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Makes you real."
"But don't you see how I must stand to you? Don't you see how it bars us
from being lovers--You can't--at first. You must think it over. It's all
outside the world of your experience."
"I don't think it makes a rap of difference, except for one thing. I
love you more. I've wanted you--always. I didn't dream, not even in my
wildest dreaming, that--you might have any need of me."
He made a little noise in his throat as if something had cried out
within him, and for a time they were both too full for speech.
They were going up the slope into Waterloo Station.
"You go home and think of all this," he said, "and talk about it
to-morrow. Don't, don't say anything now, not anything. As for loving
you, I do. I do--with all my heart. It's no good hiding it any more.
I could never have talked to you like this, forgetting everything that
parts us, forgetting even your age, if I did not love you utterly. If
I were a clean, free man--We'll have to talk of all these things. Thank
goodness there's plenty of opportunity! And we two can talk. Anyhow, now
you've begun it, there's nothing to keep us in all this from being the
best friends in the world. And talking of every conceivable thing. Is
"Nothing," said Ann Veronica, with a radiant face.
"Before this there was a sort of restraint--a make-believe. It's gone."
"Friendship and love being separate things. And that confounded
They came upon a platform, and stood before her compartment.
He took her hand and looked into her eyes and spoke, divided against
himself, in a voice that was forced and insincere.
"I shall be very glad to have you for a friend," he said, "loving
friend. I had never dreamed of such a friend as you."
She smiled, sure of herself beyond any pretending, into his troubled
eyes. Hadn't they settled that already?
"I want you as a friend," he persisted, almost as if he disputed
The next morning she waited in the laboratory at the lunch-hour in the
reasonable certainty that he would come to her.
"Well, you have thought it over?" he said, sitting down beside her.
"I've been thinking of you all night," she answered.
"I don't care a rap for all these things."
He said nothing for a space.
"I don't see there's any getting away from the fact that you and I love
each other," he said, slowly. "So far you've got me and I you....
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