Margaret Visits Clive

“What are you doing here, Elle?” Only he called her Elle because he thought that it suited her better than Margaret.

“Your father told me about your engagement.”

“And you came all this way to congratulate me?”

Congratulate you?” She almost choked over the words. “I came here to stop you.”

His mouth tightened. “And how do you propose to do that?”

“I’ll tell your fiancee about us.”

“There is no us. Whatever happened between us is in the past where I would like to keep it.”

“You can’t marry her, Clive.”

“Why not?”

“She isn’t right for you.”

“As far as you’re concerned no woman is right for me.”

“You’ve been throwing your relationships in my face but you’ve always ended them. Why are you still with this girl? Why are you marrying her? What’s so special about her?”

“I love her.”

Her face went pale. “No, you don’t mean that,” she muttered. “You’re just saying that to hurt me.”

“You’re wrong. I have no reason to hurt you. But your being here, interfering in my life will hurt Father. Does he know that you’re here?”

“I–I told him that I was visiting my aunt in Johannesburg.”

“In other words, you lied to him. You’ve been lying to him ever since you met him. Go home, Elle. Go home to my father. He loves you. Don’t do this to him.”

“But I love you. I never stopped even when you hated me.”

“I didn’t hate you, Elle. I was deeply hurt and angry but I’ve gotten over it. It’s time you did too. Go home to your husband.”

“How can you ask me to be with him when it’s you I want to be with?”

“What you and I once had is over. I’m with Ndeshi now and I love her. I want to spend the rest of my life with her. The sooner you accept that, the better. Now, I have to attend a meeting in fifteen minutes. Go home, Elle and I’ll forget that you came here today. No one needs to know, least of all Father.”

“Clive, please…”

“Goodbye, Elle. The next time we see each other, it will be at the wedding.” He turned and walked away.

She stood there for several minutes watching his retreating figure. She wanted to run after him but she didn’t want to make a complete fool of herself. She went over to the sitting area and sank heavily down in one of the chairs. Her hands shook as she took out a tissue and pressed it against her mouth to muffle the sob.

The security guard went over to her and asked her if she was all right. “Shall I call a taxi for you?”

She nodded.

He excused himself and called the taxi. It arrived ten minutes later. She thanked him and walked out of the building and to the waiting car. She got in the back and leaned against the seat.

“Where to, Madam?” the driver asked.

She told him to take her to the train station. Her aunt would be surprised but rather pleased to see her.

Posted for August 2020 Writing Prompts – #7 – Only he called her Elle

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