It makes good sense to me, he thought, as he laid a plan of action to execute protection of his money, before he married his successful but penniless artist lover. She seemed to have taken to the agreement quite well, understanding his feelings of "being taken to the cleaners" by his first wife. She even seemed to take well to the fact that he did not feel like investing in a diamond ring. A silver ring bought on her birthday four months ago at a fair would have to do. They were getting married for good reasons. They had the gift of love.
But an amazing thing happened just before the wedding. Her maiden aunt died and left her one million dollars. It is interesting to note that within a matter of a few hours of this news, he presented her with a beautiful diamond ring. It was much grander than her secret hopes and dreams. She slipped it on her finger but could never enjoy it.
One week before the wedding, she said, "Dear, I am ready to sign your prenuptial agreement. Where is it?"
"Oh, that thing," he said. "I haven't thought about that for weeks. Let's just drop the subject."
"But you said it was an important thing for you. In fact, you said that without it, you couldn't make any wedding plans."
"Well, if you insist. Sign the prenuptial agreement I wrote up, and let'sjust get on with the wedding." Well, what could he do? It was a matter of honor, and after all, he had invested much time explaining to her the legal benefits.
After the marriage, things were never the same. He often wondered what it would have been like if he had just bought her the ring when she was still poor and needed to feel good about herself and about his love. If only he hadn't tried to protect his personal wealth (which, next to hers, did not look so great now), she would still be that artist who simply loved him.
At first the marriage seemed to be going quite well. She spent the next five years managing her wealth, and creating and exhibiting her art, while he spent the time maintaining his dignity. But the day-to-day sharing was never the same. Nor was the trust.
One day she did a brave thing. She called United Way and made a very generous donation. When he came home that night, she asked if he wanted his ring back, for she was no longer wealthy. "No," he answered, "not very many people get the chance at true love twice." *
Leah Lubin is an author and artist with an upcoming art show at NASA/Ames Visitor Center
opening in late October. She is currently writing her first novel, Between Two Worlds,
which she hopes to publish in the beginning of next year.
Dreams and Fantasies