Monday, April 27, 2009

Victorian Story Part 4


It was winter and days became dark early and Teresa liked that. She got used to it. Seasons change. It was nice to have winter around you, winter when you woke up, winter in the afternoon and now as the afternoon was turning to evening, winter in the evening. The afternoon light was like the evening light of autumn or summer but Teresa liked this. She stood at the window of their rooms. She wasn’t thinking of her husband. Then of course when she realised that she had been standing at the window for a while, thinking of nothing, she realised that she had forgotten that her husband would be home from work soon. 

Yes, she felt as if she was waiting for something as she stood at the window…Oh she shouldn’t stand like this..what was she waiting for…waiting for Denby..he couldn’t give her a life…she had lost her life when she married Denby..yes..she knew that..and she had lost the baby, the child…what did that mean… She turned quickly from the window. Thinking of the lost child seemed to confuse her. She stood still looking into the room. Then she turned back again to look out. Thoughts came to her ..Yes she had run away from the old life…an old life that she felt Denby knew nothing about..still he knew of course that she worked in the theatre..but who did he think she was..she could be anyone..still he seemed to love her..she knew that..and that counted for a lot…he was willing to forgive…but really she had no secrets..except that she had spent some time working on the streets at night..then drunken nights spent with friends like Jackson and Antoinette..she was an ordinary working girl…She continued to think: Maybe she didn’t deserve this life she now led..Yes something about it wasn’t right…not for a woman like her anyway....she would have preferred to work..she would prefer to be working now..surviving..all that…so…why exactly did she marry Denby ?..Maybe she vaguely loved Denby but that wasn’t all…

She looked out at the building opposite and suddenly smiled to herself. She was remembering Jackson’s words of how she was marrying for a necklace. Why did she smile at this memory? It was absurd to marry for a necklace but of course you could marry for money, at least for security and that was possibly indeed why she married. But she also married because Denby had asked her and why wouldn’t a girl accept a proposal from a man like Denby and he had given her that gift, the gift of the necklace. He must really love her. He really wanted her as his wife. Yes.  

Then she turned away from the window suddenly. Why was she thinking of all this? She was married now wasn’t she. She must just be a proper wife. Yes. And what would her own mother do. How would her own mother behave? Then she stopped. There was that dark thought coming to her again. She felt it beginning to blacken her thoughts. What was it? It was the lost child, the baby she lost. She walked over to an armchair and sat down. Her mind was blank as she couldn’t think and then again the image of the lost child came to her.

Yes she must see a priest..she’d like to talk to a priest…not just about the child which she miscarried a few months back but also about other things, everything…but the child she lost…that was something she didn‘t fully understand. She knew women lost children in childbirth…Maybe her own mother did…but she had experienced it herself now…There was also the fact that she had almost become a mother…When she married she had never thought about motherhood but this was something she must think of…It was strange and sad, she knew, that the loss of the baby made her think more clearly about motherhood.

It was strange standing at the window like this. It was strange waiting here, waiting for something. Was she waiting for her husband to return? No she was just thinking..What should she do now…Yes she wanted to do some work and she had talked to some nuns about working from home…She looked out the window in front of her. This time she tried to concentrate on what she was seeing. There was the sky.

She bowed her head suddenly. She had lost the child a few months back. Becoming pregnant surprised her…it surprised her to be pregnant so soon after getting married…and it made her realise suddenly what marriage meant…marriage meant being a wife but it also meant motherhood too. She hadn‘t thought of this before really. No-one had told her about this, reminded her but of course it was obvious. It showed her she had rushed into marriage without thinking. Oh when she entered into marriage, wasn;t she entering possible motherhood…it was something that she never really thought about…but why should she think too much about it…no-one of her friends would…and her mother wouldn’t..would she..yes what would her mother would her mother act..her mother had died when she was a child..about four or five..she never really knew her but now she was beginning to ask herself constantly…what would her mother would she behave in this situation…after she became pregnant..she had begun to think about this..and the pregnancy and then especially the subsequent miscarriage made her realise was that she had entering into something binding: Marriage was a binding contract. The nuns had said something like this. 

And it was especially after she lost the baby that she had begun to think about her mother. The shock of the miscarriage probably brought this about. It made her cling to something and it was to the figure of her mother that she scarcely knew that she clung. 

Oh as she stood at the window now, she felt lost. She hadn’t really talked to anyone about how it was hurting. And the baby, it was still there. It still had a life for her. Oh did it? No she felt angry about something..what was it? Was it Denby? Had she made a mistake marrying? No..she didn’t think it was the made her afraid…was there something false about this she had made a mistake..oh she needed to talk to someone. 

She wanted to talk to a priest. Yes she really wanted to talk to a priest and she knew there was an old roman catholic church hidden in some back streets. It was a church she had entered by accident just a few weeks previously and she felt immediately something from the distant past come back to her when she entered the old building. Was it her childhood? Her father had brought her to mass a few times. Maybe and when she entered the church, it was so quiet…maybe her mother could speak to her here…more clearly..yes here in this was the quiet..

Yes there was the baby, the lost baby. There was something else too. The baby made her realise she needed something. Marriage on its own wasn’t enough. She needed something and it was a child or something real..truly real. She had run away from her own life. Yes she knew this and Anette who she spoke to occasionally mentioned this. Yes she had run away from Jackson, Antoinette, all that..all that world..why did she not see them..she had suddenly entered a new type of world and she felt lost. She really felt lost and maybe that was why the loss of the baby disturbed her. The miscarriage happened four months previously but as she stood at the window, it still upset her and that feeling of loss was still with her. 

She continued to stand at the window. She let thoughts of the theatre, Anette come to her. Yes she had lost something. She missed that world, that world of the theatre, all that, the world of the streets at night, all that. ‘It’s lonely here..night life is lonely without you..‘, she thought to herself, almost dreaming, ‘Without the theatre…I wish I could find a place at home…and a child to care for…do I want a child to care for..does Henry want a child to care for…yes he does…life goes on…you must create life….I have fallen…I have been through dark streets at nigh…I have been with men who I shouldn’t have…and now I am married…what would my mother do….’ 

She was quiet as she let thoughts run through her mind. Then she thought again vaguely about something the midwife told her in confidence: It was that her body couldn’t have a child ; A child couldn’t grow inside her. Teresa sighed suddenly. She rose quickly and without thinking went into the dark winter street. She walked quickly and then she didn’t know where she was going but then suddenly there in front of her was the old roman catholic church hidden in the back streets. She had taken to standing outside the church and looking at it. It was a long time since she had gone to mass but she had come to know some nuns who helped her with working from home and she had sometimes walked to the church in the afternoon. Now she realised that she had walked to this old church without thinking. Her feet had taken her!  


Teresa sat in one of the pews in the centre of the old roman catholic church. She watched a woman sitting in one of the pews ahead of her. She was waiting for the priest to come to her. He had told her to wait and now she sat in silence. She looked sometimes up at the cross and Christ on it..and then she hoped the priest would not come until after a while. She wanted to be silent, her mind to be quiet and silent. Then she saw the priest come down the centre aisle. He sat beside her. He seemed to study her in profile as he sat down. She was looking up at the cross, the cross with the crucified Jesus on it.

‘Do you want to go to confession?’ the priest said suddenly. 
These words didn’t surprise Teresa. Yes it made sense that the priest would think she committed some kind of sin or crime. Still she stared at the cross and Jesus on it and she couldn’t turn to look at him but she knew he was an understanding man. She knew priests who could be impatient with her but she had met him the previous evening and he looked like a good confidant, a confidant as well as a priest. She felt she needed someone like this and when he asked her to return the following day, she did so gladly. 
‘No’ she said vaguely..
Then she turned quickly and she said almost spontaneously: 
‘A baby..Father…I lost a baby…’
‘You want to be need comfort…’
‘What?’, Teresa said without thinking..Then she said, ‘Sorry, Father…’
He turned to her:
‘ feel guilty…is that it…there is no real guilt in losing a baby…you shouldn’t..’
‘How can you say that…how do you know..’ Teresa seemed to babble. She felt as if she didn’t know what she was saying.
‘I can see it in your eyes…you are guilty maybe…you have no sin to confess…I mean mortal…have you…’
‘No..that’s right Father…’
‘But you lost a say..and that can make you guilty…but..’ 
He continued to look at her and seemed to wait for her to speak.
‘But I feel afraid…guilty…’ Teresa said. She must communicate. This was not the time to be quiet. She had come to talk and the priest was trying to help her to speak and communicate. 
Teresa continued:
‘Even now…I feel afraid…my stomach…’
‘Afraid of what?’ He seemed to study her and she looked up at Jesus on the cross and then down again. 
‘The child..Father..’
‘It hurts you, it pains you…’
‘It does Father.. I don’t know what to do…and I never thought of being a came so suddenly…’
She stopped but he seemed to beckon her to continue.
‘I married last year…and I became pregnant and it all came suddenly….’
She stopped again. The priest was silent. Then he spoke:
‘You love your husband..I mean you have no problems. You are content. ’
Teresa looked suddenly at the cross and Jesus
‘I want to be a wife and a mother…I just can’t talk to anyone….’
‘Yes you can come here anytime…’
‘And the nuns I am grateful to them. They’re helping me to begin working from home. I need to work…’
The priest closed his eyes. Then he opened them. He seemed to be about to say something when she said suddenly:
‘I’m so tired…I feel my head…’
She bowed her head and then she heard him say:
‘Why are you afraid…you have committed no crime…you said…and I understand about the child. I can try to understand how you feel about the child you lost…’

She continued to bow her head. 
‘You’re tired…I see that…’, the priest said and then was silent again. He looked at her with her head bowed. He said:
‘You want to be pray.. You know how to pray, Teresa…’
‘Yes..I know prayers…’, She said raising her head. They were silent. The priest then turned and looked at her. She was looking directly at him with a frightened look in her eyes. Then Teresa closed her eyes quickly.
‘It’s the baby…I lost the child..I feel lost…you can feel like that can’t you..’
‘Of course…’ the priest said quickly…
‘And I am afraid..I feel afraid sometimes…’
‘Of what…your husband ..are you afraid of him?’
Teresa looked at the priest quickly as if to understand his question. 
‘What do you mean..?’, she asked as the priest looked steadily at her.
‘I mean..Teresa…I just ask…do you talk to him…do you tell him how you feel..’
‘About what?’ Teresa said without thinking…’You mean the child…Father..but that was months ago…he thinks I have recovered or I don‘t care..I don‘t know actually..we don‘t really talk about it..…I mean we don’t talk about it…and I don’t want to talk about it…he’s busy…I just needed someone to talk to now…I’ll be alright…‘
The priest was silent. Then he spoke: 
‘What do you fear…Teresa?’
‘I fear..nothing. Father ..but…I mean I am anxious…I want to change..I fear things…’
‘You want to change…you are afraid…I understand that you are afraid and it is the child you lost..that is that the centre of your fear..the heart of it?’
‘I think so…I’m not sure..I feel guilty…you can feel guilty sometimes don‘t you?’
‘Yes..but it’s not your fault…’
Teresa sighed
‘We would have liked a child..I mean my husband…me..’
‘I know…of course you would…’
‘Are you afraid of something specific…you are not hiding anything from your husband…you said you were afraid…’
Teresa puckered her eyebrows..This question surprised her but it raised an issue that was bothering her: The question whether she could have a child. The nurse had mentioned something to her in confidance which she never told her husband.
‘I told you Father.. I am afraid of nothing..I just want…’
‘What..what do you want..child.. You want to confess…I don’t see you at mass…I mean this church is open to you of course…’
‘I went to know..I remember my father bringing mother died when I was young..’ she said softly.
‘I understand..’
Then she felt her head beginning to spin. She felt the priest becoming impatient with her or was he becoming impatient. His tone seemed to have changed and he had asked her if she was hiding something from her husband. 
‘I don’t really want to talk…’, she said suddenly. Oh what was she saying. She didn’t know what she was saying. 
‘You are tired, Teresa. Come back another time. I know you are tired.’ 
Then he looked at her as she said:
‘I lost the baby..father…I don’t understand Father…’ She felt the priest looking at her in a curious way. Did he think she was mad. She knew she had said this before. She was almost repeating herself. Then she stood up quickly. It occurred to her that he really might think she was mad and maybe tell this conversation to her husband. He might even put her in a lunacy asylum.
‘I’ve told you all this in confidance. You won’t tell my husband?’
‘Of course not, Teresa.’
The priest stood up also.
‘You have no secrets from your husband…’ the priest then said. She said then without thinking: 
‘What if I can’t have a child..I mean the nurse mentioned it..a doctor too but I don‘t think they told him, my husband least I don‘t know..They don‘t know for sure anyway..maybe I can…’
The priest looked steadily at her as she continued:
‘I don’t know’m not sure…I mean I don’t know..but I don’t know if I can have a child..I think…it just bothers me sometimes.’
‘Calm down… are guilty are you…don’t be…not everyone can have a doesn’t matter…’
Teresa closed her eyes. Then she opened them quickly and said: 
‘I have to go now, Father, thanks for everything..for this..for listening…’
The priest seemed surprised and confused as he watcher her turn and walk down the aisle. She turned suddenly and said:
‘I mean Father.. I have nothing to say..nothing to say.. I just wanted to talk…thank-you…but I lost my child…nothing can change that.’
The priest looked at her as she walked away. She stopped at the end of the aisle and turned. She seemed to wait for him to walk to her and he did. He said:
‘Calm down, Teresa…all this is in confidance…confession is in confidance if you decide..come back if you need to to one of the nuns..if you want.. I understand.. Of course.. I am trying to understand…you lost the child…’
She felt like cursing saying :‘I lost the damned child…’
But she tried to contain her emotions.
‘No I have to go…no I have to go…’
‘Yes…’ she said turning
‘The nuns are helping you…with some work..don’t leave the nuns..they are good, I think, for you…’
Yes’ she said almost dreaming
Then they looked at each other and she said automatically:

‘The child Father…the child…’
‘And it has affected you…I mean ..a death happens but is there something else..’ She felt a sudden quiet in the church. She felt it for the first time. This quiet, this serenity. 
She sighed again and bowed her head. Then in her mind an image of a necklace came to her. Oh that damned necklace that Denby had given her. No-one had ever given her a gift like that. But why? Why this image. This necklace…that wasn‘t the reason surely…surely not….’ ‘
She opened her eyes quickly and she heard the priest say:
‘Marriage is a partnership…of course…marriage is sacred…Procreation is sacred…you can have children again..may it please God..’
‘I don’t know..’ 
The priest was silent. 
‘The marriage is not false or invalid is it..?’
‘Of course not…if you love one another…and you might still have a child…you said yourself you are not sure..are you?‘
‘I suppose ..yes..’


When she came to the countryside, she felt alone even though the railway was nearby and Denby still kept the rooms in the city for the foreseeable future. Maybe she wanted to be alone or she wanted to feel alone. 
Yes it was a change to be in the countryside, some kind of change but still the new house wasn't far from the city. It was an old house too but there was something new about it and this newness was linked to the nearby railway. An old house in the countryside would remain an old house but then comes the railway and it becomes a new type of house. 

In the first few weeks, Teresa had sat alone in the house. Denby worked in the city and kept some rooms there paid for by his boss. He tried to come to Teresa at least every week but certainly every few days. She didn't want to be lonely. She didn't want to act like a victim. She didn't want to be a victim. It wasn't right to portray oneself consciously as a victim. When she was alone too, she began to think of the future. Yes they would become a proper husband and wife. They would learn to be a proper couple. Soon Denby would live with her day in day out. What then? They would be a couple but without children. Yes without children, thought Teresa. Such lonely days will pass again.

The house needed renovation and Denby introduced her to Mrs Nelson a woman of about forty years, a tallish woman, taller than her anyway. She had hard skin but she could be pretty when she was young but she had grown stoutish. When Teresa talked to Antoinette later about her life with Denby, it was difficult to remember the months she spent with Mrs Nelson. Many days they spent alone together and Mrs Nelson taught her some housekeeping skills like making bread. When Mrs Nelson had to leave to look after her daugher who was about to give birth, she recommended a girl from the area called Addie. 

One day when Teresa was in the kitchen at the back of the house, she heard some sounds in the hallway. She didn’t move. Her hands were full of flour and she just turned around from what she was doing. She looked at the kitchen door. She felt tired and dazed. Someone had entered the house. Maybe it was Mrs Nelson. She hadn’t seen Mrs Nelson in days. But Mrs Nelson had gone back to her daughter who was near childbirth. It couldn’t be her. She turned around fully and waited for the person to come into the kitchen and she wasn’t afraid. She felt instinctively it was some shy young girl or boy delivering a message or something. Then she remembered that Mrs Nelson had told her about a girl she recommended to her. Yes she had been expecting a girl to come to help her with the renovation. It was probably her. She felt too a presence outside the door. 
 Teresa shouted:
‘Anyone there? I’m in the kitchen’ the sound of her voice was strange to her. Yes it was not a country voice. She was aware of this when talking to Mrs Nelson but Mrs Nelson in her rough way had accepted her but now she was shouting aloud in her voice. It was the way she shouted when she was in the public houses with Jackson and Antoinette.
‘Yes, Ma’am, I am Addie..’
Teresa looked at the tall girl who came round the corner and stood in the doorway. She was svelte. It was her tallness and grace which made Teresa instantly question how this girl could be a maid but she put it out of her mind. This girl was perhaps nineteen years of age. She needed work and it was normal. 
‘Sorry, my hands are full of flour..’ Teresa looked at her hands. The girl was quiet and she knew immediately that she had to behave like a mistress, like the head of a household. Without thinking, she scratched her hair.
‘Ma’am, you were expecting me? Addie Shaw, that’s my name.’
‘Yes.’ Teresa said.
They were quiet as Teresa felt the girl studying her. Teresa herself was in her thirties but she still had a youthful fresh look about her. 

Maybe Addie was surprised how young her mistress was. Maybe she was surprised too at the slightly cosmopolitan and strange air about her new mistress. No, this was not how Addie was thinking but it was what Teresa believed the girl was thinking about her.
‘I’m’ll have to wait…’, Teresa said then.
‘Mrs Nelson..she’ll come to-morrow..she just told me to introduce myself..’
‘Yes. Oh yes..of course…and the house needs so much work…Mrs Nelson..she’s such a great…she helps..’, Teresa said grabbing a towel to wipe the flour from her hands. 

