A woman attracted to two men resorts to chance to make a choice
|The Toss of a Coin
What other option did she have?
There was no other option: She would have to make a choice. Selena's heart was in a vice, squeezed between the two sides of a dilemma. She was in love with two georgeous guys, and had juggled their affections for far too long.
She held her hands palm up in front of her, like there was a man in each hand, and tried to make up her mind.
In the left hand was Albert (pronounced Al-behr) de Maisonneuve. Outgoing, lively, intelligent, dazzlingly handsome, Albert made her feel as giddy as a leaf in a whirlwind. He entertained her with lavish dinners and first-run plays, and surprised her with little clever gifts or unexpected flowers. He constantly set her laughing with his rapier wit and wicked humour. His flashing brown eyes could caress her soul. He clearly adored and cherished her, and she suspected that he was going to ask for a deeper relationship, hinting at stays at international glamour destinations. Besides all that, the young Belgian financier had the promise of a brilliant and wealthy future, and with that the promise of security.
In the right hand was Benjamin Jossten. Ben was an entrepreneur who had his own landscaping business. His active work-life had given him a deliciously sculptured body that made her almost drool just thinking of him. He was clever, and good with his hands (!). His gentle humor was the kind that never put another down to make a joke. While not classically handsome, his craggy face, sandy wind-swept hair, sparkling blue eyes, and engaging smile made him wonderfully attractive in a home-spun, comfortable way. In fact, Selina decided, comfortable described the man overall. She felt safe and protected in his presence. She knew beyond doubt that he loved her deeply and would cherish her for all her life. He'd never be wealthy, but his hard work would ensure that his family would never want for the necessities of life.
She had known each for about a year, and had fallen for them both. How could she love two men? It was insane! She had managed time and places carefully so that, as far as she knew, neither knew about the other. But she couldn't put this off any longer.
A song from the sixties floated through her mind. Obviously, she was hardly the only one in this situation.
Did you ever have to make up your mind?
Pick up on one and leave the other one behind
It's not often easy, and not often kind
Did you ever have to make up your mind?*
She lifted first the left hand and and then the right, trying to weigh the relative merits of two wonderful men, knowing that choosing one would devastate the other. As the song said, not easy and certainly not kind to anyone involved. How could she possibly decide? Maybe she should avoid the whole issue and run off with the UPS delivery guy? No, she wouldn't be that cowardly.
She decided to use a method her mother had taught her: flip a coin. Her choice then had been between two pairs of sneakers. She wanted both, could only have one, and couldn’t decide between them.
"No," her mother had laughed at eleven-year-old Selena's dubious look, "you don't just decide by whether the coin is heads or tails. When the coin lands, you look into your heart. If you are happy with the way the coin came out, it was the right choice. If you realize you are a disappointed with the coin toss, you choose the other one. The coin is just a way to know what is in your heart, a way to see what is your real desire."
Selina smiled at the memory of her mother’s lesson as she dug a quarter out of her purse and placed it on her index finger and thumb. If it came down heads-up, she would choose Albert. Tails up would be Benjamin. Her heart would tell her if the coin choice was right or wrong.
She drew a deep breath and flipped the coin high into the air. She held her breath as she watched it arc overhead, spinning and flashing, then began an agonizingly slow tumble down again.
“I must be crazy,” she thought, “to let love be decided by a coin toss.”
But then...What other option did she have?
* The Lovin' Spoonful, 1965