Archive for November 6, 2010

DON’T SAY A WORD-Barbara Freethy

Slowing down was not part of Alex’s nature. Venturing into unknown territory, taking the photograph no one else could get, that was what he lived for.

She just needed to convince Alex to go along with it. But he was a lot like his father- stubborn, secretive, and always leaving to go somewhere. It was no wonder he wasn’t married. He couldn’t commit, couldn’t settle, couldn’t put a woman before his work-just like Charles.

He was definitely not a nine-to-five business executive or a corporate worker bee. He was a photojournalist who roamed the world, a free spirit. No wonder he’d chosen to live here when he was in town. “This neighborhood fits you,” she said.

He nodded in agreement. “It does. Freedom to be different is a luxury in many corners of the world. It’s nice to be reminded that it still exists here in San Francisco.”

“Sometimes strangers end up lovers,” Dasha said. “It happened to me when a stranger asked to share my umbrella in the rain.” A soft look came into her eyes. “We were both supposed to be with other people. We’d made promises, but love doesn’t always go as one plans, and sometimes promises have to be broken. We’ve been together forty-two years now, and we’ve been through many rough storms, but they’re easier to bear when there’s an umbrella to share and a stranger who has become a good friend.” Dasha smiled and returned to the deli counter.

The next day Julia attended Sunday morning Mass surrounded by DeMarcos. They took up almost three rows at St. Mark’s Catholic Church. This was her family. This was her place in the world, she thought, as the priest spoke about community. It was almost as if he were speaking directly to her, telling her that the most important thing in the world was to cherish the people around her.

She stared at his hard profile. He looked so alone, so lost in his misery. She wanted to help him, but he wouldn’t let her. He was a proud man who had high expectations for himself. He didn’t tolerate failure or incompetence, and right now he was blaming himself for something he couldn’t have prevented.

It’s true I’m confused. But the one thing I’ve come to realize in the past few days is that I want to live my life to the fullest. I don’t want to have regrets. I don’t want to stop myself from asking questions or stating my opinion because I’m afraid the person I’m talking to will get hurt. I want to be free, Michael. I want to travel. I want to work on my music, on my goals. And I don’t want to cheat myself or you. That’s what I’d be doing if I married you.”

“I doubt that will ever happen. I’m far too inhibited.” She licked her lips as his gaze roamed her face, as if he were searching for all her personal secrets. There were some things she didn’t want to share with him.

“Are you inhibited?” he asked. “Or is that just the way you’ve been raised to be?”  “It’s the same thing.”   “It’s not. I believe we’re influenced by our environment, the people in our lives.”  “I suppose that’s true. My mother was very big on rules and doing the right thing, telling the truth, never going astray. She and my father made such a big, happy family life for us that it was easy to be content in it. It wasn’t until she died that I started to look around and wonder what else I wanted. I must say it’s difficult to believe she might have been the biggest liar of all.” Every time Julia thought about the lies, her heart hurt.

She loved the way his mind worked. He was sharp, perceptive, interesting-a truly fascinating man. He lived a life that she wanted. Not the photography part, but the traveling part.

“How can you be so patient?” she asked. “I thought you were a man of action.”

“When it’s called for. But I also know how to wait for the perfect light, the right angle, and the clearest view. Your mind takes photographs of everything you see just the way a camera does. Eventually it will develop those early pictures for you.”

Alex shrugged, kicking off his shoes. “Never look back,” he advised. “It doesn’t do any good.”

He spoke as head gardeners should speak–mournfully, but with dignity–like an emperor at a funeral.

It was indeed characteristic of Bundle to be

in a hurry, especially when driving a car. She

had skill and nerve and was a good driver,

had it been otherwise her reckless pace would

have ended in disaster more than once.

It was a crisp October day, with a blue sky

and a dazzling sun. The sharp tang of the air

brought the blood to Bundle’s cheeks and

filled her with the zest of living.

In my opinion half the people who

spend their lives avoiding being run over by

buses had much better be run over and put

safely out of the way. They’re no good.”

It occurred to Lady Caterham that her

niece was really wonderfully improved. Had

she, perhaps, had an unfortunate love affair?

An unfortunate love affair, in Lady

Caterham’s opinion, was often highly

beneficial to young girls. It made them take

life seriously.

A damned funny crowd,” said Bundle,

vigorously massaging her arms and legs. “As

a matter of fact, they’re the sort of crowd I

always imagined until to-night only existed in

books. In this life, Alfred, one never stops


Looks a good-natured, tubby

little chap. But Codders is absolutely

impossible. Drive, drive, drive, from

morning to night. Everything you do is

wrong, and everything you haven’t done you

ought to have done.”

The rock-like quality of the Superintendent showed out well. Not a muscle of his face

moved.”The best of us are defeated sometimes, sir,” he said quietly.

“I’m much too clever. Always have a good opinion

of yourself—that’s my motto.”



 Oh, its nothing to do with me,” said

Lord Caterham hastily; “Eileen settles her

own affairs. If she came to me to-morrow and

said she was going to marry the chauffeur, I

shouldn’t make any objections. It’s the only

way nowadays. Your children can make life

damned unpleasant if you don’t give in to

them in every way. I say to Bundle, “Do as

you like, but don’t worry me,’ and really, on the whole, she is amazingly good about it.

. What a fatal thing

it is to pretend to take an interest in a man’s pet subject.