“What do you think of this new girlfriend thing?” the little boy asked her.
There was a party going on and she was mingling. The little boy found her. She was returning to the little boys father every so often and reminding him that she was there. The little boy’s father always seemed pleased to remember and didn’t seem to be paying any attention to any of the other women in the group. He was a man’s man and the men were just as attracted to him as the women were and he seemed to prefer that recognition.
“What do you think?” the women asked the little boy in return.
He shrugged his shoulders but had a pleasant look on his face. The woman grasped him lightly by his shoulders and jostled him just a little bit in friendliness. She could tell that the little boy liked her.
Antony was what the man called his littlest son — his name was Anthony, but that was one of the many nicknames his father used to express his grand love for the little boy.
The woman’s delight in the whole affair overcame her so she went to where the father was and jumped up to be received in his big arms. He lifted her up to be close to his face and she put both her hands on his cheeks and said, “I love you,” and then kissed him.
“I still want to see other women,” he blurted.
She said nothing but gazed at him with soft eyes in return. She knew that she had blurted too.
All she could think to do now was to leave a little time between them so that he might see her in a different light. She retreated to fetch her coat. It seemed like a good idea to just let him be. She did love him and was tired of holding it back. If he didn’t love her, it was time to know. Clearly, the little boy wanted to know too. Her heart felt brave, if for no other reason than for the little boy’s sake — it just wasn’t fair that he was being jostled by people at parties.
Her fingers lightly crossed the little boy’s face like a feather. He was standing in the path to the exit.
“I shall have to see you another time. I must be off to the races.”
Obscure surely, but she had said some kind of adieu.