She felt Addie looking closely at her and Teresa turned quickly. She looked into Addie’s face, she saw a strange affectionate and innocent look. Teresa smiled without thinking. When later she thought back about Addie, she remembered Addie’s innocence and kindness above all. There was a genuine softness and innocence in Addie. Teresa then pursed her lips and said looking across at Addie and continuing to wipe her hands:
‘You’ll have to wash..I the garden….I mean wash’s the house that needs help..not me..the house needs washing..’ Teresa felt she was muttering and not making sense. 

Teresa looked at Addie quickly and remembered then it was the early morning perhaps nine. She had risen early and had begun to make bread. She realized then that it was the beginning of the day.
Teresa leant against the sink;
‘I’m’s morning..I thought it was afternoon for a minute…I’m sorry….will you have some tea and we’ll talk…’
‘Ma’am, I just wanted to introduce myself…I’ll start some work..I’m ready..’
‘Of course..’
They were silent as Addie looked steadily at her mistress and Teresa felt she was uncomfortable.
Then Teresa said:
‘Would you mind cutting the grass in the back…’
‘Of course, Ma’am’, Addie said quickly. Teresa continued to lean against the sink behind her. She didn’t know what to say. Yes she’d show this girl where the tools were. Then she heard the girl say:
‘Lie down Ma’’ Addie said calmly.
‘No, I’m alright..Mrs Nelson will be here to-morrow..the house needs renovation,, it needs certainly does…and I’ll show you where the tools are now..for cutting.’
Teresa then walked over to the back door and into the garden at the back. There was an old shed and Teresa pointed to the shed with her head.
‘Is it an old house, Ma’am?’, the girl said then, She was a tall, svelte girl. A girl of intelligence yes, of spirit too. And above all she looked like a muse, an artist’s muse. 
‘Yes, I think so, we wanted to move to the country, you see, Addie, my husband and I and he bought this house. This old house, it needs renovation, all right..’
 ‘Of course’.
Yes she felt tired. This was the first person Teresa had met for a long time. She had spent hours with Mrs Nelson and hours of course on her own too but now this girl came, this girl called Addie into her life.


It was silent that evening, the silence of the evening, the silence of the coming nights. Still there were some sounds, the sounds of the night, someone lighting a fire, some vagrants, yes she didn't mind. And it was winter but you knew it was winter because of the early night and Teresa liked it. She looked at the figure now of Addie moving in the garden, now bending over to finish off something. Addie, yes she was a strong svelte girl. She had a lover, yes Addie had told her that and she said he was an artisan or something, yes that was what she said. What kind of artisan, yes, she could ask Addie that. Oh, oh such pain, such darkness, such peace. Denby seemed to be happy in the city, at least he was content in his j ob, in his life. So he was content, yes. This made Teresa think. Why was Denby content? Was he smugly content about something? Was this what happiness was? So he had married and found a profession..She was quiet then as she looked at Addie.
'You don't want to go home?', she said across to Addie. Addie didn't seem to hear and Teresa looked at her closely. Then she walked over to her and said:
'Addie, you want to go home..?'
'Ma'am, it's not finished..'
Teresa looked at her quickly. 
'You call me Ma'am..'
'Yes, Ma'am..'
'I call me Ma'am...I mean..'
'Yes, Ma'am.'
Teresa was trying to ask her why she addressed her as Ma'am. Addie had addressed her like this for the few weeks she was with her but now in the darkness of the evening, something struck Teresa. No this was strange. She didn't want to be called 'Ma'am..' but the girl in front of her looking up at her, her hands covered in clay, seemed confused and Teresa said:
'You're a good worker, Addie..'
'Thank-you, Ma'am', Addie said looking up at Teresa. Yes Addie seemed confused. She was lost in her work .Yes that was why she seemed confused.
Then Teresa walked away and thought: 'Yes she'd like to talk to Addie a friend to her..yes Addie could be a good friend..but why didn't Addie talk to her as a friend...weren't they two people...alone together..and shouldn't they talk to each other...'

Teresa came over and Addie stood up. Addie stood looking at the garden and Teresa said:
'You can go home, Addie, I told you...'
'Thank-you, Ma'am..'
Teresa glanced at Addie who was wiping her hands. 
'You have a man...Addie...'
'Yes, Ma'am..he's ...' Addie didn't blush at all at the mention of her lover. She stood tall and looked at Teresa. Instinctively she just knew her mistress wanted to make conversation. Yes her mistress was lonely. This woman, Mrs Denby...Mrs Teresa Denby was obviously a lonely woman. She knew that in the first few days she was in the house. But anyone would be lonely living away from one's spouse. Still she didn't think it right to broach conversation with Mrs Denby. There was something tempestuous about her, her temper, yes her quick temper. And above all this woman, Mrs Denby, this young mistress was lost. She seemed lost. Addie knew of course that Mrs Denby, her young mistress was a city girl. She had the accent, she had the quickness and a city-like sophistication. Addie liked that but she knew that some people looked down on this woman, Mrs Denby. Maybe it was because she wasn't from the countryside. Or Mrs Denby's own manner. But Mrs Denby didn't seem to have any friends. This had made Addie think in the first few days. Yes this young woman seemed lost, lonely and Addie wanted to talk to her but she didn't know if it was right to talk to one's mistress.
The girl continued:
'He’s in the city..he’s an artist…struggling..but he’s good ..he’s in the city, Ma'am.’ 
Then Teresa said suddenly
‘Call me Teresa..I’m not used to this..some day I’ll tell you my story…but it’s dark now.. you want to go home…go home when you’re ready, Addie. I’m going into the kitchen to make bread…’


We were in the garden again a few evenings later, Addie and myself. I felt Addie looking at me as I stood in the garden looking into the woods nearby. I looked at her quickly. Yes she wanted to say something and I felt myself puckering my brow as I looked at her. Then Addie said: 
‘You are lonely, are you not, Mrs Denby..I mean…’
‘Teresa’, I said softly but I felt as if she didn’t want to hear me. I knew she wanted to remain a distance from me, always to be a servant, or employee and myself, mistress or whatever.
‘I’m sorry’, I heard her saying and she was looking at me. What was she saying? Did she expect me to speak? I said quickly:
‘I mean my name is Teresa, we’re friends, are we not?’
‘I can’t. You know, Ma'am, I'd like to..’, Addie replied looking straight at me. There was nothing strange about this conversation. We had been working or at least been in each other’s company for weeks. She was like a stranger to me. She could be anyone. I wondered of course why she wanted to work for me, wanted to work as a house-servant or whatever. Wouldn’t she rather work in a factory or something? Still I never asked her. She lived with her mother and stepfather in the village. Maybe she needed to work nearby. 

She was a beauty, yes, too who could captivate a man, perhaps an artist. She was thin. She had an angular but soft face and there was intelligence too in her eyes and yes, in some ways I was afraid of her beauty and intelligence together but she was kind and there was innocence too. Yes she could be a muse for an artist and a mistress of a house in time.
‘You like to have children?’, I heard myself saying. She looked at me but without puckering her eyes. She truly was an understanding type of girl but why did I ask this question. Oh I was confused!
‘Of course..’
‘With your sweetheart?’
She nodded. There seemed to be some silence then. I knew she didn’t want to speak. She wanted me to speak. She had answered the question with a nod and now I had to proceed. I looked round. I was trying to think. Yes I am so lonely. This girl thinks I’m mad.
‘I’m not lonely’, I said then without thinking.
‘You lived in the city, did you not.?’, Addie asked. I felt her standing away from me, that confident air about her, that self-confident air. She was kind, She had an open heart. Yes that was it. She had an open heart. She could love but she could be loved but in a second I knew then that this girl could be a wife, a lover, a mother. She was a woman, yes. That was it. There was a strange elegance about her. 

‘Yes’, I said looking at her. I knew she didn’t want to address me as ‘Ma’am’. I wanted to smile but I didn’t. How could I? How could I be condescending to a girl like this?
‘You were born there. In the city, I mean, Mrs Denby?’
‘Yes’, I said looking at her and then away. Then I was conscious suddenly of the cold.
‘Oh it’s cold’, I said but I didn’t want to go inside and Addie seemed to know this. I looked at her:
‘You’re so smart, Addie…I mean..’ 
I was thinking then that Addie with her stature and svelteness could be an actress, a muse anyway. She was taller than me of course but she knew I had been in the theatre, worked there anyway. Would it be right for me to say that she could be an actress? 
‘That’s the way my sweetheart talks..’ I heard her say. Oh it was cold.
‘Your sweetheart. does he..he’s an artisan is he?’, I replied quickly.
‘He works in metal…and he paints, he draws too..and photography…’
‘I’m sorry, Addie’, I said looking straight at her.
‘Photography, Ma’am..’
‘Of course..’ I said quickly..’I’m sorry…yes photography..and he sounds like a real artist..he admires you like a muse..does know..Addie…’
‘Yes, Ma’am..I’m his sweetheart….’
‘Yes I think I know what photography is…is it’s…I’ve not had my photograph..’, I said looking around. 
‘Not when you were married?’, Addie said quickly. I looked at her quickly and I felt myself puckering my brow. What was Addie saying? A wedding photograph? But yes, she was right! Why wasn’t there a wedding photograph? 
‘I’m sorry, I don’t understand, Addie…’, I said without thinking. 
‘I mean you had your wedding photo..’ 
She knew I looked at her strangely. Of course..why didn’t Denby think about this but everything was so rushed.. I looked at her again.
There was silence.
‘Come inside, Addie..’

Inside in the salon, Addie stood a distance away from me. I stood too. I didn’t want to sit. If I sat, I knew she’d remain standing. 

‘No I’m not lonely, Addie’, I said looking at her, almost saying the first thing that came into my mind. 
‘I know..I know you want me to call you Teresa..I’d like that…I know you’re lonely..’ 
She was looking at me closely. I was silent and I knew she wanted to say something.
‘What is it, Addie?’
‘I’d like to introduce you to my sweetheart…you were in the theatre.. or I know you liked it…I mean you’re lonely..Ma’am..and he’s into art…and you like that…’
‘Yes I’d like that..’ I said without thinking.
‘He has his studio in the city. You miss the city, perhaps..’
I knew then that Addie felt I had few friends if any. Yes she had sympathy, pity for me. She was offering to introduce me to new people.
‘He can introduce you to people..’
‘I’d like that..’ I said quickly and in a flash, I saw the theatre again, the city, Jackson, Antoinette, a new start, a new beginning, a new life, a return to life, a return to real life. I felt Addie looking at me, almost studying me. She smiled shyly when I looked at her quickly.
‘Would you like some look cold..’ she said.
‘Thank-you, you’re kind, Addie’, I said softly.


Addie introduced me then to her sweetheart. Kelvin was his name. I could talk to Kelvin about things that I couldn’t to Addie. I didn’t mind this. Why should I mind? But it was strange that Kelvin and I should become close. And I knew Kelvin was an outsider. He was like me. He didn’t know what he wanted and maybe he could talk to me. I came to him needing help and I knew he needed help. He had a heart that needed healing but Addie didn’t seem able to heal it or maybe she was able to heel him but Kelvin just didn’t want to be healed. Yes I think this was it. 

I began to like Kelvin certainly as a friend. He was in his late twenties. Certainly older than Addie. He didn’t seem to know that much about Addie’s life, her work and it amused him, I think, at first to be talking to Addie’s employer but after a while, he saw me above all as a friend. If I had to think of a friend at this time, I thought of Kelvin. Addie was something, someone else. I couldn’t really talk to her, tell her I was afraid, really afraid.

I remember one afternoon a week after I met Kelvin when I went to Kelvin’s studio. I don’t know why. I was lonely. I was looking for someone in the cold winter streets and I decided to go in Kelvin’s direction, , where he lived. I went up the steps to his studio and I found him perhaps slightly drunk but still receptive. He needed friendship as much as I needed it. And it was cold too! It was winter. Addie was working in the countyside. I wanted to return to the city and Kelvin offered me a way. Addie had introduced me to Kelvin and she had given me a new lease of life.

‘I’m tired..’, Kelvin said sitting on a chair and looking quickly at me. I felt afraid that afternoon, angry..I don’t know but that afternoon made me look at Kelvin differently. We were friends. Addie had introduced me to a true friend.
Kelvin looked at me and continued:
‘What’s wrong, Teresa? You’re a frightened, angry..what animal…I can’t help you..will you help me..Teresa…?’
‘Addie…?’ , Teresa said softly.
He didn’t answer and then she said suddenly:
‘I’m know..don’t ask me of what..Kelvin..’
Kelvin looked across at me and said:
‘Of your’s alright..Teresa..’ He was not surprised by the wild look in Teresa’s eyes. He knew the woman was troubled when Addie introduced her to him but now she was a friend. He likec to talk to her and she obviously had few friends. She had come to him twice in the past week. 
‘I don’t know…I feel so sfraid…I mean I just thought of something in the last few days…I couldn’t tell Addie..’
She looked at Kelvin who seemed to be studying her. Then he said:
‘Wait, I need a drink.. you want anything..Teresa..’
‘No.. Kelvin…’
Kelvin still remained sitting and he seemed to be tired. Then Teresa said:
‘Wait Kelvin..’
‘You said you thought of something..Teresa..’
‘Yes..I’m afraid…’ Then Teresa stopped and seemed to think.
‘You’re mad, you’re’re angry..’
‘Stop it, Kelvin..stop it..but..I mean…I’m afraid..Kelvin..I am afraid..’
‘Of what, damn it, Teresa..’
Teresa seemed to realize she was talking almost like a mad woman and she said softly looking at him:
‘I don’t annoy I..’
Kelvin looked at her:
‘Of course not..wait..I’m not angry with you..’ he said without thinking and yes he wanted to talk to this woman. Then he heard her say:
‘I went to see a know…after I lost the baby..’
‘I don’t think I can have children…’
She waited for Kelvin to speak but he seemed to be thinking of something and he looked at her.
‘I know what you mean..Teresa.. I understand you.. I think.. Teresa…and you’ve told Addie…’
‘Told Addie what?’, Teresa said quickly.
‘This? I mean you can confide in her..she likes you…she told me..she likes you as a friend not just as an employer…’
He saw a confused look in Teresa’s face and Teresa said:
‘I know that…but this place…all this reminds me of my old life the theatre..’
‘I know..’
‘Wait..’ Teresa said then. They were silent as Teresa seemed to be thinking of something. Then she said:
‘But I don’t think I can have children.. I know it happens..but I’m afraid and how can a marriage work..I mean what’s it all about..all this..this marriage…’
‘I don’ t know..damn it..Teresa..what are you saying..are you afraid of your husband..wait I need a drink..’ Kelvin said looking round but still he remained seated.
‘Damn it Kelvin..’ Teresa said suddenly.
Kelvin looked at her steadily and said:
‘So what are you afraid of..?’
‘I told you, didn’t I, Kelvin..’
‘Am I mad…no didn’t damn tell me what you’re afraid’re afraid that your marriage will that it..I don’t know..tell me..’ Kelvin then looked away. Teresa was quiet. Then she said:
‘And are you afraid, Kelvin?’
‘Yes, of Addie..I can see her beauty, her mind, her soul.. I am blinded.. I am afraid…’. Teresa smiled, She wasn’t sure if Kelvin was serious. Maybe he was joking. 


It was winter. The Victorian nights were long now. Before Teresa met Kelvin, she actually liked to sit with Denby in the evenings when he was at home. They were comfortable together in the silence. Still there was that ‘something’ in Teresa’s mind. And yes Teresa thought of it as an object, something. It was an object and that object was a mass of fear and anger, of anger and fear but she wasn’t sure that the cause was. She didn’t know exactly what this object was. She had told Kelvin about this fear and as she sat opposite Denby now, she remembered again Kelvin’s words, what he said about her fear. He had said that it was the fear of telling her husband she couldn’t have a child but was that it? Wasn’t it possible that she could have a child. No, was this the cause of her fear and anger? Teresa felt there was something else and now as she sat across from Denby, she let thoughts swim in her mind. 

No, this mass of anger and fear involved something else. And she needed too find a light, a way, a new life. Maybe Kelvin was part or an integral part of this new life and it was the kind open soul of that girl Addie who had given her a chance. Addie offered her a way out but it was really Kelvin. Yes she was fortunate to meet Kelvin. Kelvin could have surely seduced her and taken advantage of her. Artists did this, didn’ t they but Kelvin was above all a friend and in her mind, she thanked him for this. Kelvin saw into her life and world in a way that Addie didn’t. Yes he seemed to understand her and she felt she could love him but she loved both Addie and Kelvin now. Addie was special too.

Teresa looked across at Denby reading the paper. Yes Addie was in her life now and there was Kelvin too. Yes she felt she could call him by his first name. Yes Kelvin was curious but why? He was an outsider. Yes she knew that. He was an artist. Maybe he liked to love. He was a lover. Maybe he liked to love women but there was Addie, that other curious figure and he liked her. At least he respected her. Or she was good for him and he knew that. Yes he knew that she was good for him. Oh why was she thinking of Addie and Kelvin now..why at this the silence of the evening..sitting across from that stranger…Denby…Yes he was a stranger and she couldn’t understand him. Oh why couldn’t she make an effort to understand him in the way that she tried to understand Addie and Kelvin. But she didn’t want to understand Denby. Anyway she was tired. 

Then she felt Denby looking at her. She rose without thinking and then suddenly he said:
‘You grow apart from me…we spend long evenings like this…quiet…’
Teresa turned and looked at him.
‘I’m sorry Henry.I don’t understand…I mean I’m tired…and it’s so quiet here..’ she said without thinking.
‘You mean you don’t like it here…’
‘Of course..yes…yes..actually I do.. Henry…I’m getting used to it still.. I know you have to work…and we’re still…we’re still…’
‘I know we’re a young couple..just married..I have to understand Teresa.. I’m grateful for that..a lot of women wouldn’t understand….’

Teresa turned away. She felt fragile ; She didn’t know what to say. What had she been thinking of ? Addie, Kelvin and now here is Henry asking her about something…She felt her mind was blank, like the evening outside, just one colour. Or maybe she just didn’t want to talk to Denby. Yet as she looked outside, she felt her mind becoming darker, oh those dark black thoughts. Was it the baby again? She still didn’t really know if Denby thought about that child. No it wasn’t a child, it wasn’t a baby, it was a pre-born baby..whatever..still it could have been a child. 

