Sheena's Dilemma: It's Better To Marry Than To Burn, is the third installment in the Dilemma Series that features lifelong friends Ivy, Jade, Sheena, and Miranda - four women from Camden, New Jersey who navigate the rugged terrains of life through their faith in God to prevail over unpredictable circumstances. Sheena Daniels, the naturally beautiful and over opinionated protagonist who was first introduced in Ivy's Dilemma: Thy Will Be Done, as the government lawyer, has been afraid to commit romantically to her co-worker and friend, Jason Jackson. Sheena realizes that love is more than just feelings, and finally deciphers her way to true love and happiness while healing from injuries she sustained from a brutal attack.
The situation was far from simple. Jason is Muslim and she is a Christian; and that was the main thing that kept them from being more than friends. In the
beginning, she had no idea what the Islamic faith was about. So she attended the temple with him a few times. She researched the faith and found that it was totally different from Christianity … so converting wasn’t an option for either of them. That last weekend together had still been wonderful though. It had been months since they last saw each other. Jason had simply showed up at her office, and Sheena couldn’t have been happier to see him. It had been as if Jason had never moved to Atlanta, as if they hadn’t stopped seeing each other, and as if everything was as it should be: spectacular. But by the time Sheena
drove them to her apartment after attending Jade and Darrell’s wedding, his whole mood had changed.
“You said you wanted to talk to me privately, so I thought coming back to my apartment was the best place for us to do that.”
He acknowledged her with a curt nod. Sheena had no idea what had happened between the wedding service and that moment. He had been silent throughout the whole trip back. She saw him catch the garter and then walk out of the church social hall.
“You missed most of the reception. Where did you go?”
“I needed to think, so I caught a cab and went to my mother’s house.”
“Oh … I’m surprised you came back,” Sheena answered with a hint of sarcasm. Jason’s mother never approved of her, simply because she wasn’t Muslim.
Jason was somber.
“Why are we in this predicament, Sheena? I’ve been thinking about it all weekend. When I caught that garter, I realized you and I would never
marry, not since you insist we just remain friends.”
Sheena walked into the kitchen. So that’s what changed his mood, she thought. She returned with Jason’s favorite flavored bottled water. Jason rejected
the offer and sat on the chaise lounge.
Sheena’s apartment wasn’t an unfamiliar place to him, yet at that very moment, he was clearly feeling uncomfortable being there. Sheena studied him for a moment. “I’m assuming the predicament you’re referring to is your decision to move to Atlanta?”
He dropped his gaze to the floor. “That’s not what I’m talking about, but I thought moving was best for us.”
“Then what are you talking about, Jason?”
“I want more.” He looked around the room. Spotting the photograph of Sheena and himself on the coffee table, he reached over and picked up the frame. “I’ll never forget this day,” he said. “I never had so much fun at an amusement park, even as a kid!”
“You’re stalling. What’s on your mind?” Sheena wanted to know.
Jason looked directly at her. “I love you,” he confessed.
She braced herself, knowing now that this wonderful weekend had to have been the calm before the storm.
With trepidation she answered, “And I love you.”
“But it’s not enough is it? Us … just … loving each other. I want more, more of you.”
Sheena stood still, not uttering a single word. Here it comes, she thought.
“I was wrong for thinking we could remain friends, and that I would behave myself and be in control of mydesire for you. I know now… after spending this weekend with you, I know it’s impossible. We can’t be just friends.”
She dropped her eyes, concentrating on the pattern of the carpeted floor.
“Us talking on the phone and being around each other like this makes things complicated. Even with so many miles between us, I can’t do it and I can’t move on while being so involved with you.” He paused, waiting for Sheena to say something, but she remained silent, so Jason pressed on. “When I leave tomorrow, I won’t be calling you anymore, and I don’t want you to call me.”
Sheena looked up at him abruptly. “But, you promised we’d always be friends!”
“When I told you that, I thought we would. But us being so close has damaged my chances of finding a wife and having a family. I need to let you go, Sheena.”
Her eyes filled with tears. “You lied,” she accused him. “You said we’d always be friends.”
“Yeah, I did. And I was wrong. I’m sorry,” Jason said, a tear sliding down his cheek.
She got a hold of herself. “That’s why you moved to Atlanta anyway, right? You needed to get away from me, and here I am still pestering you. I’m the one who should be sorry.” Sheena made a mental effort to be brave.
“There’s nothing to forgive. I thought if we separated for a while, we’d realize just how much we cared for each other and realize that we were too in love
to stay apart. I really thought that it would bring us closer together. But I was wrong. You’re satisfied with just being friends, and I’m standing here right now
wanting to pick you up, take you to your room, and make love to you until the two of us become one.”
Sheena gasped putting her hand on her chest.
“You see, you find that appalling.”
“No, I … I don’t.”
“Then why did you react that way?”
“I was surprised… at your… choice of words… that’s all.”
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