required to stay in Hollywood for about six additional weeks to attend to unexpected and sundry exigencies. During the last couple of weeks, there was very little left for me to do in my hotel room except twiddle my thumbs, which is something I got very good at!

Mr. Smith had seemed to admire me, and, from time to time, visited to keep me company. We became staunch friends. One day, My Sweetheart unexpectedly came to see me. She had phoned barely an hour earlier, and I had just enough time to shave and throw some loose clothing under the bed. When I opened the door to let her into the room, my face became as red as a beet. She appeared not to notice and smiled a smile that could have seduced a dragon. We sat and chatted.

Suddenly, I decided to reveal all to My Sweetheart. "Colleen," I said, "I need to tell you something."

Angie, who had been listening intently to my recitation, suddenly interrupted me, "Darling, this is the first time you've mentioned your sweetheart's name."

"I know," I replied. "Colleen was her name. There was a reason I didn't tell you her name before now, which will soon be clear. I needed to tell Colleen how I had felt about her, and how much it would hurt me when we parted."

I was about to continue my story when Angie broke in again. "Was Colleen's last name, Smith?"

"Yes," I responded.

"Was Colleen married to Mr. Michael Smith?"


"Was your sweetheart my mother?"

"Yes, honey, now you know, I was in love with your mother! I had gone to Hollywood to play-act being her fiancé when I would rather have played her husband in real life!"

"Darling, why did you confess your love to my mother? What was there to be gained?"

"Honey, something in me compelled it! During the time when I had been pretending to be her fiancé, she had become part of my life! When the pretense ended, it was like I had lost a spouse. Confessing was like expressing grief. I see now, it was wrong to do this."

"Darling, aren't you making another mistake? Can you see how this is making me feel? Why are you telling me this now?" She smiled while saying this, but I knew her smile was to express irony.

"Dear one, before I returned to my home from Hollywood, you and your brother, Timothy, came home from Oxford, and your parents introduced me to both of you. Something happened then that was beyond all imagination. It was as if I had been struck by lightning. You immediately became my childhood infatuation, my teenage passion, and my beloved bride all encapsulated in one inspired creation. Unbelievably, when I met you, my fervor for your mother evaporated like a drop of rain on a sun-baked pavement. I instantly knew you were the one that fate had decreed for me, and that this fact would never change!"

"I still don't see," she said.

"Honey, we have a long life ahead of us," I said. "Someday, somehow, you may discover that I was deeply in love with your mother. You may feel I married you on the rebound after failing to win her as my bride. I understand clearly how much it would hurt you to hear this without an explanation. This is why I felt I needed to tell you the full story of what happened."

"Give me a few moments," Angie said. She closed her eyes and was silent for a long time, appearing to be in a trance. Then, opening them, she said, "I believe I understand, darling. Thank you for telling me. I know how difficult it must have been for you to do this, and I think you did the right thing. I'm sure I'll never have a problem with what you've told me!"

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