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The End of An Affair

By       Message R. Clay Reynolds       (Page 1 of 4 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   3 comments

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"But I tell, you, America, he just doesn't love you," Rudy stated flatly, refilling her glass with a rich red vintage that he had ordered especially for the occasion. "He sometimes says that he does, I know, but he just doesn't."

"I don't know what you mean," America replied, tossing her hair in a derisive fashion. "I don't want to hear this. I have every confidence that he's--"

"I mean, I'm sure he's faithful--I'd never suggest anything like that!--but loyalty isn't the same as love!"

"I don't think you know what love is, Rudy."

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"He doesn't love you, and he doesn't love me," Rudy insisted, then leaned in over into the candlelight. "Nobody can love you the way I love you." He drained his glass, wiped his head with a silk handkerchief and then put his hand over his heart. "My love is higher than the highest mountain, deeper than the deepest sea, stronger--"

"Careful, Rudy. You're getting into copyright infringement territory." She chuckled. "To say nothing of showing your age."

"Amber waves of grain," he concluded sheepishly, then trailed off and took a slug of the rather good Bordeaux. "I want to be your guy!" he declared. "You're my one and only! I want to take you around. Show you off. I want you to be always at my side! You're the wind--"

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"I'm warning you, Rudy. There are laws governing this kind of thing."

"At my back," he muttered in conclusion. Another gulp of wine. "I am totally in love with you, and he's not!"

"I'm not so sure," she replied, her eyes showed skepticism.

"He criticizes you all the time. He finds fault with so much that you do."

"That's just candor. And, honestly, he understands me and takes me as I am. He's showing his feelings. A girl likes that."

"I show my feelings."

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"I don't trust your feelings," she said. He looked hurt, but she lowered her tone. "I think you only love me for what you can get out of me."

"How can you say such a thing? I love you!"

She gave him a narrow look. "I have trouble with a lot that you do and say. It doesn't seem to be, well, compassionate."

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Novelist, fiction writer, book critic, essayist and journalist, professor of arts and humanities. Husband, father, grandfather. Texan. Yellow-Dog Democrat, for the most part.

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The End of An Affair