We at the OM have been going through some of Mr. Freed’s old journals, and we have discovered this small exchange. While this particular incident did not make it into A Time To Build, it does help to give some insight into the maitea relationship between Wayne Freed and his assistant, Janet (Clarke) Forbes.
Janet came to Georgetown University the year I entered law school. She had decided that she wanted to go into law, as well. My sister, Lucy, told me she was coming. “Don’t tell her I said this, but I think you’re the reason she chose Georgetown. You’ll be nice to her, won’t you?”
“Of course,” I said.
When Janet and her folks arrived in town, I took them all out to dinner. We had a pleasant evening. I almost felt like I was back in Oklahoma.
In the morning I met Janet’s parents before they left for home.
“Take care of Janet for us,” said Mrs. Clarke. “She thinks the world of you, you know.”
I promised that I’d keep an eye on her. “Janet means a lot to me, too. Say hi to my family when you get home, won’t you?”
Once her parents left, I walked with Janet down to a local coffee shop. She hooked her arm around mine as we walked.
“You’ve grown up while I was away. I almost didn’t recognize you.”
“I missed you,” Janet said. “Mom embarrassed me by saying it, but it’s true. I love you.”
“Will I see much of you?”
“As much as you want to,” I said, “but I need for you to understand something.”
“You don’t love me.”
“I never said that.”
“You do love me?”
“Yes, I do,” I said. “That’s why I need you to understand that I just don’t have time for a girlfriend right now. Law school is going to be brutal. I am going to be working harder than I ever have. Even when I’m not in class, I have a job to do. I can’t even tell you everything I’ll be working on.”
She didn’t say anything for a long time. She was still holding on to my arm when we got to the coffee shop. Before we went in, she stopped me. “Would you say it, just once?”
“I love you.”
“I believe you.”
“I’m not lying. If I did have time for romance, I can think of no one else I would rather pursue. For now, I’d be content if you would just be my friend.”
“Do you think it’ll work?”
“I’d be sad if it didn’t.”
“Okay, then,” she said. “But if you ever do have time, I want to be your girlfriend.”
“I promise. You’ll be number one on my list.”
“You have a list?”
Posted by the Office of the Mediator, Sol III Division.