She took a deep breath. "I must say, it does feel good to talk about these things." She stretched her arms out in front of her like a dancer warming up before class. "I remember reading somewhere that a secret is by its nature isolating. Lou and I have had each other, but I've often felt isolated. I think he does, too, sometimes. It's difficult."
" Of course it is," I said.
" I just didn't want you to think that this was a simple case of older man leaves wife for younger woman. It isn't. I want you to understand that."
" I understand. Now, the question is, what do you do now? What do you want to do?"
" Nothing, really. Just wait. I want to see what Lou decides."
" But you could make a decision."
" I know, and my decision is to wait." She glanced up at the ceiling. "I'm going to wait."
The tone in her voice left no room for discussion. Despite what she had said at the beginning of the conversation about needing advice, I could tell now that what she had really wanted was someone to listen to her. She did not seem the least interested in my take on the relationship. She just wanted me to know about it. She wanted a witness.
" I guess we're friends now," she said, bringing the palms of her hands together. "There must be some ancient Chinese proverb that says once you've divulged hidden truths about yourself to another person, you're connected to that person for life."
" There must be," I said, "and if there isn't, there should be."
--Copyright © 2002 by Catherine Cantrell.
Constance: An Excerpt
January 31, 2003