Teresa walked slowly to the door. She stopped and looked back at Denby who looked up.
‘I want to go to bed…’, Teresa said..’ you stay here.. I just want to rest…I'm tired’
‘yes…', Denby said. Then as she turned away, he said quickly:
‘It’s not the baby you still think…’ She looked back at him. What was he saying? Just because she was tired..he thought she was troubled..oh she was...and she had been thinking of the baby..but she didn't want to talk now. She replied:
‘Of course I do…do you not think about it…?’
‘Yes Teresa but these things happen don’t they…of course… I want a child..but there’s still time…’
She nodded and then walked out of the room.


Teresa walked through the cobbled streets to Kelvin’s studio. She walked through the courtyard and then she went upstairs and knocked softly. There was no answer. Then it dawned on her that the door might be open. Yes the door was open when she turned the handle. She looked inside and there was no-one but perhaps he was in the kitchen or the bedroom. She was afraid to enter the room fully and she stood at the doorway looking in. Oh why was she afraid! She wondered then what Kelvin must think of her. Did he think of her as almost a mad woman, a woman so lonely that she made friends with anyone, that she jumped at the opportunity to meet new people, anyone, and now Kelvin was the unfortunate man she was pestering for friendship. 

Then she closed the door quickly and walked briskly downstairs. She felt her head ringing, spinning. What was she doing here…why did she coming here to that girl’s lover..Addie’s lover…? Yet she felt that this man, Kelvin, understood her. He was an outsider like her. Yes she thought of him as a kind of outsider. He was an artist but he wasn’t a certain kind of artist, the lonely artist, the artist who was an outsider. Yes. But above all she could talk to him and she felt he was lonely too. Yes. H had asked her to come back. He had said too that he wanted to be her friend..yes he was a kind young artisan with an open heart…an open open soul.. and yes she was so lonely..she felt she needed help… and Addie had given her almost a chink of light to help her and she grasped at this chink of light with the energy that she still possessed. 

She stood in the courtyard below his studio and then she decided to go back. Yes she had come to the city and she just wanted to talk to someone. He was really the only friend she had, the only one she could talk to. Yes it was sad but she needed to follow that chink of light. She walked back up the stairs to the studio and opened the door and walked inside. Maybe he was inside after all. Then suddenly as she stood almost in the middle of the room, she saw his bedroom door open and out walked a woman. She knew instinctively it was a prostitute. The woman glanced at her but walked swiftly out of the studio. Then there was Kelvin standing at the doorway of the bedroom fully dressed, looking directly at her, almost inquisitively. His face was serious but you felt that his eyes were smiling.

‘Kelvin..’ she said. She didn’t know whether she heard him. Oh she must explain why she was there. Then she smiled and she looked over at him. He smiled too.
 ‘Don’t tell Addie…’
Teresa without thinking bowed her head to signal she wouldn’t. She made the gesture in a theatrical way and when she rose her head, Kelvin was smiling again. He said:
‘What Teresa…don’t tell Addie will you…I heard me.’
‘Of course Kelvin..’ she said looking straight at him.
Teresa without thinking turned to the window.
‘Wait I’ll just tidy myself..I’ll be back..take a drink.. Teresa..’, Kelvin said turning back into his bedroom.

Then Teresa found herself standing at the window. What was all this about? Now suddenly she had a secret to keep from that girl. Yes here was Kelvin asking her to keep a secret but was it a secret. She didn’t really think it important whether a man saw prostitutes or not. Then as she thought about this, she felt images of her own life as a prostitute come before her. Oh she didn’t care what Kelvin did. All she wanted was friendship. She’d keep these damned secrets..whatever..all she wanted was someone to talk to..Oh she could talk to this man Kelvin…
Then Kelvin stood at the doorway. She looked quickly at him. He seemed to be worried.
‘Don’t worry..’, Teresa said softly, ‘I should have knocked. Oh don’t worry’.
She was quiet then as she felt his eyes on her. Was he angry? Then she said:
‘What’s her name…I used to live around here..’
He didn’t answer at first. Then he said quickly.
‘What do you care?’ She was quiet. She didn’t know what he wanted. She tried to say again not to worry but he said:
‘I don’t want to bargain with you..teresa…’
‘Wait Kelvin…you misunderstand me…. of course…I won’t tell her..I said I won’t tell Addie..lots of men see girls..I mean..’ For a second she thought of telling him she had worked as a prostitute but she stopped.
‘You mean..’ he muttered. 
‘I like Addie..’ Teresa said looking at him trying to think what she should say. Yes this man seemed to be worried she should tell Addie. Yes from his side, she was his sweetheart’s employer. But she wouldn’t.
‘yes so do I…but what does that mean..’ he was quiet. Then he continued:
‘Sorry Teresa, I won’t tell her..I mean ..Addie..I love her..she’s my understand Teresa..’ 
Teresa nodded as he walked over to a chair and sat down. 
 ‘Oh I’m tired..oh all this.. I’m sorry..I need ..I think I need people like you..I mean that’s why you’re’re lonely…you know I’m trying to understand you, Teresa. Yes Addie works for you..but you’re a friend..I’m sorry..I’m just tired..’ 
‘I’m sorry Kelvin..I should have knocked..but I told you..I mean…it’s a secret..I know you like Addie..’
‘Yes, yes Teresa..I know..I’m just tired..’
He sat still. Then he looked up at her and said suddenly:
 ‘I like you..Teresa ..a kindred soul..someone who needs friendship..people…I do…I think I do…Yes..oh you’re ..we can understand each other, can’t we, Teresa?’
‘I think so..’ Teresa said softly looking at him.
 ‘Stay here’,he said without raising his head. Then he looked at her. Teresa wondered then: Was he drunk? Maybe he was. He was behaving strangely..oh she didn’t know. Then he continued:
‘Be my friend, yes be my friend, Teresa, you’re so understanding..yes I like Addie…I need her..that is the important thing…yes’.
 ‘Yes’, Teresa said as Kelvin beckoned to a chair. They were silent then as Kelvin rose and went into a small kitchen. He came out with two glasses of wine. 
‘Sit down, be at home…’
He looked at her closely. 
‘What is it?’, he asked.
‘No Kelvin.. I just wanted to tell you..that you’re a friend.. I need a friend…don’t worry about know.... I have no-one..I don’t…I mean I’m just an ordinary working girl who married good…I did .. I think.. But I’m lonely.. I am…I have ..I mean I have nothing…I mean I have things to do…but there’s no ..there’s no meaning..can you say that.. I miss work,.. I know a woman shouldn’t say that…I miss..surviving…’ She felt Kelvin looking at her strangely. Oh she was babbling. She was talking like a mad woman. Oh she hoped Kelvin would understand her. Then he said:
‘I know..of course.. Teresa…you’re at home.. I told you you’re a friend..’

The next time Teresa came to see Kelvin was two weeks later. He was a real friend now, a confidant, someone she could talk to. And he had that temper, that manner of speaking which was like Jackson and Antoinette but he was obviosly from a different background. He was a way too for Teresa of returning to something, of creating a life for herself. She ached to create a life for herself which she felt she lost when she married Denby. 

Now Teresa sat listening to Kelvin who sat in front of her. He was drunk too. Still she had nowhere to go. Denby was not coming home that evening. Then she heard Kelvin speaking:
‘I love Addie..’ he said. Then Teresa rose and looked outside. She did it without thinking. She turned quickly as Kelvin's voice seemed to rise.
‘Lonely angry woman..listen to me..I’m talking to you..I know we don’t sleep together..’
She looked at him closely. What was he saying? He mentioned 'sleeping together'. Oh he was drunk.
She smiled without thinking and he looked at her wildly.
‘We can sleep together can’t we..we can kiss can’t we and no-one will know..’, he said. Teresa herself was not surprised by these words. She was used to Kelvin's temperament. He could speak like this. There was also the fact that they shared a secret from Addie and this flashed before Teresa's mind now. Still besides this, they had a close friendship. They were two souls who met and quickly understood each other. 
Then she said almost provocatively:
‘But you said you love Addie. So what does this mean..Kelvin?’ 
He seemed surprised. He didn't reply and she said:
‘Sleeping together won’t mean anything..there is no meaning…artist…artist..’ she said quickly. She didn't know why she said this. She felt angry suddenly and this drunken's man presence annoyed her. 
‘Is that an insult…you mean that as an insult..are you calling me an that an insult..’, she heard him say. 

She was quiet as she tried to think. She had drunk three glasses of wine and she felt tipsy but she tried to control her mind. What was he saying? What was this argument about? She tried to think, She must leave.
'Kelvin, I must leave, are you alright?', she said then.
'What are you saying? Are you leaving ? Wait..what were we talking can't leave..'
She replied:
'You don't know...'
'Wait Teresa, you think I'm drunk, useless...but my ....Addie..' he seemed to murmur.
She stood waiting for him to continue as he said:
'No, I don't want to think of Addie. So you will not tell Addie about the prostitutes..' 
Teresa was surprised by Kelvin's sudden lucidity. So he still thought about this. He still thought that she might tell Addie about this. This surprised Teresa. Did he not believe they had a bond, a true friendship?
Teresa was silent as she turned away. Then she heard him shout:
‘Yes I am..damned fool..why don’t you tell her…’
Oh he was drunk!
'Wait Kelvin, what are you're know this..', she said.
‘Well I’ll wager…angry have always hidden your damned are hiding them come here..from your have nowhere to go...oh lonely woman..'
Teresa stood looking at him. 
'Wait, you're mad. Yes I have nowhere to go. I am lonely.' Then she was quiet. She waited and she saw that these words seemed to calm Kelvin down as he put his head in his hands. He murmured:
'Sorry Teresa, wait.. do you want, drink before you go...'
He looked up quickly as she said:
There was silence as Kelvin looked at her. He said:
'But why do you come here.. I don't understand..we can talk, can't we.. I know I've drunk.. I don't want to hurt you..'
'Yes what?', he said quickly. Then as she remained silent, he said:
'Oh I had a bad day. That damned painting is ruined.'
'Well don't talk to me like this..I'm going..' Teresa said but she still remained at the window. 
He said then:
'Are you afraid? You told me you're afraid....why are you here..why…and you talk to me of feelings…’ he put his head in his hands. What was Kelvin saying? Then without thinking, she walked over to his side and pushed him. He fell heavily to the floor but he was drunk so he didn't feel anything. She knew this as he looked up surprised. She felt angry as she looked at him and he looked up almost helplessly. 
'What was that, Teresa?', he said innocently.
'You're not angry..' she said without thinking. Then she said:
'But you don't trust me...' Words came from her automatically and spontaneously. She continued:
'I'll go soon...Oh I feel week..get up off the floor...sorry..but you' were saying're angry..'
Kelvin rose and leant his hands on the back of the chair. He looked confused as he said:
'What's all this about? You pushed me. Why?'
'You mentioned my husband..Oh I don't know..sorry Kelvin..oh I feel are Kelvin..I'm sorry for pushing you but please don't say're drunk...' she said walking away.
‘You are an angry woman..’ he said trying to smile. As he looked at her he realised that he had said something to hurt her. Yes he probably should be quiet.
She stood looking at him at a distance as he still leant against the chair.
‘I’m not going to hit you..I’m sorry..Teresa.. I know I said something..Oh I think that woke me pushing me....’ He saw Teresa still standing timidly at the window. He smiled to himself. She looked lost. He said then:
‘I said it's alright…you were right to push me…it’s alright Teresa…’
‘Sorry Kelvin..’ she muttered.
‘What were we talking about…Teresa..I forget…’, he said.
'I don;t know..I think you mentioned my ..’
He looked at her steadily.
'Yes, Addie is good for you..' Teresa said. 
'Yes, Addie's a precious, kind heart..soul', he said dreamily.
'You said you loved her, Kelvin.'
'Did I? I mean she likes why wouldn’t I ..she gives me food…oh I know I’m an artist…yes Teresa..that’s what you were called me a damned artist..oh it’s alright..angry woman…’, he said. He seemed to be thinking, to be concentrating, trying to remember and Teresa looked away. Then she looked back and said:
‘Kelvin..why do you call me an angry woman..I’m not..I’m not…I’m afraid…I feel ..I don’t feel well but I’m not angry...I come here to you..maybe I’m lonely...I need’re a friend..Kelvin..’ 
Then he saw her walking over to him and she put her hand on his shoulder.
’Sorry Kelvin..I didn’t mean to push you…’
‘I know..Teresa..’. He felt his eyes closing and he heard her saying:
‘Alright you’re tired..will I go…’
‘You stay here if you want..’ 
‘You know I shouldn’t come here so often..I feel so foolish actually..I mean..I’ve no life and I’m looking for a feels like that…’, Teresa said. 
‘You’re lonely..I don’t mind..I’m lonely…you’re my’re addie’s friend..' he stopped and then he said smiling, ’but I don’t tell her about this…this is private..this is secret…I don’t tell her everything…about us…’
‘Oh and what is there to tell..we don’t we..we don’t lie together…’ she said.
‘We could kiss now..’ he said but he closed his eyes. He had said this without thinking and Teresa knew this. He said then:
'Damn I’m tired..I need to lie down…’ 
He walked into the bedroom. He shouted back:
'Teresa,stay as long as you like. I'm tired..'
'No, I'm going now..' Teresa replied from the next room. 

It was strange that when Addie left to work in the city, Teresa stopped immediately going to see Kelvin. As she sat alone in the house, she tried to remember Kelvin and what he said, his words. Yes she should go back to him. He was her friend after all and he had become more of a friend to her than Addie. Maybe she'd return to him. It just didn't feel right now that Addie was gone. Addie had told her of course to visit her and Kelvin. Anyway Addie left and Teresa in a way expected it. One day Addie said that she wanted to work in the city. She had looked into Teresa’s eyes and said that it wasn’t that she wanted to live or work nearer to Kelvin. No that wasn’t it. Addie said she didn’t want to live near him or with him. She told too that she felt that she wasn’t suitable for Kelvin. Teresa didn’t ask her the reason. 

When Teresa did meet Kelvin again months later, the relationship with Addie had ended. He had left Addie or more precisely she had left him. Yes, Teresa knew that Kelvin hadn’t the courage, the spirit to end it with Addie and why should he. He actually seemed to like Addie. Maybe he went with other women but he liked Addie. Yes he liked Addie. Teresa knew that he did. He looked up to her. She herself looked up to Addie and admired her spirit, that soul, that soul of Addie. In Addie she felt there was an unquenchable spirit. When later she met Frederika, Teresa felt too that there was an unquenchable spirit in her and yes Frederika was special to her. Still in Addie there was that spirit too but there were different types of unquenchable spirit.


It was early spring now but you felt it was still winter. There was a winter air as Teresa woke up suddenly. She had slept lightly. The sound of Denby’s voice was in her mind from the argument two days before. She hadn't gone to see Kelvin for weeks and as she woke, this thought came to her but there was also Denby. There was just herself in the house now. She needed to stay in the house, do more work. She couldn't afford to visit Kelvin so often. Yes Mrs Nelson came occassionally but it was just herself. She was getting used to the silence of the house, a new silence around her now that Addie was gone. But there was that argument with Denby. She wasn't sure what it was about and that argument of course shattered the silence, her silence, the silence of the house. 

She rose now. She didn't know what time it was. There was sun streaming into the room. She hadn't pulled the curtain but it could still be early, maybe dawn. She walked to the window. The thought that she shouldn't be here came to her. Why was she here? Why was she looking at this sun? The image of Kelvin, then of Jackson and Antoinette came to her. Yes she was used to the city. She needed to work. She couldn't see Kelvin but maybe she'd visit him again. She really needed a life...

She looked round the room in the low soft light, and she looked into the shadows. Then she dressed quickly. The sun was in the sky. And there was that headache. What was that argument about.. love or something...he asked her did she love him... She stood still. Maybe he was right to ask this? Kelvin and Addie and the old life were in her mind for a while now but since Addie went, there was a change in the air. Yes maybe she should be in the house more, more a wife, more a worker..' She walked to the bed quickly and sat down. she felt strange..No she needed to go outside into the air...She needed to walk..and she decided to go into the woods nearby. She knew there were gypsies there but she didn't mind and the image of the gypsies in the early sunlight made her smile. She rose and walked downstairs quickly. She looked at some bread lying on the table but she didn't feel hungry. Then she walked outside into the fresh sunlight. The woods were not far away and in minutes, she was standing on the edge of the woods. There was a fire in a clearing in the distance and she watched it carefully. 

Then thoughts came to her as she stood on the fresh morning grass. She thought of Denby : Yes he had provided for her, she was his wife but he had paid for everything, for her food, everything. And he really got nothing back and yet he didn’t seem to expect anything. Yes he expected support and he expected her to be a proper wife and he had those middle-class ideas of marriage…being proper and all.. appearances..or maybe he didn’ the working class had ideas like these too about being proper..all that..doing the right thing..doing the right thing in society....She stopped thinking as she looked at the fire in the clearing ahed. She felt the fire made her think more clearly and she thought again of Denby ...No..the main thing was..that this man paid for her and provided her..he gave her everything..she really seemed to have married Denby for comfort and security, a house…Jackson had said something like this….and she had in a way lied to Denby..was she not dishonest to him..she never shared anything..never told him about her old life..about what she wanted..but what she really wanted, she couldn't tell him..didn't she really want freedom…whatever that was..and she wanted a proper life…you know…to be survive…not be so reliant. Yes, she felt she was living a false life..she had married him for comfort and security but was this what life was..surely life required one to be independent in some way.. yes, as a wife she had to be with her husband and support him..make a home..but she seemed to rely on him for everything..she had no life on her own. Wasn’t it right too to bring something to the marriage..but she brought nothing..yes..nothing at all..she brought nothing to society either. She lived on the outskirts. She was not really living...wasn’t there something wrong in her life…surely there was something wrong..yes..

She stood still in the woods. Yes she really felt tired. Why? Was it the argument ? Or did she feel empty. She thought suddenly of Kelvin. Why didn't she see him? Just because Addie left her employment shouldn't stop her visiting him but she felt too that Addie and Kelvin had split, that they had ended their relationship. Towards the end of her employment, Addie talked less and less of Kelvin and for Teresa, this did not go by unnoticed.  

