The Nineteenth Part
‘Utopia can never exist, as well we know,’ she said, half-turning at the door to look at him for the last time, ‘and I will never see you again. I am sorry I cannot love you and, for your sake as well as mine, I think it best that we part now. I would not have you leave thinking ill of me. I have never used you, except to admire your friendship, savor your brilliance and the excellent companionship only you can provide. I understand the cosmos, but I do not, and cannot, understand anger. I have given you so much of myself, and my only sorrow is that I cannot give more.’ She turned her gaze downward, as though to suppress tears—she had no inclination to weep, but was fond of the effect of her supposed sensitivity on unwary observers—and gravely returned indoors.
He sat for a short while on the terrace wrinkling his evening attire before resolving to take the next train. Overcome at last by his own romanticism, with anguished steps he hurried inside to pack.