The Marakaios Marriage(6)

By: Kate Hewitt


‘Do not think—’ Antonios cut her off ‘—that you’ll tell her some sob story about our mistake of a marriage. I don’t want her upset—’

‘When do you intend on telling her the truth?’

‘Never,’ Antonios answered shortly. ‘She doesn’t have that long to live.’

Tears filled Lindsay’s eyes again, turning them luminous and silver, and she blinked them back. ‘Do you really think that’s the better course? To deceive her—’

‘You’re one to speak of deception.’

‘I never deceived you, Antonios. I did love you, for that week in New York.’

The pain that slashed through him was so intense and sudden that Antonios nearly gasped aloud. Nearly clutched his chest, as if he were having a heart attack, the same as his father, dead at just fifty-nine years old. ‘And then?’ he finally managed, his voice thankfully dispassionate. ‘You just stopped?’ Part of him knew he shouldn’t be asking these questions, shouldn’t care about these answers. He’d told Lindsay the time for explanations had passed, and it had. ‘Never mind,’ he dismissed roughly. ‘It hardly matters. Come to Greece for whatever reason you want, but you need to be ready in an hour.’

She stared at him for a long moment, looking fragile and beautiful and making him remember how it had felt to hold her. Touch her.

‘Fine,’ she said softly, and her voice sounded sad and resigned. Suppressing the ache of longing that trembled through him, Antonios turned away from the sight of his wife and waited, his hands clenched into fists at his sides, as she packed up her belongings and then, without a word or glance for him, slipped by him and out of the room.





CHAPTER TWO

LINDSAY WALKED ACROSS the college campus in the oncoming twilight with Antonios like a malevolent shadow behind her. She walked blindly, unaware of the stately brick buildings, now gilded in the gold of fading sunlight, that made this small liberal arts college one of the most beautiful in the whole north-east of America.

All she could think of was the week that loomed so terribly ahead of her. All she could feel was Antonios’s anger and scorn.

Maybe she deserved some of it, leaving the way she had, but Antonios had no idea how hard life in Greece had been for her. Hadn’t been willing to listen to her explanations, fumbling and faltering as they had been, because while she’d wanted him to understand she’d also been afraid of him knowing and seeing too much.

Their marriage, Lindsay acknowledged hollowly, had been doomed from the start, never mind that one magical week in New York.

And now the time for explanations had passed, Antonios said. It was for the best, Lindsay knew, because having Antonios understand her or her reasons for leaving served no purpose now. It was impossible anyway, because he’d never understood. Never tried.

‘Where do you live?’ Antonios asked as they passed several academic buildings. A few students relaxed outside, lounging in the last of the weak October sunshine before darkness fell. Fall had only just come to upstate New York; the leaves were just starting to change and the breeze was chilly, but after a long, sticky summer of heatwaves everyone was ready for autumn.

‘Just across the street,’ Lindsay murmured. She crossed the street to a lane of faculty houses, made of clapboard and painted in different bright colours with front porches that held a few Adonirack chairs or a porch swing. She’d sat outside there, in the summers, watching the world go by. Always a spectator...until she’d met Antonios.

He’d woken her up, brought her into the land of the living. With him she’d felt more joy and excitement than she’d ever known before. She should have realized it couldn’t last, it hadn’t been real.

Antonios stood patiently while she fumbled for the keys; to her annoyance and shame her hands shook. He affected her that much. And not just him, but the whole reality he’d thrust so suddenly upon her. Going to Greece. Seeing his family again. Pretending to be his wife—his loving wife—again. Parties and dinners, endless social occasions, every moment in the spotlight...