Suddenly there was a movement among the trees and Teresa remained still. Then she saw some figures walking towards her. They were two girls, two gypsy girls. Teresa turned in the other direction. Then she heard a girl's voice:
 Teresa turned quickly. 
There were two girls in front of her. As she looked at them, she felt impatient. She wanted to get back to the house and have some breakfast. 
'What is it?', Teresa asked.
She felt the older girl, a girl of nineteen or perhaps twenty studying her and as she turned to look at her this girl said:
'Madam. You have food..?’ There was silence. She looked at the younger girl, a girl of perhaps fourteen. Then she heard the older girl say:
'We just want food..'
Then suddenly she felt weak and she leant against a tree. She closed her eyes and murmured, addressing the girls
'Wait, don't come near me..I'm just tired..I'll give you something..'
Then she opened her eyes and the girls were looking steadily at her, studying her. She walked away from the tree and looked over in the direction of the fire.
'Is that your fire?', she asked.
'Yes, Madam', the older girl said.
'You don't have food..' Teresa said almost to herself.
'Yes Madam, please give us food..' the older girl replied.
'Yes', Teresa said dreamily. Then she turned back and the older girl who said almost immediately:
'We just want to talk..Do you live near here?'
'Of course', Teresa said quickly but then the thought flashed before her that she shouldn't tell them where she lived. She said then:
'Alright, I'll give you food..but I don't have it now..' 
'That's alright....'
The two girls stood waiting for Teresa to speak and Teresa said:
'I'll leave it on this stump here..later...'
'This morning?', the younger girl said.
'Yes..bread and that alright...'
'Yes', the older girl said.
'We are hungry', the younger girl said suddenly and Teresa said quickly:
'Alright, I'll get the food now..I am sorry…I am sorry….alright…I’ll get food and I’ll come back…’
‘You live locally then…’, the older girl said.
They were quiet as Teresa looked quickly at the two girls. She said:
‘Why do you ask me so many questions…I said I’d get you food…’ 
The older girl replied:
‘We don’t mean to annoy you Madam.. continue your can give us food when you’re ready../we don’t expect you to have it with you…just leave it here on tha stump and we’ll collect it. We’re hungry that’s all…’
Teresa looked over at the stump.
‘Yes…of course..I’ll leave it on the rock….’.
 She tried to smile and walked away. Then she looked back and met the eyes of the older girl who smiled at her.


When Teresa returned to the woods later that morning, she saw the older girl sitting beside the stump. The girl rose as she saw Teresa approaching with the package off food. The girl smiled and Teresa smiled unconsciously. As Teresa came nearer, the girl said quickly:
‘You are pretty when you smile…Madam…’ 
Teresa was quiet as she looked at the girl. Suddenly she felt this was like a dream. It was like a dream to be in these woods with this gypsy girl away from the old life in the theatre, the city. What had happened to her? 
‘What’s wrong..Madam..?’ the girl said and Teresa realised that she had been silent. 
‘Nothing…’, Teresa replied and she felt instantly there was a strange kind of attraction between her and this girl.
She handed the package to the girl and the girl said:
‘My name’s Maria Antonina..what’s your name..madam..?’
‘You are married?’
‘Why are you asking me? I gave you food.’ 
'Yes, Madam, thank-you.' 
The girl sat still on the stump with the package in her hand. 
'You eat...' Teresa murmured.
'Sorry Madam...'
'I'll bring it back to the others...' the girl said. Then the girl said suddenly:
'I need a wash, Madam. I really need to wash...'
Teresa looked at her questioningly.
'I don't understand..I can't allow..'
'Is it your husband?'
Teresa was quiet as she looked away. She was trying to think. Surely there was nothing wrong with the girl bathing in her house. This sudden meeting with the girl called Maria Antonina surprised her and had taken her off guard. 
'No, wait..', Teresa said as the girl rose. The girl said almost childishly:
'But I need to wash..You understand..You're a woman...I don't like being dirty...'
' ask too much…Maria…please take your food…I’m tired..I gave you leave me alone…’

The girl remained there. Teresa looked at her. In her gypsy dress, she looked pretty. She had a fresh innocent face but you knew she hadn't washed for a while. There was her slender figure. Yes she needed food, Teresa saw this and she needed a wash. A pretty girl like her would like to bathe herself, wash herself and be like a proper woman. Teresa was about to speak when the girl said:
‘Am I annoying look’re angry..why are you angry, Madam..?'
Teresa said quickly:
'No, you can wash in my house..'
'Your husband..what about your husband..', the other replied. 
'He's not in the house to-night..I live there in the first house ..I told you you can wash...'
'Thank-you, Teresa. Can I can you are beautiful..'
This made Teresa smile. She had never been called beautiful except by her husband. Then Teresa realised she had been standing here for a while with this gypsy girl. She turned to go and the girl said:
'Wait, thank-you for the food...why are you in a hurry... Teresa..'
Teresa turned:
'Maria, is that your name?'
'Maria Antonina', the other said quickly.
'Come to the house to-night..'
Teresa was surprised by the girl's innocence and quick manner. She leant back against the tree and looked over at Maria Antonina. 
'Sorry Teresa...' the girl said. Then Teresa turned and tried to smile at the other. 
'I have to go now..'
'Thank-you..' Maria Antonina replied.


Maria Antonina stood at the backdoor, the shimmering light of the moon behind her. Teresa looked up at the moon and then beckoned the girl inside. There was something strange about this. There was something captivating, sophisticated, erotic about a girl, a young woman bathing in her house. Teresa was allowing the young woman to bathe in her house. No, she was allowing the woman to wash herself. For as Maria Antonina entered, she said:
‘Thank-you Madam for allowing me to wash. I want to feel clean, you know..’
‘Yes’, Teresa said.
Then as the young woman stood in the kitchen, Teresa said:
‘There is a bath upstairs, it’s old and I’ll bring you water…’

The girl walked upstairs almost without being told and looked down at Teresa. She was obviously shy and Teresa was suddenly surprised by the girl’s candour, her sophistication, her confidence.
She tried to say:
‘Your husband doesn’t know…I feel so dirty..’ Teresa looked into the kitchen. She must heat the water. She looked up at the girl. Yes the young woman obviously wanted to wash herself. Then Teresa went upstairs and into the spare bedroom. On one side was the bath. 
‘Can I undress…?’, Teresa heard the young woman say. Teresa didn’t answer. Again she felt her head spinning. What was happening? She didn’t understand. She didn’t want to understand. Was there a kind of seduction taking place. She never knew or she had only heard vaguely about the seduction of one woman by another woman. Then she felt the young woman turning to her:
‘Can I call you Teresa…you are kind, Teresa…’
‘Wait here, I’ll get the water…’
As she walked away, she thought: Oh my God, why don’t I fill the bath completely…She returned to the room and said: 
‘Maria Antonina, would you mind…I’ll fill the bath first..will you wait..’
‘Of course, Madam…’
Then the young woman sat on the bed. She seemed to study Teresa as Teresa glanced at her and walked downstairs. She carried up the buckets of water while the girl sat on the bed. Then Maria Antonina suddenly rose after Teresa carried up three buckets:
‘Let me help you Madam..’ and Maria Antonina went downstairs and helped Teresa to carry up some buckets.
‘That’s enough Madam…I’m know that…’
‘You’re’re sweet…’
Teresa stood then in the doorway as the woman began to undress. The young woman turned and Teresa said:
‘I’ll be downstairs…’
She thought she heard the woman say:
‘Wash me..will you wash me…’ Teresa just felt her head spinning and she turned and walked downstairs. As she did, a thought came to her. It was that necklace that Denby gave to her. She had put it in the sideboard in that spare bedroom that the girl was washing in. As she sat in an armchair downstairs, she thought quickly: I can’t let that necklace go..she can’t steal it….I don’t know this girl..I allow her into my house…I don’t know her…She could steal…but she’s gentle…but… 

Then Teresa thought suddenly of the girl’s eyes. There was something in her eyes, a hard glint. Her skin was clear and fresh from being in the sunlight and then the moonlight but her eyes…they were hard…or there was a shine in them..she was certainly a tough woman…a young woman reared in hardship…

Then Teresa rose quickly and without thinking walked upstairs. She heard the sound of the girl washing herself and she walked to the room and pushed the door open. She stood still. The girl turned to her but she didn’t cover her breasts. Teresa said:
‘You want something to dry yourself…’
Maria Antonina didn’t seem to hear. Then Teresa heard the other say:
‘You have spare clothes…?’
Teresa looked at her.
‘Madam, you hear me…’, she heard Maria Antonina say.
The smell of the young woman’s body was in the room. The girl’s clothes were on the floor and the girl too was obviously shy and embarrassed. Yes she wanted to wash herself and Teresa knew this but Teresa felt attracted by something. Was she attracted by the young woman? She didn’t know. There was certainly something new about all this.
Then she heard the girl say:
‘You don’t mind me being here..?’
‘No,, no..’
‘Alright…and you are lonely, Madam, aren’t you…?’
Teresa smiled but she felt strange, she felt weak, feeble like a child and this young woman was the real adult. The young woman was in control. That was how it felt anyway. 
‘Lonely, why do you ask?’, Teresa said after a pause. She had got used to the girl’s nakedness. The girl herself didn’t seem to mind. Then Teresa said suddenly:
‘Will I leave, do you mind me being here.. I mean…I didn’t ask you…’
The girl continued to wash herself with a cloth. She didn’t seem to hear Teresa and obviously didn’t mind Teresa in the room. Yes this girl wasn’t afraid to be naked. Teresa said then:
‘I’m sorry, asked me if I have I don’t…I would..of course..give them to you..’
The young woman turned and looked at her. There was that hard look.
‘A blouse..a shirt anything…’
Teresa looked at her quickly and said:
‘A shirt…I can give you a shirt…yes..’ 
Then she left the room and came back with an old shirt that she had put in a box in her room.
‘Thank-you, Madam..’ she heard the girl say as she put it on the floor.
‘Oh…I think I’ll rest..’ Teresa said suddenly. She felt weak.
She said:
‘Do you mind…I just want to rest..lie on the bed..’
‘Yes, Teresa…’

She lay on the bed and she wasn’t aware that she had fallen asleep until she woke suddenly. Maria Antonina was lying beside her and Teresa raised herself quickly. She saw that the girl was naked. The girl raised herself too on her side and began to stroke Teresa’ throat. 
‘Do you mind..Teresa..I just want to lie here with you…’
‘What are you doing?’, Teresa said quickly but still she remained beside the young woman as the girl stroked Teresa's breasts.
‘You don’t mind…I don’t want to go back to the woods..I have washed…can I stay here..just for a night..your husband is not here, is he?’
‘Maybe..I suppose’, Teresa heard herself say but she felt powerless to do anything.
‘You like me to touch you, Teresa..will you touch me..?’ 
Then the girl brought Teresa’s hand onto her abdomen but Teresa didn’t do anything. 
The girl raised herself then and began to rub Teresa’s abdomen and then her breasts. There was something clumsy about the girl’s movements, about this seduction but Teresa didn’t mind. In her mind, Teresa was captivated by the girl’s confidence as well as by the new experience. Then she heard the girl say:
‘You are tired.. Teresa.. can I undress we can lie together..’
Teresa rose without thinking. She stood up beside the bed looking down. Maria Antonina didn’t move. Then the young woman stirred and walked round to Teresa and began slowly to undress her. Moonlight was streaming into the room as Teresa looked at the girl’s face as she concentrated on undressing Teresa. 
As they lay in the bed together, moonlight lit the ceiling above and a cold air seemed to fill the room. Teresa didn’t know whether it was the blood racing in her. All she could see was the moonlight. Was she imagining everything? There was that colour on the ceiling, those colours filling the room, that light filling the room, that was moonlight and there was Maria Antonina beside her, softly caressing Teresa’s own naked body. 


Teresa woke suddenly and immediately knew that the young woman had gone. Surely it must be still early but she felt the girl had left. She rose quickly and dressed and walked quickly into the next room. Then she walked downstairs. There was no-one. Suddenly the image of the necklace came to her. She can’t have stolen it surely. She walked quickly upstairs and looked in the sideboard where she put it. The necklace was still there! She kept the necklace like a treasure. Still she felt it was the only real possession she had. Denby had given it to her when he was in love with her. She felt he gave to her as a real gift. It was something meant for her, her alone, and if anything happened, if they should divorce or whatever, she felt she still had that necklace. And she could pawn it for money, sell it, whatever. That was the important thing! 

Anyway the necklace was still in the drawer but surely the girl had stolen something. Why had she left so early? Teresa walked back into her bedroom and looked around. Was there anything missing? She wasn’t sure. No she couldn’t be sure if anything was missing. Then as she looked, the memory of the previous night came to her, the girl caressing her. Why did she not think this was wrong? Was this not deceiving Denby. Why did this not bother her? Why? Then suddenly a thought came to her. Oh my God, this girl could blackmail her, could she not? 

Teresa walked quickly in the direction of the woods. What was she doing? What was she going to say to this young woman but this young woman had a name: Maria Antonina. Why had she left so early? Didn’t the night mean anything to this woman ? Oh why was she asking herself this ? Everything was absurd but she needed to speak to Maria Antonina again, ask her things, talk to her…

She walked into the woods but she couldn’t see the fire that she had seen the day before. Then she heard some rustling in the trees and she saw the figure of Maria Antonina walking towards her. Teresa walked quickly in her direction and shouted suddenly:
‘Don’t play with me, girl. What do you came to my house..did you take something..?’
The girl looked surprised and said quickly:
‘You are mad, Teresa. What are you saying? I didn’t take anything.’
Teresa stopped. The presence of the young woman seemed to captivate Teresa. There were her eyes and that skin. She had that slender frame which evoked elegance. Teresa was silent and seemed to study the other. 
Then Maria Antonina said:
‘You are a lonely woman, Teresa…’
Teresa was quiet. The thought that the girl might blackmail her came to her but she didn’t want to put the idea of blackmail into the other’s mind if she wasn’t actually thinking about it. There was silence. Teresa said then:
‘The others are gone…the fire..’
‘Yes, madam.’
‘Why did you left so early..’ Teresa said.
‘I washed, Madam and I slept in your house…I am grateful…’
Teresa smiled as she looked at her but she didn’t say anything.
‘Why are you smiling, Teresa?’, Maria Antonina asked then. Teresa couldn’t find anything to say. The image of Maria Antonina caressing her came to her but she remained silent.
Then Maria Antonina said:
‘What do you want, Teresa?’
‘My husband…’
‘What about your husband…I need food, shelter…I want someone to protect me…’ Maria Antonina said quickly.
‘Yes.’, Teresa replied. Then Maria Antonina said:
‘I won’t tell anyone..I just wanted to wash..go away..madam..’, the young woman said. Then she turned back and faced Teresa:
‘So Teresa, you care about this man…your husband?’
‘Yes’, Teresa said automatically. She looked across at Maria Antonina and asked quickly:
‘You are leaving..?’
‘Yes..of course…I had to leave early…to be father..he’s ..’ Maria Antonina seemed to become confused and Teresa said:
‘Yes, yes.’
There was a silence again. Teresa looked at the other and said:
‘You are….’
‘You are’ll find a that what you want…?’
‘I suppose…’
‘And your …’ Teresa stopped.
‘I mean your eyes..they are…they are beautiful too…’
‘Thank-you, Madam..’
‘I mean Teresa…’ Maria Antonina tried to smile. Then she said:
‘I must go, Teresa..’
Teresa said quickly:
‘Can I give you money.. you need money’. Before Maria Antonina answered, Teresa had reached into her pockets and she gave some coins to the other.
‘It’s not much..’, Teresa muttered.  
‘Thank-you’, the other said

Her relationship with Maria Antonina surprised her but Maria Antonina disappeared quickly from her life. The gypsies left the woods and the night with Maria Antonina became just a memory. What did it mean? It didn’t seem to mean anything. It was just something strange, something peculiar that happened to her. 

A week after Maria Antonina and the gypsies’ departure, Teresa went back into the city. She felt that old fear and anger again. No it wasn't the lost child. Why should she feel angry about this anyway..angry about a baby..and she didn't feel angry about what had happened with Maria Antonina..No. So she wasn’t angry. She was lost. Yes she felt lost and she confused it with anger, fear..all that..yes she needed direction..That day she walked around the old city streets. She wondered whether she should visit Kelvin but she thought against it. She decided to go to the nuns. Yes they'd help her with some work, help her do some work at home..And she wanted to be a proper wife. 

It was a few months later that she went back to the city and she walked without thinking in the direction of Kelvin's studio. She looked up at it. Then she saw the image of Kelvin again but it was the drunken, angry Kelvin. She didn't want to talk to a man like this but Kelvin was her gateway to a life, a real life. Yes she really felt this and she felt she needed to talk to him again.


A few months after the night with Maria Antonina, Teresa sat with Kelvin. Yes she decided now to go back to him. Kelvin was good for her. She felt this. Kelvin's relationship with Addie was over but he was still a friend and she wanted to return to her old life. She wasn’t sure how this could work but she ached for her old life, or at least aspects of it and Kelvin represented a part of that life. 

