“Why can’t you just admit it?” Emma demanded.
“Admit what?” Nick asked.
“That you were with Ronda yesterday.”
“So what if I was with her? Why do you automatically assume that something happened between us?”
“Didn’t it? You two have a history. Even after you and I started dating, you were still hanging around her. When are you going to make a clean break?”
“We’re just friends, Emma.”
“How could you be friends with your ex?”
“It’s possible. Some of my buddies are still friendly with their exes.”
“Yes, that’s why most of them are no longer in relationships. Their girlfriends wouldn’t stand for them being chummy with their exes. And I won’t stand for it any more either. You have a choice to make, Nick. It’s either Ronda or me.”
Nick looked at her. “Are you serious?”
She looked him straight in the face. “Yes, I’m dead serious. You have to choose which one of us you want in your life. You can’t have us both. So, it’s either her or me.”
Nick’s expression darkened. “Fine!” he jumped to his feet and marched out of the room. Minutes later, she heard the front door slam and his car pull out of the driveway and drive off.
She sat there for a while, fuming and then she got up, grabbed her keys and drove over to her sister, Lori’s place. Lori was alone. Bart and the kids had gone to visit his parents. As soon as she saw her younger sister’s face, she knew that something was wrong. “Sit down,” she said, patting the cushion next to her. “Tell me what’s wrong.”
Emma told her everything. “I’m sick and tired of sharing my man with his ex. Why is he still seeing her? What hold does she have on him? Why can’t he break free from her?”
“I don’t know what to tell you but what I can tell you is that you shouldn’t have given him an ultimatum.”
“What should I have done then?”
“Pray about it and not get into an argument with him.”
“I was jealous and upset. I know that he was with her yesterday so I had to confront him about it.”
“So, what are you going to do if he chooses her?”
“I don’t know,” Emma wailed. “Oh, Lori, I don’t want to lose him. I love him so much.”
Lori hugged her tightly as she cried.
“So, what brings you here today?” Ronda asked as she let him into her apartment.
“Emma and I had an argument.”
“Let me guess. It was over me, right?”
“Yes. That’s why I’m here. Ronda, you and I can’t see each other anymore. It’s affecting my relationship with Emma.”
“Are you sure this is what you want?” she asked, moving closer.
He closed his eyes. “You know it isn’t but I don’t want to hurt Emma. She loves me.”
“And what about you? Do you love her?”
“I care about her.”
“That isn’t the same thing.”
“I care enough about her to end my friendship with you.”
“Is that what you call this–friendship? Clearly Emma doesn’t think so.”
“She knows that we were together yesterday.”
“Nothing happened between us.”
“You’re right, nothing did, but that’s only because we were out in public. You and both know that if we had been here in your apartment we would have ended up in bed and I can’t do that to Emma. That’s why you and I can’t see each other anymore, not here and not even in public.”
“So, you’re just going to end what we have for someone you don’t love.”
“She gave me an ultimatum. It’s either her or you. I’m going to choose her.”
“All right, Nick. Go home to your precious Emma. You’ve got what you came here for. We’re through.”
His face turned pale. “Ronda…”
She turned to walk away when he grabbed her arm. She tried to pull it away but his grip tightened. “Let go of me,” she muttered, glaring at him. Pain and jealousy flashed in her eyes.
Groaning, he pulled her roughly against him and his mouth found hers. She stopped struggling and kissed him back. This lasted for several minutes and then, she drew back to look up at him, her heavy breathing mingling with his. “I’m still mad with you,” she cried.
“Why?” he panted.
“You broke up with me and started dating her.”
“I was hurt, angry and out of my mind with jealousy because I thought you were cheating on me with Matt.”
“I wasn’t cheating on you with him or anyone else.”
“I know. Matt told me that it was all a misunderstanding and I came to see you that same day to apologize.”
“Even after you knew the truth about Matt and me, you stayed with Emma. Why?”
“I didn’t want to hurt her.”
“What about me? Don’t you think it hurts me that you’re with her? Is she more exciting in bed than I am?”
He buried his face in her neck. “No,” he moaned.
“Are you still going to choose her over me?”
He raised his head to look down into her face, his eyes dark and stormy as they met hers. “No.”
She put her arms around his neck and pressed against him. “You and I belong together, Nick.”
“Yes, we do.” he muttered before he scooped her up and carried her into the bedroom.
The following day, Emma watched, the tears steaming down her face as Nick walked out of the house and out of her life for good. She had given him an ultimatum and it had backfired. She had lost the man she loved to the ex he had never stopped loving.
Generally, giving an ultimatum is never a good idea. It can backfire and cost you your relationship.