* From the "Kissing All The Frogs" Series.
Sherri's phone rings incessantly. She won't pick it up and she pretends like it isn't ringing. It rings five times and clicks over to her voice mail, and just when it seems like the caller has given up, it starts ringing again. It is driving me crazy. I say: "Maybe it's an emergency." She looks at the Caller ID and says: "No. It's Pedram." Pedram? The young chap Sherry has been seeing privately for the past six months? I thought she had said that little arrangement was going really well. My mind is full of questions. She finally says: "Let me unplug this phone and I will explain."
My friend, Sherri, is beautiful. She is an athlete who has been running marathons since college. She is slim and petite, with beautiful long hair, huge eyes, and pouty lips. Married briefly and divorced, she never had any children and this is one part of her life with which she feels the most at peace. She is a university lecturer and earns enough to live in a posh high-rise, drive a nice European car, vacation far, and dress very well. Going out on dates has never been a problem for her as between her looks, her work and her hobbies, she is exposed to many men who ask her out. She says she just hasn't met the right guy to settle down with yet.
A few months ago she met a young Iranian man through work. The handsome graduate student and Sherri hit it off really well, and Sherri and Pedram started a sexual relationship. They would meet up at either his place or hers a couple of nights a week, have a meal, and sleep together. Sherri did not want any more out of this relationship, as she is 43 and he is 32 years old.
Recently, though, Pedram has started having feelings for Sherri, asking to see her more often during the week, talking to her about his feelings and his thoughts, and a couple of times he has shown signs of jealousy when he suspected Sherri was going out with other men. Sherri decided to end the relationship as she was not interested in having a romantic relationship with Pedram.
She says Pedram is a handsome young man with his whole career and future ahead of him. He should date and marry a woman closer to his own age so that they can have a family together, something Sherry does not want with Pedram. Pedram is angry and hurt, because he feels Sherri is treating him like a teenager who doesn't know what's good for him. He says Sherri doesn't look or act her age and if he doesn't see her as an "older woman," why should she? He further feels it is utterly condescending of Sherri to tell him what is good for him.
Sherri says Pedram is a refined man who has both looks and smarts, and that whatever he may feel for her is just a temporary state of infatuation which will pass, leaving him with a woman 11 years older than him. How would he feel in ten years, in twenty? What would he tell his family? She says she never let herself develop any feelings other than friendship for Pedram. The sex is great, she says, but that's not all that relationships are all about. She says she is looking for a partner with whom she can do things, go out, and hang out, and that man cannot be Pedram, for to be seen with him in public, she would feel forced to explain or to accept the looks and innuendos, something she can't tolerate.
Sherri reaches out to plug in the telephone. As soon as the phone is plugged in, it starts ringing again. There is a hurt man on the other end.
*Names, places, and other identifying attributes of this series' characters are made-up and a work of fiction. The relationship and the dilemma at the heart of each story is true and that's all that is true.
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