Gideon was in the kitchen when Ruth walked in. “Where’s Chelsey?” she asked.
“I think she’s out riding.”
“Gideon, she mentioned that you’ve decided not to go to go on your trip to France.”
“That’s right. She was extremely upset. I felt terrible disappointing her like that.”
“She said that it was because of me that you don’t want to go.”
“Yes, it is.”
“Gideon, I want you and Chelsey to go on the trip.”
“But, what about you? I’m worried about you, Ruth.”
“There’s no need to worry about me. I’m fine. I’m just going through the changes women my age normally go through.”
“You seem depressed.”
“I’m not depressed. Don’t disappoint Chelsey because of me.”
“She was awfully disappointed. Are you sure you don’t mind being here on your own? Are you sure you’re going to all right?”
“Yes. I’ll be fine. If I get lonesome, I can always invite my friends or George over. Take Chelsey on that trip. She has been looking forward to it for a very long time. And I know that you have been as well. Go and have a good time. Send me a postcard.”
“All right. I’ll book the flight and then, break the news to Chelsey.”
“Are you sure you don’t want to come with us?”
“Yes, I’m sure. This is a father daughter trip. We can always go on a family trip another time.”
“All right. I’ll go and book the flight and tell Chelsey as soon as she comes back.”
Ruth left the kitchen and returned to the study. It would be nice to be alone for a while. Besides, she felt awful about the things she had said to Chelsey. She had taken out her hurt and pain on her. It wasn’t her fault that it was over between Dushan and her–that it had been over from the moment he met the woman who was now his wife. She was the one whom he loved and who made him happy.
She could still hear Dushan saying to her, “If you love me as you say you do, you will want me to be happy even if it’s with another woman.”
“If you love me…” She closed her eyes. Of course, I love you, Dushan. I love you so much it hurts and I do want you to be happy. If only I could have been the woman to make you happy…She removed her glasses and after dropping them on top of the desk, she buried her face in her hands as fresh tears fell.