I’d known Jenny since High School.
Always popular, she exuded personality, was everyone’s friend and would do anything for anybody.
She was also a practical joker, and took it in good spirits when she was on the receiving end.
Life was fun, made for living, and she made the most of it.
I didn’t know Penny.
Quiet, afraid of her own shadow, she wouldn’t say a word unless spoken to.
It was hard to associate Penny with the Jenny from my teens, yet they were one and the same person.
We caught up at a mutual friend’s wedding.
Whereas Jenny had been young, free and single, someone who yearned adventure, thrived on a challenge and laughed a lot, Penny was old before her time and married.
Walking two steps behind her spouse, it wasn’t difficult to understand why.
She was no more than arm candy, an acquisition of an egotist who collected wives like postage stamps, she was his eighth, and judging by his current demeanour, he was looking for number nine.
I overheard him saying to the bride’s father that Penny had been a passing fling that turned out to be tax deductible should they marry. He had enjoyed breaking her spirit, brow beating her into his way of thinking, and laughingly said if she voiced an opinion, it was one he’d given her.
Her days were numbered and he couldn’t wait to break in a new filly.
Eleven months later, Jenny Penny was a widow.
A very rich widow, her husband having had a massive heart attack breaking in the latest ‘mare’ in his stables.
Penny was retired as Jenny emerged from the chrysalis of her shackles.
She contacted me.
How would I like going on safari and becoming her Lion King.
I loved her then, and loved her now.
How could I resist?