We had a great time making love and now we are taking a bit of a breather sipping pink champagne. So it seems I kicked the Milan habit and am clean and open to any new pursuit; a whooping lie I can take only lying down. I stop myself short from exploring the explosive ground further, restrain my thoughtless thoughts fixing them on Leo and try to get used to the prospect not to see Milan any more. Why should I? Leo is so very obliging and caring that, trying harder, I might even fall in love with him eventually, which, all things considered, isn’t a good idea and would cost me dearly. Leo is a wolf! What else, being Egon’s son? I am definite he hasn’t renounced Bessie even after having become intimate with me as in spite of a careful change of linen, Leo’s bed is reeking of Bessie’s clingy perfume. Am I willing to put up with Bessie and Leo’s future flings? Wasn’t I more jealous than Othello when I suspected Milan to fool around with Bessie?
Then, if ever I were to fall for Leo, there’s another deadly trap ahead. As true lovers engrave on a tree: LEO LOVES ZITA. A sob story that nothing and nobody will ever change.
I cuddle up to Leo and kiss him. He returns my caress eagerly hinting that he is ready for more. To prevent him from misreading my message, I release myself gently and slip out of bed.
“I’ve got to go, Leo.”
“Then I’ll give you a lift,” he offers amiably and reaches after his dressing gown.
He never begs for another minute, he never asks where I go and if he is glad to get rid of me, he is mannerly enough not to show it.
“Thanks, Leo, I’ll take a cab.”
“Then let me get it for you, my dear.”
I take leave on a hug and kiss: “Bye, Leo, see you tomorrow.”
“Awfully sorry, Irene. I’ll be rather busy. Though I’ll find a moment to give you a ring,” he mutters awkwardly, brushes his lips against my hand and escorts me to the door.
“Thank you for the lovely moments, my dear.”
“The pleasure was shared,” I chirp sweetly and disappear into the lift.
After a moment of hesitation, I give the cabbie Milan’s address, however so softly as to make him to ask me to repeat it and thus give me a second chance to give him my own address instead. To my foolish relief fate didn’t grant me this favour and dropped me right in front of Milan’s.
I mount the stairs with leaden steps weighing up the lesser of two evils: Milan is at home and doesn’t let me in. Milan is out, God knows with whom and where. All things considered, I prefer the first alternative. At least, there would be some possibility of catching him when he goes out, follow him whether he likes it or not, and talk him to take me back, under his conditions. I press my ear against his door, my hearing impaired by the mad beating of my heart. Anything would be better than this damning silence, even a curse, a slap in the face, something concrete I could defy!
Hoping against hope, I stay long after Mirak’s time. Pining for Milan, I drag myself home chasing after the silhouettes of slim, blond men, wishing that one of them would turn up to be HIM! Gone are the days when I was the master of my lovers. How does it happen that those once absolutely loved end as the most unloved?
I refuse supper and any other comfort Mary can give me and take refuge in my room. So down that even getting drunk couldn’t pick me up, I toss about my bed, swollen with loathing: first of all for me, the chief perpetrator of this doom, then for all the others who promised but didn’t deliver. Broken as friend, fiancée and lover, I reach after the bottle on my bedside table, put it to my lips and swallow the rest of it with the sleeping pills.
“I loved you more than I could bear!” Milan’s bleeding heart plops cracking against my mouth.
“Wait, Milan!” Choking on his blood, I reach after him.
“I’ve loved you so completely and wholly that I got lost. Now when I wept myself to pieces there isn’t enough of me left to make you understand it!”
Entangled in my weedy feelings, I sink into despair. There is no way for the “beyond words” to be explained.