It was time for Marius to leave. She clung to him, unwilling to let him go. “When can I see you again?” she asked.
“My last modelling show is tomorrow at 4pm. You can come to that.”
“Absolutely. Where is it?” He told her. “I’ll be there.”
They kissed and then, he left. The flat seemed so empty without him. She leaned against the front door after locking it and closed her eyes, reliving every moment they had spent together.
Her breath caught in her throat when images of them in bed together flooded her mind. The lovemaking had been so intense. It was his first time and she was thrilled that it had been with her. She wanted to be the only one he gave himself to. The mere thought of another woman enjoying him the way she did tonight was unbearable. She had never been possessive of anyone or anything in her life until now. Marius is mine and I’m his. We belong to each other. Tonight when we made love it was like we became one soul.
In the stillness of her apartment, she heard her grandmother’s words to her years ago when she was in high-school and had told her about Dwayne, a quarterback and her first boyfriend. She fancied that she was in love with him but wasn’t sure so she had broached the subject with her grandmother.
“They say that when we fall in love with someone, when they speak, we taste every word twice. Their words are like morsels. First we taste them and then we savor them.”
“Is that how you knew that you loved grand-da?”
“Yes. Is this how it is with this young man?”
“Then, what you feel for him isn’t love but infatuation.”
And she was right. The infatuation lasted until the end of that summer and then, Dwayne was history. She dated on and off until she met Titus. He had to be the one, she thought and then, she met Marius.
“Grand-ma, I met him. I met the guy whose words I taste twice.” Yes, there was no doubt about it. She was in love with Marius.
Marius was in his bedroom and had just put on his pajama bottom when there was a knock on the door. He quickly pulled the top on over his head. “Come in,” he said in Spanish. His Aunt and he always communicated in their mother tongue with each other.
Aunt Lourdes went into the room and closed the door. The expression on his face told him that she had something on her mind and it concerned him. He braced himself. “I’ve known you all of your life, Marius,” she said. “I have loved you like you were my own son instead of my nephew. We have always been close and that’s why when your parents died, I had you come and live with me. I wanted to take care of you.”
“Yes, Aunt Lourdes. You’ve always been good to me. Next to Mama, you’re the only other person I have a close bond with.”
“For as long as I have known you, you have never once lied to me.”
His mind was racing now. Where was this leading? He didn’t answer. He stood there, waiting for her to continue.
“You told me that you were going for dinner with your friend, Manuel. Well, imagine my surprise when he showed up here and to see if you were in going to a jazz concert with him, his girlfriend and his sister, Ritta. I told him that I thought you were having dinner with him. Anyway, he said that he would call you and left. What I want to know right now is whom did you really have dinner with and why you felt you had to lie to me about it.”
Clearing his throat, he said, “I had dinner with Elspeth.”
“Isn’t she Brooke’s friend, the one who’s already in a relationship?”
“Marius, how could you get involved with her? She’s older than you and more experienced and she has a boyfriend.”
“She’s only eight years older than me.”
“She has a boyfriend.”
“I know, Aunt Lourdes.”
“Is this the first time she and you have been out together?”
“No, Aunt Lourdes. We went for lunch on Friday.”
“I want you to stop seeing her, Marius.”
“I mean it.”
“Yes, Aunt Lourdes.”
“It’s for your own good. Don’t forget to say your prayers and ask God to forgive you for being dishonest. Good night.”
“Good night, Aunt Lourdes.” He leaned down and kissed her on the cheek.
After she left, he went over to the bed and plopped on it. After tonight, how could he stop seeing Elspeth? He closed his eyes in despair. Tomorrow he was going to see her at the fashion show. How could he say goodbye to her? How could he walk away from the woman he was madly in love with? How? It was like parting with his own soul.