They sat together on an old bench in his studio. Kelvin was not surprised to see her enter the studio. He greeted her as if it had been yesterday. Yes that was Kelvin! 
‘You are a lonely woman Mrs Denby..’, he said as he held a cup filled with wine.
He looked at her as she remained silent.
‘Addie broke up with me…months back…you said she was good for me..’
Teresa turned and looked at him. What was he saying? Then she rose suddenly. The thought of Maria Antonina came to her and it didn’t feel right to sit beside Kelvin like this as if she was his lover and then there was Denby. As if reading her thoughts, Kelvin said smiling:
‘You don’t want to be my lover.. then..’
Teresa was quiet. There was a time when she could answer such remarks with a quick wit but she felt powerless now, she felt feeble.
‘No, don’t worry..’ Kelvin said quickly. Then he said:
‘You are a lonely woman…and you have a beauty..’
She tried to smile. She said:
‘You say I have a beauty the pictures you paint…’
 ‘I could paint you if you want..’, he said.
‘Yes’. They were quiet as suddenly some music drifted up from the streets. Kelvin saw Teresa smile and then she said quickly:
‘Wait let’s dance..I haven’t heard music for a long time..hold are an artist.. please, let’s dance.’
You surprise me.. yes’. He rose then and walked over to her and put his arms round her waist. Teresa suddenly felt ucomfortable and Kelvin stood away from her quickly:
‘What is it?’
‘No, no.. let’s dance…it’s alright..’ She heard the music playing and he put his arms round her and they began to sway to the rhythm of the distant music. Then the music stopped. Kelvin said:
‘And you are are sad..’
‘I’m not lonely..not sad when I’m with you…you know that Kelvin..I missed you.. I did.. our talks…I just didn’t know whether it was right…’
Kelvin stood away from her as Teresa asked:
‘You don’t see Addie then…?’
‘No, no..I have changed..Addie has…I think people change..I mean in the time I haven’t seen you..I think you have changed…’
‘Have I?’
Teresa looked closely at him and their eyes met but then she turned away quickly. The image of Maria Antonina came to her suddenly. No she didn’t want to become intimate with Kelvin. Oh she wished he would be her friend, that he would help her make a life for herself. She said then looking at Kelvin:
 ‘You said I was lonely…Kelvin… I am..yes I am lonely..I just want to be your friend..I need you…you know that…’
‘Of course’, Kelvin replied. Then he continued:
‘I like being with you, Teresa…you have your husband.. you know who I am, Teresa.. yes…’ He stopped and then said: 
‘You want some soup’
Then the music began to play again. It was the same music as before. Kelvin said:
‘Can we dance…let’s dance..’ They began to sway again to the rhythm and Teresa heard Kelvin say:
 ‘So lonely we are!’, Kelvin said
‘Oh shut up Kelvin, let’s dance, let’s be quiet… the music is so..’
They were quiet as she heard him say:
‘Does your husband love you?’ Teresa was quiet. The question surprised her but she wanted to dance above all as the music was continuing to play. When the music stopped, she said:
‘That’s a strange you think I can answer I can’t…I can’t…I can’t..’
‘You can’t what..Teresa.. can you not love..’
He looked at her. Then he said:
‘It takes strength to love, doesn’t it. You’re right. You know I have my women. No I can’t love…’
Kelvin didn’t answer. He seemed to think. Then he said:
‘Your husband..he is distant..he doesn’t love you..’
‘You asked me already, haven’t you?’
He didn’t answer and she said:
 ‘Maybe you’re right..maybe he doesn’t…’
‘Do you love him?’ Kelvin said quickly.
‘I don’t like talking about love..I told you.’ 

There was silence in the air. Teresa seemed to be thinking about something. Would the music play again?
Then she said:
 ‘And you love Addie..?’
‘Teresa..that’s over..and I don’t like to talk of love…it’s’s not real to me…’
She looked over at him and said then
‘And do you love me, Kelvin..’
Kelvin looked at her and said quickly:
‘I don’t know Teresa…we can..we can have something but you’re married..and you want friendship..and I want friendship..I am being honest with you.’
They were quiet and Teresa looked around the room almost dreamily and said, as if speaking to herself:
 ‘I must save my marriage.. I have to…I can’t just abandon it.. I feel as if I’m just abandoning it..’
She rose quickly, saying:
‘I can’t abandon it..… I can’t…it’s not right…’
Oh want to be a good girl..a good ..really good girl..’
Teresa turned around and looked at him. He looked at her and said:
‘Well we are friends, Teresa..I hope we will always be friends..come to me.. I’ll paint you.. I’ll draw you…’


The light was dancing in the evening sky. Evening, darkness and then brightness, light glittering, a shadowy room. Teresa lay beside Kelvin in the evening shadows. It was about four months before the arrival of Frederika. She felt the presence of Kelvin beside her and rose from the bed. She didn’t feel like Kelvin’s lover. Was she meant to feel this ? No Kelvin and her were certainly more friends than lovers. As she rose, she expressed in her mind the thought that she and Kelvin wouldn’t sleep together again. She preferred to talk to him, preferred him to be her confidant. He was her passage to a new life, he embodied that passage. Then she looked back at him. Maybe she secretly wanted to be his lover. Yes maybe they could be…

Then she felt Kelvin’s eyes on her as he said:
‘It hurts me to lie beside you like this’.
Teresa understood. She looked quickly out at the night-sky. She wanted to smile. She felt the evening in the room, the cold evening in the room but still there was a certain warmth. Then she looked back at Kelvin and said:
‘It hurts me too. We are really friends…I’m sorry..’
‘No don’t be sorry! But it hurts you too, does it Teresa? You are a friend, another soul who I can talk to but I don’t need to tell you this, do I?’
‘No’. Teresa was quiet as Kelvin closed his eyes. There was that comfortable silence between them and it was strange that they had just slept together. It crossed Teresa’s mind of course that she had done a wrong, committed a sin according to the religion she was brought up in. 
‘You thinking of your husband?’, Kelvin said suddenly.
‘No..this had to happen…I haven’t told him about you..Oh I am confused..I don’t know..was I meant to marry…what did you tell me?’
Kelvin glanced up at her. 
‘Guilty, are you?’
‘Shut up, Kelvin. Oh I want to be silent…listen…I love this evening, the night…’
Kelvin rose then and quickly dressed.
He heard then Teresa say:
‘Addie’ and he turned.
She said:
‘Addie. Would this have happened if she was here. We are friends…Addie brought us together’.
‘You are dreaming, Teresa’, then he turned and put on his boots. He turned again:
‘Maybe, you’re right. Do you think Addie was good for me then?’
‘Kelvin, you’re mad. Do you want pity or something. Oh Addie, Addie’, Teresa said. Then she turned and walked to the window. 
She heard Kelvin behind her say:
‘Oh confusion, confusion, fear, fear, you’re always afraid, Teresa. Well I am..I am afraid now’.
‘Are you?’, Teresa said turning to face him. 
‘Of what?’ she asked then, ‘ But you’re not afraid of my husband, are you?’
Kelvin stood up.
‘No I’m not. I know you’re not. No I don’t care and sweet soul, this love won’t last anyway’, he said almost theatrically, ‘But I’ll be there for you..’
‘You’re a friend. You’re still my lover..’ Teresa said looking at him seriously. The thought that she had committed a wrong went through her. This could herald the end of her marriage.
Kelvin looked into her eyes.
‘So you’re thinking of Denby…’
‘Of course I never told him of you I mean just because we have slept together…I never told him about our meetings.. talking..the portrait you did of me..’
Kelvin turned away. Then he turned back quickly. Teresa said then:
‘Are you afraid of my husband?’
‘Are you mad, Teresa? Why should I? I don’t know him..I don’t want to know him..I know’re an know I don’t think of you as a married’re independent.. aren’t you..’ 

He looked quickly into her eyes. Teresa closed her eyes and didn’t want to say anything. She opened her eyes as she felt Kelvin was expecting her to speak but he had turned away and had walked into the next room.


Victorian Story Part 3

Victorian Summer
Story of the Pearl Necklace, Part 111

Summer 1887

Teresa sat in a park on the other side of the city. She was thinking now of Denby. She didn’t really like to think of Denby but she made no attempt now to force him or any thoughts of him from her mind. So she had got over him but somehow she felt that they had ended their relationship with each other in a natural way ; Yes they had taken their relationship to the natural end. The marriage or whatever it was just didn’t work out and she felt that there was a kind of agreement between them about that. 

Yes this was the summer of 1887, four years on from the summer when Teresa met Denby and married him. Antoinette was in her life again. Antoinette was there when she had first met Denby but had gone to work in the country just before she married Denby. Teresa had also, in a way, grown up with Antoinette as she had with Jackson. That would always bind them together perhaps in some way. 

And as she sat in the park, Teresa felt there was something similar..there was a kind of similar atmosphere between that summer four years ago and this summer. She had said goodbye to Jackson some weeks before. She wanted a fresh start..or something like that. She felt anxious now and she remembered how she had that same sense of anxiety four years before. There was also that same sense of expectation. Or you felt rather that you shouldn’t expect anything, that lack of expectation.  

Still there was other similarities to that summer and Teresa thought about this as she sat in the park: And this summer now? What did she feel as she sat in the park? Yes it was another summer, another summer in another year…and it was that slow summer…there was a feeling of nakedness, of being exposed…but not of being exposed to the elements.. but rather to the sunshine…. and the sun was gentle but strong… and warm too but still you were exposed to it ..and you still felt that fragility and exposure….the exposure not only of your soul..or maybe not the soul….at least the exposure of the body with that thing called the mind the sun outside.... Yes you were open to the sun..all you had to protect you was your flesh and something called the mind but that couldn’t protect you from the outside.

Yes Teresa felt vulnerable this summer of 1887 but it was a strange vulnerability that she felt. She had a job in the theatre now so she wasn’t just surviving. She had only herself to feed although Antoinette would occasionally ask her for some money. She felt too that Antoinette would soon ask her if she could stay in her rooms for a while. Anyway she didn’t mind if Antoinette did stay with her. 

Still Teresa liked to be with Antoinette. And as she sat still in the park, she remembered Antoinette telling her some days before that she had thought that Teresa had made a mistake marrying Denby. Antoinette had asked her if she felt alone or vulnerable. Was this why she married Denby?, Antoinette had asked her, and then there was that necklace too. Jackson had mentioned this to Antoinette later when they met again. Antoinette told her this and Teresa smiled as she thought about it now. Maybe Antoinette was right ; maybe she shouldn't have married. Yes of course Antoinette was right. Of course she felt vulnerable that summer but still she felt she had to marry Denby. Denby seemed to like her, even love her. He even gave her that damned necklace. 

Still as Teresa thought about this, she still felt that it was a mistake that perhaps had to happen. Denby had asked her to marry and she just accepted. At the time she could do nothing else. Then, of course, the marriage had later been annulled so it was as if nothing had ever happened. Still something did happen.

And Teresa liked to be with Antoinette now because Antoinette helped her to think about Denby and the man that he was. Yes Denby was sensitive like herself, he was weak in some ways too ; Yes he was troubled in some way but she herself was so troubled too that she couldn‘t really help him. And then there was Aimee. Aimee was Denby’s cousin and when Teresa first knew Denby, Aimee was there with him. Teresa remembered him sitting in the coffee-shop with Aimee and she had thought she was his lover or something. When she met Denby, she also met Aimee. They came together in some way. She remembered them sitting in the theatre together too and there was a strange aura of elegance to her. Maybe it was a specific kind of bohemian elegance. In some way Teresa felt that Aimee wanted to protect Denby ; They were in the city together and they wanted to help each other. Still Aimee seemed to disappear when Denby began to woo Teresa.  

Even now, Aimee was a mystery to her but she was a mystery that Teresa herself didn’t care to try to solve or discover. She just liked to think of Aimee. There was a strange soft aura which still belonged to Aimee. Yes Teresa regretted stealing money from her. That was something that troubled Teresa in her marriage and it troubled her now in some way. She should never have stolen from Aimee but Teresa wasn’t sure that Aimee knew it was her! Actually Aimee probably never knew it was her. Aimee would have told Denby!  

Still Aimee was someone Teresa could love or like and even now she wondered whether Aimee contributed in some way to her growing attachment to Denby. However when they were married, Aimee never visited. She wondered about this. Maybe she thought she was no good for her cousin. Maybe she did know that she had stolen from her. Aimee had liked her but maybe she had doubts about her, her character perhaps. Anyway, she didn’t know. Teresa heard later that she had loved an artist and became a kind of muse to him

Maybe it was Aimee too who encouraged Denby in his love for Teresa. Teresa knew herself she was an outsider. She was really a no-body who worked in the theatre. Yes Denby thought she was fascinating and all that but without someone’s encouragement, Denby surely would never deign to woo her and finally ask her to marry him or least of all think of marrying her. 

Now Teresa remembered that summer when she met and married Denby. She had just got some work in a theatre. She had danced and sang but that summer she was just working backstage. Sometimes she had danced but she had stopped performing. Maybe she wasn’t confident enough. Yes it was something like that. Still as she thought about it all as she sat in the park, maybe if she had performed more, she could have found a rich lecherous benefactor. Still, she was never that sort of person. She never wanted to be kept at all. She felt too that she was a respectful looking girl and she knew she gave off an aura of respectability. Maybe that partly explained Denby’s attraction to her. It might have explained how Denby and Aimee easily accepted her into their world. 


Summer Four years before: Summer 1883

Another Victorian summer was beginning. The atmosphere was imbued with the air of early summer. It was the beginning of summer, yes, and you could sense this too. And there was a strange and intoxicating mix of spring, summer, day, evening and early night in the air. You felt at the bottom of the summer, in the depths of summer, and you were on the edge and the summer was beginning. Yes that was how Teresa felt as she leant against the wall that evening looking at the passers-by. 

Teresa was standing almost in the shadows looking at the passers-by on that holiday evening. Jackson was standing in front of her and Antoinette, another friend, was beside her. All three had just walked through the nearby market together. Lionel, who had been with Antoinette and Jackson drinking earlier in the day had left them in the market and it was in the market that Teresa had joined them having come from work.  

Teresa had an innocent and soft look in this sunny light. She tried to stand in the shadows but you could still see that soft innocent face. Still at other times, you could see her hard skin, and a hard look too in her eyes. She had a slender frame and a sharp nose. She was not conventionally pretty. Above all, Teresa had an optimism and innocence about her. Maybe it wasn’t innocence actually. Maybe it was more a child-like maturity. She was a young woman who wasn’t a stranger to the streets and she was obviously comfortable and at home too among the men and women who came out at night.

Now Teresa leant against the high stone wall behind her. She didn’t really feel tired but she felt the brightness and light of the day tearing into her. She wasn’t sad or angry at all but she was conscious she didn’t feel so well and she looked quickly at Jackson in front of her. Antoinette and Jackson had been with each other all day. They had been drinking of course and they were tired as well as drunk but Antoinette was really more intoxicated than Jackson. Teresa had joined them in a public house and they had walked together through the market to this place. Later Teresa would go again to the theatre, where she worked. 

Jackson stood away from the two women as Teresa turned to Antoinette beside her. She realised that she was the only one who felt like talking. Antoinette and Jackson in front seemed content to be quiet but she knew of course that Antoinette and Jackson were slightly intoxicated. And Lionel of course, who had been with them, had gone home to sleep off his drunkenness.  

Teresa looked quickly at Jackson. She wasn’t sure why he was looking around so much but he seemed anxious. Or maybe he was just tired, tired from the sun as well as the drinking. He just seemed anxious. Still if a policeman passed, they might think he was a pickpocket or pimp. However he was wearing a workman’s cap and he looked like a workman too. They would arrest you for anything just for looking suspicious but Teresa knew too she didn’t look like a prostitute or anything herself. Perhaps Jackson was looking out for the police man doing his rounds but really Jackson had done nothing wrong. 

Jackson was a careless sort, about her own age, while Antoinette was perhaps a few years older. He could be forgetful but maybe he just wanted to forget things quickly. She knew herself she was like this. She didn’t like to remember things too much or look back and in this way she and Jackson were alike. And you could say Antoinette was stronger than them both. For Antoinette didn’t mind looking back, thinking about herself, thinking about her problems. And Jackson of course could be hard and selfish too but as Teresa thought about Jackson, she realised that she was grateful to Jackson in some way. Jackson had introduced her to an acquaintance who worked in the theatre ; He introduced her to friends and people he knew. 

Teresa pushed herself off the wall that she was leaning against. Maybe she did look strange and harlot-like in that pose. Still no-one was looking at them ; No-one was looking at her. People were walking through the streets and it certainly wasn’t like a working day. It was the evening anyway and it was still light. There was that extraordinary fresh sunlight. The evening was making you alive and you really had to live to-night, but not live or exist like a harlot…a prostitute..or a pickpocket..or a pimp…Such a glorious sunlight!

Then Teresa turned quickly to Antoinette who had her back turned to her and seemed to be looking almost forlornly into the distance. Antoinette had a heavy mature look about her although she was still a young woman. Now she looked lonely. Still like Jackson, it was probably the mix of drink, sunshine and walking that contributed to her tired and forlorn pose. 

Teresa felt and sensed that it was beginning to be night although it was still sunlight. But this day would last long because it was summer. And you needed some money and food to last out the long day! She knew that Antoinette would lead her later after work to some dingy public house. That was if Antoinette wasn’t so drunk and tired. But Antoinette would probably go back to her room to sleep soon. And in dingy public houses, they would perhaps look for some men but Teresa didn’t really want this. 

So the night would be long and all there was was that lonely soft summer light and now Teresa looked around again. Now they were all tired and really just looking at the world passing them. Teresa looked at Jackson again and thought, ‘What world was he in now, was he pimping, pick pocketing.. .a bit of everything probably…‘. She tried then to ask herself what she was, who she was: ‘I never think of myself as a street girl..but I am….Antoinette is…look at her.. Look at Antoinette…look at Jackson…we’re cheap…we’re almost criminals’.  

Then she suddenly poked at Antoinette and said: 
‘Are you going out to seduce a man later, Antoinette?’ 
Antoinette wasn’t surprised by Teresa’s sudden movement or her question either. A short while before, Teresa and Antoinette had joked about seduction and men. Antoinette answered quickly:
‘Seduce..? You know what seduction is, Teresa, don’t you…I can see it in your eyes..You’re young…seduction..that’s a word I know but it’s not all about seduction with men, you know, is it it Teresa..?’ 

Teresa looked at her and realised that Antoinette was definitely tipsy but she was speaking sense. She saw that Antoinette was waiting for her to answer but she didn’t know what to say. Then Antoinette turned away and said: 

‘I’m so tired, Teresa. What can I do..I need a man..’
Jackson muttered something and turned around to them. Teresa noticed then how tired he was. He said then:
‘I’ll give you money..’ 
Antoinette answered quickly:
‘I need food, Jackson…someone to help me..properly..a man maybe’, Antoinette seemed to drawl and Jackson said in a monotone, tired way:
‘I’ll give you food’. 
Then Antoinette looked away and seemed to speak to herself in a drunken kind of way. Still she wanted her words to be heard by them. It was just that she didn’t have the energy to turn and face Teresa. Teresa heard her saying:
‘I’ll drink later..I don’t want to lie with a man.. I hate them…..I lived with a man who was good to me ..and then he was bad…but I don’t need a man now…I need money of not now..Jackson..a bed for later…Yes a bed for later where I can lie with a man…I know..not a bad man..’ 

For Teresa suddenly, Antoinette seemed to be speaking about the unsaid world of prostitution which the three tried not to speak about but which was always in the background. It was a grubby word: prostitution. But what wasn’t grubby was trying to survive, getting some money together. You needed money and food and shelter. 

