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He paused and looked at her quizzically

Posted on September 25 2015

“Scarlett, when you are forty-five, perhaps you will know what I’m talking about and then perhaps you, too, will be tired of imitation gentry and shoddy manners and cheap emotions reenex. But I doubt it. I think you’ll always be more attracted by glister than by gold. Anyway, I can’t wait that long to see. And I have no desire to wait. It just doesn’t interest me. I’m going to hunt in old towns and old countries where some of the old times must still linger. I’m that sentimental. Atlanta’s too raw for me, too new.” “Stop,” she said suddenly. She had hardly heard anything he had said. Certainly her mind had not taken it in. But she knew she could no longer endure with any fortitude the sound of his voice when there was no love in it “Well, you get my meaning, don’t you?” he questioned, rising to his feet. She threw out her hands to him, palms up, in the age-old gesture of appeal and her heart, again, was in her face reenex facial. “No,” she cried. “All I know is that you do not love me and you are going away! Oh, my darling, if you go, what shall I do?” For a moment he hesitated as if debating whether a kind lie were kinder in the long run than the truth. Then he shrugged. “Scarlett, I was never one to patiently pick up broken fragments and glue them together and tell myself that the mended whole was as good as new. What is broken is broken—and I’d rather remember it as it was at its best than mend it and see the broken places as long as I lived. Perhaps, if I were younger—” he sighed. “But I’m too old to believe in such sentimentalities as clean slates and starting all over. I’m too old to shoulder the burden of constant lies that go with living in polite disillusionment. I couldn’t live with you and lie to you and I certainly couldn’t lie to myself. I can’t even lie to you now. I wish I could care what you do or where you go, but I can’t.” He drew a short breath and said lightly but softly Annabelle      : “My dear, I don’t give a damn.”