"-- sort of."

           ''I have been both longing for and dreading your visit.  Come inside, and I will explain.''

             She closed her book, the pages marked by one index finger.  She did not expect to remain long here, after all.   She followed him into the cottage.  He walked slowly, eyes downcast.  When he reached the kitchen, he turned and grasped her by the upper arms.

               ''Why did you come?  Why do you haunt me?''  He shook her, slightly, as he spoke, and the book slipped out of her hand and landed, open, on the floor.

              ''Yes.  I know, I promised, but I could not stay away, my love,'' she said, looking into his eyes and raising her palms to rest them on his chest.  He grasped her fingers and put them to his lips, then groaned and dropped them.  He turned away from her.  She picked up the book and placed it on the kitchen table, face down and still open.

              ''What is wrong?''  she cried.   She put a hand up to his cheek.   ''I do not understand you.   You asked me to choose between him and you.  And I chose.  You do not know how much it hurt me -

The End

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