Then Antoinette spoke again:
‘I want to work.. Factory work…I’d like it..but I can’t.. I feel it’s …‘, then she was suddenly quiet.  
Then Jackson turned to face the women and addressed them:
‘I’m tired’, he said and he stood looking at Teresa and then Antoinette. Then he said:
‘I’m going to make some money….are you coming, you want to make money?’  
Antoinette replied quickly, almost angrily:
‘Shut up Jackson, you’re tired..go home and sleep.. I’m going home..’. 

Jackson looked directly at her but not in surprise. He just seemed magnetised by her. He was probably not expecting such a response and he turned away to look at the people around him. 
Then Antoinette said to Teresa as if Jackson wasn‘t there:
‘You know Jackson, don’t you? He’s alright but he’s a pig..’ Teresa looked quickly at Antoinette and saw that glazed look in her eye. 

Then Jackson turned quickly and put his right hand to Antoinette’s face. He wasn’t rough and he just put one hand to her right cheek. 
‘Don’t talk like that, call me that…I’m not going to call you anything…’. He tried to smile as he looked at her. Antoinette remained still. However Teresa knew Antoinette wasn’t afraid. This was all a game. Then Jackson spoke:
’You’re not afraid, are you?’, he said.
Antoinette answered quickly:
‘Of course not.’
Then he seemed to forget what he was going to say.
‘You’re not afraid’’, he muttered as he took his hand from her face. He suddenly saw a policeman in the distance…
‘Come on, women‘, he said quickly and the three walked away. 
Teresa thought: ‘We’re street-girls…and we walk away from the police…but I don’t look like a factory girl..working girl…Antoinette doesn’t either..’ 
Then Antoinette addressed Teresa again: 
‘Teresa, you know any work..‘ 
Antoinette seemed to be smiling to herself but then she looked at Teresa,
‘You saying something, Teresa…you heard me?’
Teresa looked quickly at her and Antoinette said:
‘Teresa, I need work…’
‘I’ll look out, Antoinette’.
‘Yes factory work…any work...yes..’

Jackson walked straight ahead as Antoinette walked beside Teresa behind him. Then Antoinette said:
‘He’s angry about something. Is it the police , did you do something, steal something, Jackson…?’
Jackson didn’t answer. 
Then Teresa said:
‘I’m going to work in the theatre..' 
Antoinette said quickly:
‘You’ll find me a job won’t you Teresa..’. At this stage, Teresa knew Antoinette was really drunk and she really just accepted what Antoinette was saying. She heard Antoinette then saying:
‘Sometimes I like life…I like my life now..I’ll get a job …I’m surviving.’
‘Antoinette..will I ask in the theatre…?’
‘If you want… damn it.. I need a man to pay ..’
Then Jackson turned :
‘Damn you women. You don’t know what you want..’ 
They all stopped. This was going to be one of those drunken arguments. 
‘What do you want?’ Antoinette said quickly, ‘What do you want.. Jackson..go and drink with Lionel..’
Jackson looked quickly at Teresa. Then he was silent. And he quickly put his hand on Antoinette’s shoulder..
‘Are you drunk…I help you girls.. I help you and all I get is abuse..well well..where’s Lionel..’
Antoinette looked at him almost in surprise as she said quietly:
‘Maybe he’s lying somewhere or else he’s drinking..’

The mention of Lionel again made Teresa think of something earlier in the day. Teresa had just come from the theatre and she stood with Lionel, Jackson and Antoinette in a market place. Lionel was by then very intoxicated. Lionel was about the same age as Jackson and Teresa. As they stood together, Lionel leaned over to Teresa and tried to grope and kiss Teresa. Teresa didn't mind such behaviour or more precisely she didn't mind him touching her that time earlier in the day. Other times, she could be impatient with him and push them away. However she didn't push Lionel away then.  

But what Teresa thought about now was that man, that man who she knew from the theatre, and she had seen him in the theatre sometimes. She knew he was middle-class or something. She knew too he had seen her working in the theatre and he certainly knew her to see. Maybe he liked her too. She wasn't sure but now as she thought back, she remembered their eyes meeting. Yes their eyes met and that was something! Fortunately she had nudged Lionel to the side or she felt that the other man couldn't see Lionel anyway. There was a crowd in the market-place that afternoon.

As the three continued to walk now, she remembered Antoinette and Jackson looking away as Lionel carelessly let his hands drift over her body. Yes Teresa didn’t mind this and she knew that Lionel didn’t actually fancy at all when he was sober. He had tried to kiss and grope Antoinette too but the latter pushed him away quickly. Still all this was nothing, nothing at all, just some fun for Teresa. Lionel was really more a friend and would remain a friend at least in the foreseeable future. And Teresa nudged Lionel quickly aside in a friendly way as she tried to look where the man was going. 

She wasn't sure if the man had seen her with Lionel and the others. Above all she was embarrassed by Lionel groping her. She hoped he had not seen this and as she looked over, he was looking away. Maybe he hadn’t seen this but then he turned again and their eyes met. She saw quickly that softness and gentleness in his eyes, that look of understanding. She didn’t think he saw anything. Anyway it was crowded. She looked away quickly.  

Yes Teresa felt that he obviously hadn’t seen Lionel grope and kiss her! At least she hoped not! Still he obviously knew who she was. He seemed to recognise her. So he did know her. He had seen her in the theatre. Or maybe he looked at her and fancied her there in that market scene. Maybe he didn’t know her from the theatre. 

Still Teresa put all this out of her mind. Why am I thinking of all this. I don’t want to..
Without thinking, Teresa put her hand on Antoinette shoulders.
‘Little pet’, Antoinette said quickly. 
Then Jackson turned and saw Teresa with her hand on Antoinette’s shoulder. Teresa took away the hand without thinking and Jackson said in a friendly way:
‘You’re going to work, Teresa…we might see you later…are you going back to bed, Antoinette…’
‘I’ll rest, Jackson and then I’ll meet you later..earn money’.
Jackson stared at them as Teresa out her hand on Antoinette’s shoulder again. Teresa said:
‘You’re not selling your body on the streets, Antoinette, are you? ’
‘You know I am Teresa’. Antoinette stopped and then seemed to think. She continued: 
‘But it’s not regular…I just need money now…’. 
They were quiet as Antoinette said suddenly:
‘Selling your body, is that what you called it..Teresa?’
‘Yes it’s a fancy term..fancy if the body is everything’, Teresa said almost drunkenly.
She felt Jackson looking at them and then he said:
‘I’m going home, women, but I’ll see you both later’.
Antoinette had her head turned to the ground:
‘I’m tired, so tired..will you take me home, Teresa?’
‘You know I can’t.. I going to the theatre now’
‘You play games with me…get your hand off me’, Antoinette said quickly.
Teresa listened and seemed to smile.
‘I’m going’ , Jackson said, ‘You play your games…I’m going..’


A few weeks later, Teresa sat with Antoinette and Anette a young woman who worked with Teresa backstage in the theatre. That man, who Teresa had seen in the market, was there in the corner of the coffee shop with a young woman. Perhaps it was his fiancee. Teresa of course had seen this young man since the market in the theatre. That woman was with him before also. 

Teresa seemed to be daydreaming as she sat across from Antoinette. She was vaguely thinking of him and who he was. She sensed that this man liked her but what could she his mistress or something? Did he want to spend a night with her? Teresa herself didn’t feel like a long relationship and anyway..why would she get involved with this man who seemed to be in a relationship already with this woman beside him. 

He seemed too to belong to a higher social standing. It felt wrong for Teresa to think of society in this way. Her own parents had taught her not to think of classes or social strata in this way but it was an irony that she knew herself she had got caught in these class distinctions. Anyway, the man himself liked her and he must know who she was. He seemed to understand her and he wanted to talk to her..perhaps to have a proper relationship. Yet who was this woman beside him? Maybe it was not his fiancee after all..

Then she saw Antoinette looking at her, almost studying her:
‘Are you dreaming of something…Teresa’ Then she saw Teresa staring in the direction of something and she turned quickly and followed her gaze. She saw then the couple in the corner. Teresa looked at her and said: 
‘They come to the theatre…Antoinette..I‘ve seen him there.’
Then Teresa heard Anette saying beside her:
‘That man’s looking at me’.
Antoinette replied, looking quickly at Anette, and then turning to look straight across at Teresa:
‘You mean he’s looking at Teresa..I mean he can’t see you..Anette..’ Anette seemed surprised as she said:
‘You’re playing with me, Antoinette, of course he can see me..’
Teresa then said turning slightly to Anette who was sitting beside her:
‘Have you seen him before, Anette..I mean in the theatre?’
Anette said quickly:
‘I don’t care…’
‘You care if he’s married..?’ Antoinette said.
Anette replied:
‘I don’t care if he’s you Teresa..?’
Teresa seemed to become suddenly quiet and she glanced quickly at the man again. Their eyes met and Teresa seemed to be put off guard. Yes there was something soft and gentle in his eyes. Yes he was a gentleman and she wasn’t used to that.
Then Anette said jokingly:
‘You don’t care if he’s you Teresa? Look he’s looking at Teresa..Antoinette…he’s looking at her..‘, Anette stopped. Then she continued:
‘I mean he’s looking at us, Teresa. Oh we’re dancers, lovers, angels. We belong to the theatre now and all men want to love us. You know.. ‘. Then she continued again: 
‘Men like that, that’s why girls like us go into the theatre. Dance with him, you fool Teresa, you’re a fool not to..go to him..’
Teresa remained still and seemed to be thinking. Above all, she was thinking that perhaps this wasn't his wife or fiancee. Maybe it was just a relation or a friend or something and then there was the thought that this man perhaps wanted to go out with her, woo her, have a proper relationship with her. She looked across at Antoinette almost beseeching her for advice:
‘He wants me talk to me..and maybe that’s not his wife..’
Anette said:
‘You’re right..Maybe it’s not his wife..dry young thing..’
‘You need a man to look after you..we all do…’ Antoinette said, ‘Look he wants love and care..something that girl with him can’t give..and.. ’
 Then Teresa said:
‘I need money..’
Yes you’re so lonely, damn it, Teresa, go after him.. You do..’ , Antoinette said. For a second there was quiet in the group and then Teresa said:
‘I don’t like men who wear their shirts buttoned like that. ..all collared up.. I don’t like their clothes that they hide behind….women are more flashy, dressy aren’t they…?’ 
‘You like men, don’t you Teresa, you like men, you want to seduce them and play with their hearts…’, Anette said quickly.
Teresa smiled as she replied :
‘ I want to play with their hearts…’. 
Then they seemed to become suddenly silent and Teresa heard Anette asking her:
‘Will you marry, Teresa.. I mean..will you ever marry?' 
Anette saw that Teresa was surprised by her question and she glanced at Antoinette and then again at Teresa. Then Anette continued:  
‘You know some people never marry, it’s not in them, so Teresa, I want to know your answer..will you ever marry?’
‘I’m alone, I feel alone…if I find someone….’
‘Someone to love you?’, Anette asked.
‘No, not really.’
‘No. I want protection..’
Then Antoinette said quickly:
‘You mean a house, roof, shelter, money..?’
Teresa nodded in agreement and Anette said quickly:
‘Teresa’s too spiritual for that…’ 
Teresa replied:
‘What do you mean ‘spiritual’ .. come on Anette, I’ll marry if I have to ..I’m not going on the streets, I’m not going to be looking for shelter every day…if I have to marry I will..’ 
‘What an answer, Teresa! ’, Anette said. Then she turned to face Teresa beside her:
‘But it’s what I think too..Teresa..yes if I marry, I marry… of course if a man asks me..and I’m lonely..or no…I’d like children..’ 
Then Anette stopped and seemed to think as she said:
‘But you need more than protection..more than…I mean..Teresa..don’t you, more than that...’
Teresa looked at Antoinette quickly and then answered:
‘Yes Anette, you need more…I don’t know…actually..I don’t know..’


Antoinette came to the theatre regularly now. Maybe she was drawn to it like the way Teresa was drawn to its world too ; The world of colour, of acting, of music. It was strange that Teresa herself always associated colour with the world of the theatre and in a way Antoinette did too but Antoinette never thought about it as much as Teresa. Above all they were both attracted to its life and sense of ‘aliveness’. Antoinette had found casual work in a factory but she came after work to see Teresa and so did Jackson too sometimes. 

One evening, Anette and Teresa came outside the theatre to talk to Antoinette who was sitting on a beach nearby. Antoinette seemed to be waiting for something. Teresa noticed a forlornness about her and maybe Anette did too. There was that lack of meaning, that yearning for something, that wish that life would begin anew but the question was how would this happen? Teresa felt it too, this wish for some sort of movement or action in her life. In a way she was excited by the world of the theatre but perhaps there had to be something else. Maybe the answer was marriage, or some sort of family life or maybe some other kind of meaning. But did meaning happen in the lives of people like Antoinette and Teresa?

As they approached, Antoinette suddenly raised her head when she saw them approach. Teresa heard Antoinette ask suddenly:
‘Do you have a man, Anette?’
‘You mean do I have a man for to-night, is that it…?’Anette answered quickly. She saw then that Antoinette was joking with her and that Antoinette was obviously tired.
Then Anette said to Teresa as they sat down beside Antoinette:
‘You have an admirer, Teresa, is that it, it‘s that man we saw in the coffee-shop, weeks back, you know, Antoinette?’ 
Antoinette nodded quietly acknowledging that she knew. 
‘I’m tired’, Teresa said.
‘You don’t like being followed…is that it?’, Anette said to Teresa. Anette was talking about that man again. Teresa didn’t mind talking about him. He was actually some kind of mysterious stranger now because he had not made any movement on his part to woo Teresa if that was what he wanted! 

Teresa raised her head and looking at the back door of the theatre said:
‘He doesn’t follow me…who is he.. who are you talking about anyway?‘. Teresa just kept looking straight ahead of her and Antoinette glanced at her and saw a confused look in Teresa's eyes. Still Teresa knew who Anette was speaking of but instinctively she wanted Anette to be more clear about whom she was speaking. Indeed there were other prospective lovers for Teresa. It was just that this man was different in some way. 
‘I hate this game…‘ Teresa then said. 
They sat quietly and thrn Anette rose to go back into the theatre, Antoinette turned to Teresa and said:
‘I wonder does he want you as a lover…is that his wife that was with him..’
Teresa smiled to herself because she herself had been vaguely thinking of this man and it was strange too that Antoinette was too.
‘Such a sport..such a cad’, Teresa said trying to be theatrical.
‘Such men who play with a woman’s heart…will he play with yours..?’ Antoinette said.
‘That’s a song.. I like that’, Teresa said quickly. They were quiet then and Teresa then spoke suddenly again:
‘I’ve seen him in the theatre.. He never speaks to me..’
‘He’s shy… he admires you from a distance… can you teach him..can you teach him to love..Teresa? ’, Antoinette said turning to Teresa. Teresa turned too and they faced each other and then Antoinette nudged at Teresa playfully below her breasts. Antoinette turned away then and said:
‘I must wash.. or something…I can’t think of men anyway…Is he looking at you..looking for you,..I’d just go to him…and ..’
Then Teresa said:
‘Maybe he really likes me..’
‘Of course he does..he has a soft face..sorry Teresa…I’m playing with you..after work, see if he comes…or go to him..’


A few days after Teresa stood outside the theatre waiting for Anette who was still inside. In the still night, she suddenly saw the man in the distance. His face and demeanour seemed fresh and bright. She felt that he had not been in the audience that night. He had obviously walked down to the theatre, perhaps deliberately to meet her. He seemed to have seen her and she looked back instinctively for Anette. This was the night that it would all start, she felt. Then suddenly she felt afraid. It was an emotion that she couldn’t control and she realised that for the first time, she really felt fear. Perhaps it was the fear of this man and what he represented or symbolised i.e another social stratum. Why was he deigning to come down to her level? 

Later when she talked again to Antoinette about this period in her life, she remembered the fear she felt when she saw him approaching her. There was this man in front of her and Anette somewhere behind and all she felt was fear. In that moment as she looked away, she thought about the men in her life, men like Jackson and Lionel , men like the theatre manager and all those other men with their grubby hands who tried to touch her. Still they didn’t do it often because Teresa herself knew she wasn’t at all a bosomy voluptuous sort. And she felt sad and alone now. Yes at this moment as she, in a way, waited for him to approach her, she felt alone too. She felt sad in a way but she didn’t understand the origins of these feelings, this feeling of aloneness, then of sadness and then that fear. 

Yes this man belonged to another world. That was one of her first thoughts. Maybe he was middle class. He looked professional too, a young professional. He looked like a clerk or something. Perhaps he had a natural love for the world of the theatre and maybe the working class world but he still belonged to another world himself. Yes he belonged somewhere else. But the theatre itself in a way transcended social classes. Yes it was ironic that they met at the theatre because the theatre itself was a unique place for that reason : the reason that it transcended classes or social strata.

But there was that fear too in her! It was the fear of something new with this man! She felt she mightn't belong to this man's world. But she wanted to. She just felt tied down to her own world, to this world of Jackson and others but they were tied down too! Still she felt that she was mired too in this world, a world where she got drunk and almost wasted a life but she couldn’t blame another human beings like Jackson and Antoinette for her predicament. She chose to be their friends. She chose to get drunk with them but she was comfortable with them too! She was comfortable with men like Jackson and Lionel too who were really outsiders in society. They had built their own society and she was comfortable in it. She knew no real fear from them and they didn’t expect anything from her. 

Then as she looked at this man, she noticed he had stopped walking. She tried to beckon him to come but there was that fear again. Fear again. Some kind of fear entering her heart and she wished that it wasn’t there. Yes fear, fear in her soul. Was it in her mind too ? She looked over at him. He was looking at her and in a way studying her. There was only this man and her and he himself was beckoning to her. She realised in a flash that she hadn’t actually beckoned him at all. She was just rooted to the spot. This fear again was in her and she felt unable to move her arms. Suddenly she thought that perhaps he wanted to proposition her and she walked to him. 
‘Sir’ she said softly but directly.
‘What is your name?‘, he asked directly but he obviously made an effort to ask this question in a soft way. He was a young professional man and she remembered instinctively that she was still near her place of work. It was a source of relief that she could still act like the servant or worker to this man. He was the client still whether he frequented the theatre or otherwise. 

