(Continued from here)
I wanted her maybe as much as I've ever wanted anyone or anything (especially in those youthful days of sexual starvation), and part of me was screaming that this was the chance of a lifetime. But I simply couldn't. I knew that if I did, I could never look my friend in the eye again, and we'd been good friends for too long to let that happen.
She asked why I felt I couldn't, and seemed puzzled by my answers (which puzzled me - how could she not understand that you don't fuck your friend's girlfriend without it being a very big deal?!?) But she left it completely up to me, and when I said I couldn't go any further, we didn't. I'm pretty sure that if she had been more aggressive or insistent that I would have caved, but thankfully she didn't push it.
We finally kissed one last time, and I was near tears with frustration. She asked me with a smile if I wouldn't change my mind, and I smiled and nodded "no." We hugged, and I walked out into the hotel corridor. I thought I was alone, and shook my head in frustration. She must have been watching after me, as I heard her voice laughing and telling me not to shake my head - which made me laugh and shake my head again. And then I was gone.
Postscript 1: I didn't sleep much that night, and masturbated numerous times (I don't remember how many times, but definitely twice before I could get to sleep, and I'm pretty sure at least once during the night - those were the days.... :-)) The first release was the most intense I'd ever had had - I was *that* charged up.
Postscript 2: She phoned me the next night to talk some more - said she respected me and my decision, and understood, and was sorry. I assured her she couldn't possibly be as sorry as I was. She said she collected gems, and that I was one - which was a very kind thing to say, and something that I wanted to believe. I knew this was our last time discussing these things, and we said goodbye with sadness and finality. But I also had a good feeling, as I knew I had done the right thing - I felt like I had passed a difficult test with flying colors. At that age and emotional state, I would have been *consumed* with guilt, and I could not possibly have concealed it.
Postscript 3: The next time I saw Tom, he thanked me for showing Susan a nice evening. I could see the gratitude in his eyes as he said, "She said you were a perfect gentleman."
Postscript 4: Susan broke up with him a few months later, and he was devastated. I never saw or talked to her again. I admit I spent a lot of time imagining what that evening with her might have been like. Tom is still a good friend.