Eugene just blinked and stared, not saying a word, at least not out loud. However, that relentless inner voice of his was having a heyday with this turn of events. ‘Oh you idiot,’ he thought. ‘Why would you tell her you were boring and unadventurous, that you would never be rich or handsome? Why did you ask her so soon?. You have just lost everything!’
Eugene stood there, eyes blinking, with his mouth hanging open in disbelief. He could have wished her a good life and just walked away. He could have gone to the pub and pounded back a few pints and then a few more, then go for a long walk off the end of the pier…but that would have meant never seeing her again and that would have been far worse than death.
Trying his best to keep his voice steady and the tears from rolling down his face, he said: “someone else?”
“Yes Eugene,” replied Emily, “someone else. I met him around the same time I met you.”
Eugene blinked again in disbelief, “You met him at the same time you met me?”
“Yes Eugene, he also happens to be an accountant,” she said. “Small world, isn’t it?”
Okay, now Eugene’s disbelief was quickly turning to anger. How could she?!?
“At the same time you met me and an accountant, do I already know this man?” demanded Eugene.
“You do”, said Emily with a dreamy look in her eyes. “He’s tall and handsome, very sweet and gentle and did I mention that he has a great head of hair and a perfect mustache.” “Oh, and he is the best kisser ever!”
Eugene had just about had heard enough. His poor, already-deflated ego was about to crumble, but he had to try and maintain at least a thread of self-respect and defend himself.
“I can’t speak for this other guy Emily, but I can tell you something thing for sure… I own the largest accounting firm in Merino and I am the best damn accountant this town has ever had. Just ask anyone!” Eugene could feel a wave of righteousness coming.
“Besides, I own my own home, paid cash for my car, and I even have a summer cottage on the lake.” Eugene stopped to think for a second and then added…”I too have a full head of hair and a well-groomed mustache!”
With a puzzled look on his face, Eugene looked at Emily and asked, “I thought you said I was the best kisser ever?”
“You are,” said Emily.
“Well, then how can there be two of us?”
“There are two of you Eugene; there is the strong self-assured Eugene who just stood up for himself, who is standing in front of me now, and then there is the other Eugene who asked me to marry him. The one who insists on putting himself down by telling me how dull and boring and unworthy he is.”
You can see the lights start to go on in Eugene’s head.
“So you’re telling me that you love the Eugene that is standing in front of you right now? That you want to marry that Eugene and not the other one? And there isn’t really another man?”
With a twinkle in her eye and the tiniest smirk spreading across her lips, Emily looks Eugene squarely in the eyes and says…
“Yes, Eugene you are right, and I will marry you, but only if the other Eugene leaves town and never comes back!”
With trembling knees and pounding heart, Eugene engulfs Emily in his arms and promises her that the other Eugene has already packed his bags and was last seen waving goodbye on the outskirts of town.