In the light she saw then his face more clearly. He was a naturally heavily built young man. He wouldn’t be considered handsome by the standards of the day but he obviously had a personality. She saw that in his eyes and overall bearing. She saw quickly too that he wasn’t really a shy man at all. She felt he had made a decision to approach her this evening and he had done this. Again she remembered that it was best to act like a servant or a worker in his presence, someone who was offering a service. 

For above all she had never been approached by a man from another background or social stratum before. There were no rules she could follow so she thought quickly how best to proceed. Yes it was best to act like the girl from the theatre who was offering some kind of service! He seemed to be looking at her but she didn’t know and there was that silence between them. Then she looked around without thinking.
‘You are alone?‘, she said turning back to him. In an instant she regretted saying this. She had no idea why she said this and only later did she realise that she had asked it because of some kind of memory of the woman who was sometimes with him. 

‘Sorry, is there something wrong?, he asked. Instinctively she knew at this point that this man obviously was attracted to her in some way and that he wanted a proper relationship with her. They were like too dumbstruck lovers but she felt uncomfortable being in this role, this role of the admired woman. Yes here was a kind of equality too. This man was treating her as his equal. Yes maybe he liked her and love in it’s own way creates that equality between individuals. 

She thought of asking what he wanted but she knew instinctively in his eyes that he wanted love or something to do with that and she felt fear again. She didn’t know who he was yet. Was it right to pursue a relationship with someone like this? She didn’t know this man? She didn’t know where he came from? She, who had talked and drank with people like Jackson and Antoinette, felt a kind of fear in this man‘s presence. But perhaps she would have felt fear with any stranger whether from her own social stratum or not. Maybe she felt too because she hadn‘t been with a man for a long time. 

She felt as she looked quickly into his eyes that he wasn’t going to proposition her. She saw this. He didn’t want to bring her to his room or whatever that night. He wanted a relationship and she tried to follow up the conversation on this line. He looked at her and then she said quickly uttering the first thing that came into her mind: 
‘You like the theatre, sir. I’ve seen you’, she said this quickly aware that there had been some silence. She thought again that there was something wrong with this question. Was she meant to have seen him? He looked at her and smiled. He said then:
‘Do you want to go for a walk now? I’d like to know you better, you know. I’ve seen you many times and I like you.’ 
‘Of course’, she said without thinking, instinctively replying to his first question. Then she said quickly:
‘But some of my friends are waiting.’
He seemed confused and she looked back quickly in the direction of the theatre.
Then she saw Anette beckoning her and shouting:
‘Teresa, are you alright?’
Teresa just looked back almost confused and in fear. Yes there was that fear in her again but now she felt more alone than ever. She didn’t answer and she saw the figure, that she knew was Anette, walking away.
She continued to look back at the receding figure of Anette and was conscious of the man studying her. She turned again to the man.
‘Teresa, that is your name?’, he asked. 
‘Yes that is right.‘
‘I’d like to take you out..can we meet again…‘, he said then in an almost stilted way and she replied:
‘I’d like to…‘. Then she said:
‘But I have to meet friends now…will you call again to-morrow or we‘ll meet at the weekend..’
‘Henry Denby's my name, yes. We‘ll meet again', he said immediately after this, not seeming to hear what she had said
Teresa looked straight ahead of her as she said in the most gracious way she could:
‘Of course, that would be nice.’ Then he said:
 'Call me Henry,' then she said quickly '
‘My name's Teresa', she said automatically. She knew immediately of course that he knew her name already. It was that fear again.
‘Will we meet after you finished work and go for a drink, go to the coffee-shop.' 
He looked at her closely and seemed to be thinking whether he should kiss her but he put out his hand to take hers and he held her hand in his hand for a second as he said:
‘We‘ll meet to-morrow, Teresa'.
Then he walked away. 


Four years later when she sat with Antoinette, Teresa remembered the fear in that first meeting with Denby. She looked closely at Antoinette now and she saw that she had changed from all those years ago when she came to the theatre. She remembered her looking quickly around at the man who was watching them in the coffee house but she wasn’t as agile as then now. Still she had just met Antoinette weeks before. They had talked of Teresa’s marriage, the man that Antoinette had been living with and now they were talking of Denby again. Teresa looked across at Antoinette and said:

‘I was so lonely when I met him, Antoinette. He surprised me, you know. Sometimes I forget about those first meetings with Denby. You know I don’t think I thought clearly..Maybe some kind of love developed you know over time..and I think about that..but I’ve thought a lot about Jackson, that necklace..’.

Then Teresa stopped and looked closely at Antoinette who seemed to consciously remain still, to consciously control the movement in her face. Teresa said quickly:
‘Don’t look at me like that.. It was like I abandoned everything to marry him..I did..I was so alone..but that first moment I saw him.. I felt confused you know…not frightened….I thought it was difficult to frighten me…but..I really felt know..the first time I met him’.
‘You never told us’, Antoinette said softly.
‘Us’ seemed to refer to herself and Anette who were Teresa’s closest confidantes at the time that Teresa met Denby. 
Then Antoinette said:
‘Hold my hand…you are afraid now?'
‘I’m not afraid..not now..I learnt to love him..he was the man I married.. I am roman catholic after all..oh that religion..’
‘Alright you married..but it was an error’, Antoinette said.
‘Yes I made an error..’. Teresa was quiet as she tried to think of Denby. She said then:
‘But he was so calm.. so gentle sometimes..even on that first evening..he didn’t know what to say..but that’s what happens in those father wanted me to marry years earlier but I didn’t want it…I ran away.. sick sick of that..Antoinette what am I going to do..marry again..’
‘You want to marry..?’
‘What about you?’
‘To be honest..that’s it… I don’t think about it..neither do you..maybe living together all that..but the middle classes..there’s marriage for them..there’s my child too..the child I put in the orphanage…I miss her.’ 
They were quiet and then Antoinette asked:
‘Why did Denby marry you..?’
‘He was attracted to me..was that it..I liked me..he liked me..of course.’ Teresa stopped and seemed to think. Then she continued:
‘Yes I think it was that and Aimee… that was the woman he was with…she was his cousin. maybe she just encouraged him..of course after a while..I realised he wanted to free himself from her.. You know.. more freedom..He introduced me to his friends too but we never went out with we were alone..and that was a tragedy..because I felt sorry..pity for him and Aimee after a while left us..I felt so alone in the countryside…I wanted to come back…it didn’t feel in the country away from everything.’

This was Teresa remembering the first meetings with Denby four years later. Still she didn’t mention that the fear that she felt as she stood with Denby outside the theatre faded but then manifested itself again in the country. 


The following day after Teresa’s first meeting with Denby, Teresa talked to Anette outside the theatre. Anette said in an offhand way: 
‘I think he’s a real admirer. You should pursue him. There’s a chance’.

Yes Teresa thought to herself: This is a chance …but this is life. It’s natural that someone like Denby could love you. We meet in a theatre. He obviously likes this world. He likes me..not as a mistress…really a woman..

So the fear that Teresa felt on that first night went away and it was replaced by hope, a strange kind of drive, a kind of aspiration, a need to be confident. Maybe she suddenly saw more clearly the life she could lead with a man like Denby as she imagined Denby with the clothes he wore, the way he behaved. The following night, they sat in a coffee-shop and he talked about his job as a clerk. He told her then that the woman she saw him with was his cousin. She understood that he came from a different world to her. He had different aspirations. Above all as they talked, she was aware they could be comfortable together. They were comfortable in their silence. He didn’t expressly ask her about her work and here began a relationship where they could be silent together.

One night, he introduced Teresa to Aimee. It was then that Teresa saw two individuals rather than one individual. She had felt they were always together. She had seen them in the coffee-house and then the theatre together but now they were two distinct people. She had thought that something strange, maybe a kind of blood relationship tied them together so that it was difficult to break them up. You had to take one with the other but she saw then that yes they were both individuals. Denby was his own man as they say and Aimee was her own woman. 

Maybe it was a middle-class thing for cousins to protect each other in this way. She saw then Aimee’s drive to be a kind of artist and years later it was perhaps the remembrance of Aimee which propelled Teresa into pursuing a relationship with a penniless artist when she felt and knew that her marriage with Denby was failing. Yes Aimee told Teresa about a certain school of Art called the Pre-Raphaelites. She mentioned the new artists with their penchant for Greek and Roman culture. 

Aimee was certainly not snobbish. Aimme was learning too about art and she was sharing her journey with Teresa and Denby ,and for this willingness to share, Teresa was grateful. She felt Aimee never looked down on her but why would Aimee or even Denby look down on her? Denby obviously liked her and she learnt quickly that he liked her as an equal and so did Aimee. And what she learnt the first tme she met Aimee and Denby together was they were both outsiders in a strange way. Teresa had always thought of herself as an outsider but now she saw that Denby and Aimee were kinds of outsiders. Aimee was an outsider because of her obvious drive to understand art and Denby had a certain sensitivity to him which could make one an outsider. 

After this meeting, Denby and Teresa first sat together on the couch. They kissed and Teresa felt in his touch that he could protect her as a man could a woman. No physical intimacy happened but Teresa felt that it was only a matter of time. They were obviously drawn to each other. They fell into each other, you might say.


It was quiet , a soothing summer evening, when Denby and Teresa sat together in Aimee’s rooms. Teresa felt that Aimee’s father or someone had paid for all this. Still it wasn’t too elegant and there was an obvious simplicity to the room that the three sat in. And there were paintings on the wall and above all the whole atmosphere was fresh and strangely new to Teresa. There was an elegance and freshness in this salon that they sat in.

As Teresa sat beside Denby, she thought vaguely: Aimee goes to the theatre to see another world…she can see another world..her mind is so fresh..she can understand and all…I wish I could understand..the all instead of walking and living as if through mud..I can’t see…’

Teresa felt Aimee’s gaze on her. She looked up at Aimee: Aimee had that long angular silhouette. Then Teresa thought of saying she looked like a model in one of those paintings but she felt that her words would sound stupid and of course, if Aimee asked her to explain, she would not be able to. Yes Aimee had a certain angular silhouette but still she had a certain voluptuousness too. Maybe this was contradictory but she could imagine Aimee filling out and putting on weight and this would suit her. Or perhaps Aimee would try to retain that angular silhouette. There was her tallness too but Aimee wasn’t obviously tall. She was the same height as Denby and Teresa herself was much shorter than both of them. 

Yes Aimee’s silhouette was an artist’s silhouette for this new age . She hadn’t the full ideal breasts of past artists beauties but she had a face that you could study. Yes a woman’s face that another woman or man could study. Perhaps she was the first woman who Teresa really looked into and where Teresa saw a woman’s beauty shining there. Teresa knew that she wasn’t meant to think of a woman’s beauty or to study beauty in this way. It was not the way she was brought up. Still in this new setting, it was Aimee’s charm and elegance which filled the room and Denby like Teresa didn’t seem to really belong there.  

Teresa had been invited to Aimee’s rooms by both Aimee and Denby. Denby had his own rooms where he lived and she had been in them but Aimee’s rooms were more elegant and clean. There were some paintings too and she felt that this was the place where Denby himself talked to his friends. Yes he would bring them here to Aimee’s rooms and Aimee wouldn’t mind. This was a kind of centre of Aimee’s and Denby’s social world. Aimee had just said she was leaving soon to meet friends but Denby and Teresa could stay. Yes there was an easy charm and obvious elegance about Aimee.

Yes such charm, such sophistication in all this! This could be a real drama and it was a drama that Teresa felt willing to act a part. Especially now that she had seen these rooms with their elegance and that certain style which Teresa knew Aimee gave to the rooms.  

Teresa glanced up at Aimee who was standing above them. Teresa was sitting beside Denby on the settee. She thought to herself that this was the first time they were like a couple. Yes they were comfortable beside each other but as she thought about this, she felt afraid. Yes the thought and realization of being beside Denby bothered her.

Denby had asked her to meet him near Aimee’s rooms and they had walked here. It was the first time that she felt like a lover or mistress and then there was the new figure of Aimee. Here was a new person, figure that would give something like flesh and solidity to Denby’s world. Teresa knew of his work in his office but she didn’t really know about Aimee. Teresa knew that she was his cousin and they were close but now she felt that Aimee was like a mother, a wife because she cooked for him.

As Teresa sat beside Denby on the couch, she became conscious suddenly of the boots beneath her long skirt. She sat forward without thinking as Aimee asked her suddenly:
‘Do you like work in the theatre..Teresa?’
‘I like art…the theatre..’ Teresa sad looking up at the figure of Aimee standing at the mantle-piece. She felt herself repeating Aimee’s words and she felt then that fear again. Hours spent with Denby had got rid of the fear but now she felt it again sitting here. The images of hours spent in the public house..even the theatre flashed before her…and then the manager groping some of the girls…’
Then she heard Aimee ask:
‘You’ve been to the countryside, Teresa…?’ 
‘When I was young once… my family sent me down…but actually I hardly remember it..’, Teresa said. For a second there was silence and Aimee said:
‘We’re like brother and sister, Teresa, Henry and I. I can call you Teresa can’t I?
‘Of course’. 

Teresa tried to smile and she was conscious of Aimee’s small gestures. There was meaning everywhere, but it was because her body was so angular. Still there was a certain fullness and fleshiness in her body and face which could appeal to men and her slender frame, that appeals, Teresa thought to herself. And she had soft auburn hair over her shoulders.

Teresa thought of her own gestures. Even though she was smaller than Aimee, she felt more clumsy than her. Even now she felt ungainly in her clothes. Maybe it was the clothes that made her clumsy..but her gestures too....She was conscious of her body. Yes she hadn’t the body of Aimee, who was taller but Aimee had an artist’s model frame. Still there was an elegance in Aimee’s gesturing and movement which attracted Teresa and when Teresa later married Denby, it was from Aimee that she herself learned how to be a mistress of a household.. 

Yes Teresa always felt she was an actress ready to incorporate new gestures into her self, into the way she behaved. She looked up at Aimee and then thought of her hands. She still had her gloves on but she felt that it was acceptable to retain one’s gloves and she knew too that her hands weren’t as soft as Aimee’s hands. Yes Aimee’s hands were really hands, with the form and structure of what hands were meant to be. Teresa felt her own hands were so ugly and ungainly.

‘Don’t be scared of us..You’re not scared of me, are you Teresa, is she Henry?, Aimee asked. Aimee was standing at the mantle piece. She seemed to be performing ,acting up there but it was a performance that Teresa wanted to look at.  

Then Aimee smiled at Teresa in a playful way. It was to accent the fact that what she just asked had nothing to do with social stratum. She would have asked this of any woman with Denby whether of the same social stratum or not, who was just being shy and quiet.
Then Denby said:
‘Of course not, are you Teresa?’
And Teresa echoed:
‘Of course not.’
Aimee said:
‘I know that Teresa. You’re like a spark. You are in the theatre and you can‘t be afraid..of anything..did you act?’
Teresa said quickly:
‘Yes I have acted…I want to go on stage again’, she looked directly at Aimee and Aimee seemed to be trying to understand something. In her mind, Teresa wasn’t at all thinking of the stage in terms of Bernhardt but rather burlesque, singing and some acting.
Then Aimee said:
‘Yes I love the theatre and I love it because of its excitement..the new architects have made theatre into a new form of art..perhaps..’
Teresa said quickly:
‘What do you mean?’
Aimee seemed to think:
‘You mean about a form of art..?’
Then Teresa saw in a flash Aimee’s youthfulness. There was a certain immaturity about her, that young beauty, that beauty with youth still, that beauty with immaturity. And there was a certain lack of confidence in Aimee too. She had an obvious nubile beauty, yes and Teresa saw too that Aimee was conscious of her body, of her face. Despite Aimee’s aspiration to understand art, there was an eagerness to look good, to look like the artist she wanted to be as well as to be ‘in her mind’ that artist.
‘The architects..’, Teresa echoed softly. 
Aimee looked at her and said quickly:
‘I mean architects are designing new theatres..they’re so beautiful..but can you say that theatres.. I mean the theatre buildings are beautiful..with those gargoyles..those columns..that whole shape…’
They were quiet as Teresa was conscious of Denby sitting beside her. Aimee said: 
‘I’d like of course to be a kind of artist…the theatre.. I love that… and I can say it this to you,…I like your plays, your acts in your theatre.. that comedy ..those acts…they are so earthy..yes earthy.. that’s a word I like..’
‘It’s a job to me’, Teresa said and she tried to keep in eye contact with Aimee.
‘Will you show me your world…’ Aimee then said almost provocatively.
Teresa glanced up at her. Aimee said quickly:
‘Yes I know you understand…I mean of course..that you are lucky to work where you do.’
‘Not always…its sweaty…but the noise, the colours… the night..’ Teresa was conscious of her words but she saw that Aimee seemed to like to hear her words, those words, that way of speaking. 
‘Yes’, Aimee replied.  
Then Aimee said looking at Denby:
‘You know I’m meeting friends but you stay here with Teresa..’

When Aimee left some minutes later, Teresa rose almost immediately to stand at the window and look outside.
‘I like looking outside these windows’, she said turning to Denby. Denby looked up at her and seemed surprised by her sudden movement as she rose from the sofa. Then Teresa looked down at him again and saw that Denby seemed to beckon her to sit beside him again which she did. She said softly:
‘Like lovers..she leaves us like lovers’
‘We are that, aren’t we’, he said with confidence…
‘I can’t talk with Aimee about art and things but she doesn’t mind..’
‘Of course, Teresa but she is not so educated…or she is just learning..Art is a world and she is just on the threshold and she has some friends, artists..and one day..she will run away with one.’
Teresa was quiet and Denby asked:
‘You don’t want to go out?’
Teresa didn’t answer this question immediately but then she answered:
‘No’ and she said quickly without thinking:
‘Funny how Aimee leaves us alone..and we just talk.’
Denby didn’t seem surprised by these words..
‘You mean we don’t kiss?’
Teresa didn’t mean her words to be understood like this. She was really trying to say that Aimee should have stayed with them for she was beginning to be fascinated by Aimee. She wanted Aimee to tell her more about her world. Then Denby leaned over and tried to kiss her lips but Teresa’s face was turned and he kissed her cheek. 
‘I like that’, Teresa tried to say in a soft way.
She continued:
‘I just mean I hope Aimee doesn’t feel left out.. Does she have somewhere to go..’
‘Of her friends..’
Then Teresa put her hand on Denby’s knee and they sat quietly for a while before she rose. 
He looked up and he heard her saying:
‘We’re lovers now.. You know.. Aimee leaves us alone…we’re…’
He seemed surprised by these words…:
He seemed to be thinking of what to say and she came back and stood above him. He said:
‘You’re beautiful, you’re spontaneous. You’re clever..’ 
She felt uncomfortable suddenly. There was that fear again as she said:
‘Don’t stop..’ 
Then he said:
‘You’re tired’ and she sat down and she put her head on his chest..


