High on my narrow escape, I resent the stillness of the house closing me in its fallacious lull. What shall I do with the remains of the night? Which other charming sower of wild oats will share it with a foolish girl running from one aching void to another? My only chance is to come to my senses and take Leo as a God’s gift to me. If I call Beda now it shall be to take leave of him. And yet I can’t keep from calling him! My need for his voice is overwhelming.
Beda answers at the first ring with a boozed-up “Halo, Laura! The coast is clear! Drop in for a hard drink and some smooth music!”
“Do you know what time it is?!”
“Who’d care? Loving is living with paradox. We two do love each other, don’t us, Laura?!”
“Of course we do!” I say soothingly.
“Or is there another reason you’re calling me this late?” He shoots at me, suddenly stone-sober, his voice pregnant with angst.
“Some things are better told over the phone.”
“Is that so? Then I suggest you accept Goldwin’s offer and Julliard’s scholarship.”
“Does it mean you’re going with me, Laura?!”
“Yes and no. I’ll see you in New York regularly but I’ll continue to live in Prague. It will be better for both of us. We need time to mature and can’t be bridled by the humdrum of a marital life. You’d hate me one day if I follow you now and ...” The voice on the other side of the line goes dead. The earpiece lashes against the wooden planks resounding with Beda’s glazed silence.
“Beda! We have to part to save our love! Didn’t you say “love is living with paradox”? Try to understand, Beda, please! ” I wheedle the void on the other side persuading it of my honesty, persuading myself I believe what I am saying, until I can’t stand my falseness any more and creep to bed to drown in a bottle of gin my shame and my sorrow.