Renata watched the champagne drip down Thomas’s beard and into his cravat, the sweet wine instantly staining the cornflower silk.
“That’s rich!” she hissed as Thomas dabbed at the damage, “you have no trust in me? I am the woman who has remained your faithful servant and mistress for more than two years, never once treading on the reputation you guard like a priceless mural in a gallery. Yet, you still find it in your heart to make accusations and assumptions about my loyalty?”
It was Thomas’s turn to blanch even while his cheeks reddened with contempt beneath the stubble, “You bewilder me my dear, for I know your mind is as fair as your countenance…”
Renata dipped her head, “You flatter me, sir, for you know the suave words and diction that can bring me to your side. As always, you delight in the simple knowledge that Iwill succumb even when your launguage is coarse and your nature condescendng. ”
He grabbed her above the elbow, pulling her close where Renata leaned in, inhaling the familiar scent of sweet tobacco, but the words he affronted her with were less than charming. “You silly, selfish girl.” shaking his head at her as one would a disobedient child, “It is simply beneath you to talk to me in this way. I have told you what is expected, I have made every effort to be fair in my attempt to dissolve this affair and for this I am punished?”
“Punished?” Renata repeated. “You still believe yourself a victim in all this?”
Thomas let go of her arm and took a step back, “I do. Our attachment has reached beyond the mutual attraction which brought us together; voices are reaching me and threatening my very name.”
She fired back, “if we are going to give those rumors any credence, then you cannot feign ignorance of the many words said about the woman you call wife and the allegations for which you seem to have an endless source of forgiveness for.”
Renata felt the bile and tears rise in her throat, “we have professed love for one another Thomas. This is something you believe is easily retracted, as if you can just repeal your feelings with the expectation of understanding and sensibility? Love, my darling, is anything but sensible.”
“I cannot love you in a world looming with a menacing demeanor.”
“Ah my love, I know you intimately but never once did I take you for a coward. A man of secrets, to be sure, but never one with such a weakness of character.”
Thomas’s face ignited in fury, “What of my family? What of my children or your own?”
Renata regarded him with temperance, “What of them?”
“Have you no regard or compassion for any of them? You would choose this…”
Renata took his hand and looked into the eyes of the man she loved, “I do not know, Thomas, what I would choose, because you have never given me the opportunity to do so.”
For the WRITE ON EDGE Prompt of the week, we were shown this picture and asked to write what came to mind about it.
I felt that some people treat themselves and their feelings like a museum.
This is the 3rd piece.
(thank you for coming over to read it!)