76. The Final Phone Call

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"But I love you so much," she said. "I think I must be crazy. I can't stop thinking about you. I want to be with you all the time. I want to marry you."

"Maybe you are a little crazy," he said. "Although I think that's part of being in love. But you hardly know me. I like you, but I'm not in love with you. I don't think I could ever be in love with you."

"Why not?" "I don't know," he lied. "You're not my type." "I'm not your type," she repeated. "What is your type? A woman with no wrinkles and a perfect body? A woman who is beautiful even when she wakes up? A movie star? Is that your type?"

"No, of course not," he lied again. "I don't know. I'm like everybody else, you're either attracted to a certain person or you're not." "So you're not attracted to me?" "Well, I didn't say that," he lied a third time. "I'm making a fool of myself. You might even be laughing at me. You don't love me. You just said that you never could love me." "No, I said I could never be IN love with you," he said.

"'Love,' 'in love.' What difference does it make any more? I apologize. It was nice of you to put up with me. Please forgive me for making a fool of myself and for bothering you. I will never call you again. I must try to forget you now. I am dropping out of school tomorrow; I can't go there without thinking of you. My heart is so sad."

She hung up. Alan walked outside. What was he supposed to do? He liked her, but he certainly didn't love her. Lead her on with lies, or tell her the truth now?

There was a beautiful full moon. But he felt sad. He knew that Natalie was probably crying right now. She must be so lonely.

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