Elspeth sat there, heartbroken. She still couldn’t believe that what she and Marius had was over before it even had a chance to blossom into something beautiful. When she went to the fashion show, he had seemed a bit withdrawn and she had thought it was because he wanted to be discreet because she hadn’t broken up with Titus as yet.
As she watched him walk down the runway, she remembered the last time they saw each other and her face flushed. She had invited him over to her place for dinner and they ended up making love afterwards. She had thought that it was the beginning of a new and exciting relationship but she was dreadfully wrong.
After the fashion show, he went over to her and they went somewhere private to talk. She reached up and touched his face, her eyes devouring his handsome features. “Marius…”
He reached up and gently removed her hand from his face, his expression tense as he met her startled eyes.
“What’s the matter?” she asked.
“I’m sorry, Elspeth but we can’t see each other any more.”
Shock, hurt and disbelief filled her eyes. “Why not?” she asked.
“My aunt wants us to stop seeing each other.”
“How did she find out about us?”
“She caught me in a lie. I told her that I was having dinner with my friend, Manuel but he showed up at the house to see if I wanted to go to a jazz concert with him, his girlfriend and his sister, Ritta. So, when she confronted me, I had to tell her the truth.”
“I’m sorry you were put in a spot but why do we have to stop seeing each other? Why can’t we do it under the quiet? Your aunt doesn’t have to know.”
“I don’t want to lie to her, Elspeth. She reminded me that I had never lied to her before. She was really upset and disappointed.”
“Does she object to me because I’m white?”
“She doesn’t know that you’re white and even if she did, it wouldn’t make a difference. She doesn’t want me seeing you any more because you are older than me, more experienced and you have a boyfriend.”
“I can’t help that I’m older and more experienced than you but as far as Titus is concerned, I can end my relationship with him.”
“You would break up with Titus for me?”
“Yes!” she cried. “I would do anything just to be with you, Marius.”
He wanted to believe that with all his heart but he was afraid that she wouldn’t go through with it and he would just be the young lover on the side until she married Titus. Besides, he wasn’t sure that his aunt would approve of him being in a relationship with a woman who had been cheating on her boyfriend with him. His aunt was a very religious woman and had a huge problem with infidelity. And as long as he lived under her roof, he had to abide by her rules. “I’m sorry, Elspeth but I don’t think it’s possible for us to be together.”
“Marius, please don’t do this,” she begged. “How could we walk away from each other after what happened between us the last time we were together. I can’t stop thinking about it.”
He closed his eyes briefly and muttered under his breath, “I can’t stop thinking about it either.” He opened his eyes and looked at her. “I’m sorry, but I have to respect my aunt’s wishes. Goodbye, Elspeth.” Before she could say anything, he turned and walked briskly away.
She leaned against the wall, hot tears spilling down her pale cheeks. She had no idea how long she stood there but eventually, she moved away and made her way blindly to her car. She sat in it for a while before she drove not home but to a field she loved because of the wafts of cinnamon and permeating cloves which filled the air.
Today, however, they offered her no comfort. The pain was unbearable. She wanted to simply curl up and die. The tears almost blinded her and she buried her face in her hands as she sobbed uncontrollably.