Teresa stood in the public house beside Antoinette. She felt drunk and was conscious of being slightly aggressive. Yesterday she had been with Denby and Aimee in Aimee’s rooms and the atmosphere in this pub jarred with her now. She had felt this as she entered with Antoinette. Jackson and Lionel were already there drinking. Still as she became more drunk, she became more aware of this atmosphere jarring at her. And there was some kind of strange anger and aggression in her and she was making an effort to control it in some way but she couldn’t.

Then as she stood in the corner with Antoinette, she heard Jackson mention ‘Denby’ next to her. Where had he heard that name…she knew then Antoinette had mentioned it but she didn’t mind..maybe Jackson was just asking about this man ‘Denby’ but he was asking it in that rough way he did when he was drunk…

Denby who is he to you..?’, Teresa asked sharply and quickly. She asking it without thinking. It was that drink, that aggression. 
‘Who is this Denby to you?’, Jackson asked seeming not to have heard what Teresa said. He didn’t seem to grasp Teresa’s sharp tone. Maybe he was so tired and intoxicated.
‘Is he your lover..your damn lover, Teresa?

Jackson’s quick remarks didn’t surprise Teresa. It just made her mind sharper. She knew Jackson didn’t really care about Denby and she felt that she shouldn’t have answered him so quickly and angrily. She knew he didn’t like being spoken to in this way when he was drunk. Antoinette seemed to be surprised too by Jackson’s sudden aggression and she tried to alleviate the situation. Then Teresa heard Antoinette asking in a playful but mocking way:
What is he anyway, who is he Teresa, we want to‘s natural….don‘t we Jackson?

Teresa felt Jackson calm down beside her and she looked quickly at Jackson who was looking across at Antoinette. He seemed to be confused. Yes he didn’t care about Denby. He had just heard that Teresa was with a man. Then he said looking at Teresa:
‘I don’t care Teresa who you are with… alright’. 
Then he turned to face Teresa and said:
‘But why don’t you get some money…?’
‘Wait, Jackson..what are you saying..?', Teresa said quickly.
‘Teresa, I know you need money.. I know.. So why don’t you ask from your lover…‘
Teresa listened or tried to listen to him. Then she said:
‘He’s not my all.. Jackson..’
‘Alright, he’s not your lover, Teresa..but what ever he is….admirer..friend..why don’t you ask him to help you..’
‘Help me?’ Teresa said softly in a confused kind of way.
Antoinette then said:
‘He’s right..Jackson’s right..‘ 
Teresa said quickly:
‘Shut up Antoinette.. I mean when I’m with you now.. I’ feel I’m falling..So you‘re telling me to steal..’
‘Don’t get angry..Teresa‘, Antoinette said before Jackson said:
‘I never said to you’re not making sense…I never said to steal.. Did I ..Antoinette.. Did I ?’, Jackson seemed to be getting more aggressive again and then Teresa saw Lionel walking towards them. She said quickly:
‘Alright, Jackson, is that all you wanted to say to me?'
Then Jackson suddenly said
‘Go away Teresa, leave me, angry woman..’ He turned and walked away.

Then, suddenly Teresa felt a man trying to put his arm around her. She turned quickly. It was Lionel who was looking into the distance hardly aware he was putting his arm around her.
‘What are you doing, Lionel…I don’t want..’, Teresa said turning to face Lionel.and she tried to push Lionel away. He stepped away confused and he seemed drunk too.
‘Leave me damn alone’ , Teresa said staring at him.
Jackson was looking at them now and Teresa saw Lionel turning to him and saying:
‘She really is drunk, Jackson.she is mad..that woman..’
Lionel and Jackson then went to the bar together while Teresa stood by the door looking at them. She felt angry about something. Maybe it was the sudden realisation of how different the setting in Aimee’s rooms was to this dingy setting of a public house. Yes she would try and leave this setting..she couldn’t fall..she couldn’t let her life go to failure when she had a chance…this man Denby liked her…she had to take this opportunity and go where it led.. anyway..but she needed to change..she was so used to this life..this rut…she had to change herself ..and she knew she was was just something stirring within her making her angry and this anger mixed with drink…that made it worse…She wished she hadn’t been so harsh with Lionel but she just didn’t want Lionel to put his arm around her… wasn’t right..yes it just wasn’t right…

Then she saw that Jackson had turned and was walking towards her. Without thinking, she shouted: 
‘Leave me damn…’Lionel turned and looked at her. It was that anger again..where did it come from?
She heard Lionel saying in the distance:
‘She really is drunk…’
Then Jackson said looking directly at Teresa:
‘He wouldn’t like to see you like this, damn..Denby would he..would he marry you?.’
Antoinette turned to him and said:
‘Jackson leave her alone…’ 
Jackson didn’t seem to hear what Antoinette said and he continued:
‘You women..what ..but I’m not going to hit you’, Jackson said quickly.
‘You damn well aren’t’, Teresa shouted. Then she saw Jackson in the corner of her eye. He had turned away from her and had gone over to Antoinette beside her. 
She turned to look at them and saw Jackson looking directly at her and she said quickly:

‘I’ll marry if I damn want’, Teresa said without thinking but she knew she was drunk and she knew too Jackson was drunk and she vaguely felt it was wrong to agitate and stir him. Then she heard Jackson saying:
‘He will never ask you…be his wife… look at truly are a wreck…and don’t talk to me like that..alright…the way you do…’ 

She felt Jackson looking at her but then he turned away. She felt confused and tired. She didn’t want to reply but then she felt Antoinette looking at her and in a flash she thought carefully about what Jackson had said. She furrowed her eyes and seemed to think. It was the words that she was not good enough or something for Denby, that she might not be able to marry anyone ; That made her think. Still she was not angry at Jackson actually. She didn’t mind him saying this that Denby would not marry her ’looking like this’. It was perhaps the truth and it made her ‘certainly’ reflect.  

Yes in a way she was thankful that Jackson had said something realistic and true. Still the words jarred at her. She didn‘t want to talk anymore and she felt she couldn‘t say anything. She felt like she had been so obsessed or something with Denby and now Jackson had brought her down to earth but she felt angry. Or maybe it wasn’t anger. Maybe it was confusion or some kind of sadness. Then she heard Lionel shouting to Jackson:
‘Leave her alone, Jackson..’
Then she felt Jackson beside her again and there wasAntoinette on the other side of her. 
‘Look I’ll get you a drink, women’, Jackson said addressing the two women together. 

Then Jackson tried to turn to Teresa and face her. Maybe he felt embarrassed by what he had said but he really just wanted to see whether he had hurt her. He didn’t know whether he had said anything wrong and he actually really doubted whether he hurt her. It was difficult to hurt Teresa. He knew this but he felt instinctively he shouldn’t have said what he did.
‘Sorry Teresa’, Jackson muttered. 
‘That’s alright..‘, Teresa said suddenly in a strange moment of clarity.
Then she heard Jackson shouting for some drinks. Antoinette said beside her: 
‘Are you going to dress up, buy a new dress for him..’ Antoinette stopped suddenly. Teresa was turning to look at her directly. She knew Antoinette was not mocking her but to ask a question indirectly about Denby just after what Jackson had said surprised Teresa.
Antoinette seemed to understand what she said:
‘I didn’t mean it like that…don’t listen to Jackson…no I was thinking Teresa..I need a lover..I’d like an admirer too…’
Then Teresa said suddenly:
‘I’ll wash my face, body.. If it makes me feel better…he dares to look at me..doesn’t he…Denby ..he’s a friend, he might be a lover..he might marry me … mightn't he…’
Antoinette knew Teresa was drunk. She looked carefully at Teresa in profile. Yes she’d better be careful what she said. Antoinette herself hadn’t drunk as much as Teresa this night. She looked at Teresa almost kindly and she said:
‘But is he good for you Teresa, that’s all..?’ 
Teresa turned immediately to Antoinette and replied:
‘Of course he is Antoinette…you’re not talking sense…who do you think he is..have you seen him..damn you..Anette’s jealous too..damn her..’
‘I’m not jealous..Teresa..I’m just asking…’
‘Alright, sorry, Antoinette…’ Teresa looked ahead of her at the counter. She saw Jackson talking to Lionel. Then she heard Antoinette asking:
‘And you’re not going to steal from him, Teresa ?’
Teresa felt unable to turn her head to look at Antoinette and she spoke quickly looking ahead of her:
‘Are you a friend…Antoinette…stealing, are not good for me.. you think I will steal from him..ruin it all…I am a good…you really think I’m bad …bad stuff.. don’t you…’
‘You said you had no money’, Antoinette said looking at her.
Then Antoinette continued to speak:
‘You said you were bad off…you couldn’t pay your rent…Teresa.’
Teresa said:
‘No Antoinette..I’m above that..I don’t want…I’m above that…stealing..and thieving just doesn’t make sense…why would I steal from him… you’re not making sense..’
Then she felt Jackson beside her. He put a glass in her hand. Then he said repeating Antoinette's final words:
‘You‘re not making sense, Teresa…’
Antoinette looked carefully at Teresa, saying:
‘You’re here with friends…you can talk to me.. Teresa'. Then Teresa said almost automatically:
‘But Jackson wants me to steal..’
 Jackson said quickly:
‘I don’t want you to steal…I said…what did I say..Antoinette..that she could..that he..this man could help her with her rent..and all…’
Then Teresa turned suddenly to face him:
‘You made me steal, you make me steal.. you’s not good for me’
‘Here we go again...’, Jackson said looking at her but she was looking away now. In her drunken state, she was not able to look at Jackson directly in the face. Then Teresa was quiet as she felt Antoinette’s hand on her shoulder trying to calm her. She heard Jackson say:
‘You would have stolen anyway, come on..there’s your drinks, anyway women…Antoinette, Teresa…I don’t want a fight, Teresa..and Teresa...can I say.. I hate my life..Teresa.... I don’t want to steal...anything.. I’m not bad stuff just..’ 

Jackson was quiet again and she felt Jackson looking at her. He said almost kindly:
‘Come on Teresa, this man..your admirer ..he doesn’t mean nothing to you..‘ 
‘Then why do you care, Jackson? ’, Teresa answered looking straight ahead. She turned to Antoinette and said:
‘Then why does he care..?’ Antoinette didn’t answer and Teresa continued:
‘He sees all this as an opportunity for himself....I’s an opportunity for me too..’ 
Then she heard Jackson say:
‘Take some money from him…get something..and just leave him…even run away..Antoinette is thinking of going to the country to get work…he’s nothing…’
‘I know Jackson, you’re a friend..I’m just…’
They were quiet as Teresa said suddenly:
‘Jackson, you made me damn steal that time months back… didn’t you..I don’t want it and you think I will steal from this man..’
‘Come on Teresa, I didn’t force you..’ 
They were quiet again. They seemed to have these sudden bouts of words, then silence. It was like staccato talk. Then she heard Antoinette saying:
‘Alright…and this girl he’s with…’.
Teresa looked ahead:
‘Alright, I don’t want to think of him, of them..I‘m tired….Antoinette, I’ve told you..that’s his cousin..’
Then Teresa turned to Jackson and said:
‘I might be just a girl to him..but I might have a chance with him… .but I’m tired…so tired..’
He replied:
‘Teresa…and why don’t you take whatever you damn can and just finish with him…he‘s a chance.. an opportunity… you said that word…yourself.’
‘Jackson…. .but he’s all I have…I mean isn’t he..please…he’s my escape from this life..’
‘What are you escaping from, Teresa?’, Jackson asked.
She was quiet. What was she saying. She didn’t know herself what she was saying. 
Then she heard Lionel shout ‘I saw Nelly outside just now’.
Nelly was the woman Jackson lived with.


A week later they stood together in the public house again. This time Antoinette was drunk. She had told Teresa that she might go to the country to work in a factory. Yes she had work now but she wanted to go to the country to work.

Teresa had just come into the public house. She hadn’t drunk any alcohol and she stood fresh-faced from the evening air outside, her hair tousled too from the wind. She noticed too that Jackson had just entered and he too was fresh faced. He was sitting with Nelly in the corner and she saw Nelly rise and leave the public house by the other door. She stood by the door and then Antoinette moved beside her. Antoinette said almost speaking into Teresa’s left ear. 

‘You still have your can hardly pay your rent and you won’t take money from your admirer, Teresa, dear…will you’. 
Teresa turned quickly to look at Antoinette. Antoinette had been at the theatre some hours previously. They had talked of money and all that. Teresa thought quickly that Antoinette must have come here immediately after they had parted. Antoinette had told her that she had decided to move to the country to get work. She had only casual work in the city and she wanted to move.  
‘Please don’t talk about this, Antoinette…I don’t want to talk about this..with Jackson.’, Teresa said replying to Antoinette's question about Denby. 
‘Why would Jackson give you money ..if you can get it from your lover..Teresa..’, Antoinette said then.
Teresa muttered:
‘He’s not a lover, Antoinette…I told you…’
Then Teresa turned quickly and saw Jackson coming towards them. Antoinette spoke again:
‘Teresa needs money, Jackson..and yet she has the theatre..her admirer…why don‘t you put your hands into those coats……’
Teresa felt tired and didn’t want to reply to her. Jackson said quickly:
‘You’re a fool, Teresa’, Jackson said. She turned to face him. 
He was looking directly at her. He was not at all drunk.. He had a fresh face from the air outside. Teresa turned away as Jackson continued:
‘Teresa, I don’t want to talk about this man..this admirer…I have no interest..alright..but don’t come to me looking for money…I’d help you..but you have him…you can seduce him ..can’t you…’
‘Of course..’, Teresa said softly, ‘I’m not asking you for anything, Jackson.’
Then she heard Antoinette say beside her:
‘The little one won’t take money from her admirer…Teresa, dear.. I’ ve never known you like this..Teresa’. Antoinette stopped and then she continued: 
‘But she has stolen from the theatre…Jackson.’
‘Stop, Antoinette..’, Teresa muttered.
‘Oh now you’re guilty..Teresa..she’s guilty, Jackson.’
‘Be quiet,’re drunk..’ Teresa said softly. Then Teresa heard Jackson saying beside her:
‘You women..why so guilty…I don’t care a whit what you girls do…’
They were quiet and Teresa said suddenly:
‘Antoinette, I don’t like you calling me ‘little one’’.
Antoinette looked ahead of her and seemed to purse her lips. Then Jackson said:
‘Teresa, that’s the least of your worries and you need money, Teresa..don’t you and why don’t you doll yourself up now..’
‘Leave me alone Jackson. I know I’m not making sense…I said I’m not asking you for anything..and I’m not going on the I’ll take it from him..’
‘You’ll steal from that what you’re..’ Jackson said quickly and Teresa turned to address him:
‘I never said’m only a few weeks behind…I have a job anyway…I’m tired…’
 Teresa felt Antoinette beside her. Antoinette was obviously drunk and she seemed to forget what she had said before. She repeated:
‘Jackson..she steals from the theatre ..’ 
Teresa turned and seemed to study the other woman. She didn’t want to tell her she was repeating herself. 
‘I’ve never stolen money..Antoinette. Just things..’, Teresa said softly looking at Antoinette's profile. Antoinette was staring at the ground. Then she turned quickly looking at Teresa.
‘Alright.. don’t feel guilty,’re a stupid girl..Teresa…truly stupid..and you have this admirer…and then you need money..’ 
Then Antoinette looked quickly at Jackson:
‘Jackson…I don’t think we should be talking about this..… Teresa you’ve really lost yourself…you behave like a princess…you need money.. I need money.. You need money and you ask us…you truly are..’ Teresa seemed to be studying Antoinette as she was saying all this. Teresa didn’t seem to mind being called ‘stupid’ either and she said calmly:
‘I understand you , Antoinette…’ 
They were quiet and then Teresa said:
‘And what if I want to be his lover..even marry him..Antoinette.. I don’t want to ruin everything…’ She felt Jackson beside them and she was going to turn to address him properly. Then she heard him say behind her:
‘You think he’ll marry you..?’
‘Why wouldn’t he, Jackson? ’, Teresa said turning to him quickly, ‘I mean Jackson..why does he talk to me.. go out with me..we’re like …a couple…so we can marry can’t we..’
‘Yes. I suppose’, Jackson said. 
Then she heard Antoinette saying:
‘This man likes her, Jackson…’
‘Maybe he does’, Teresa said dreamily..
‘Still, if you need money…’ Jackson began to speak but then Antoinette interposed:
‘But she’ll marry him..and she’ll get money…but she‘s not his lover, are you Teresa…she’s not…Jackson..she‘s a proper girl..waiting for a proposal or something…’
‘Yes I am..that’s right..a good girl…’ Teresa said smiling to herself. Then she said:
‘We don’t sleep together…Antoinette..’
‘Oh pet.. you are open with me, aren't you?’, Antoinette said playfully smiling at her. 

Antoinette seemed tired and sat down as Teresa and Jackson stood together. Jackson said:
‘You need money, is that it,’ve fallen behind in rent ?’ He seemed gentle now and Teresa said openly:
‘I’ve told you haven’t I…yes …’ Jackson was silent. Then Teresa asked:
‘Can you give me money, Jackson..?’
‘Why should I give you money for all be with him ..I’ll try and help you with rent…but that‘s all, Teresa..‘
‘Thank-you Jackson.. ‘
‘Why isn’t your lover like that, Teresa ?’, Antoinette said rising her head and looking at them. She continued:
‘Why doesn’t he pay for..why don’t you even ask him…I bet she doesn’t ask him.. little one..’ Antoinette said. Teresa looked ahead and then said:
‘Jackson. I’m grateful…’
Then Teresa said turning to Antoinette:
‘I’m tired…I hate it when you bring up that man..Denby..’ 
She was conscious suddenly of calling her admirer ‘that man Denby’. Only yesterday, they were sitting together on his settee. They were touching each other but that was the limit of their physical contact..

Then Jackson turned away and walked to Lionel who was at the counter of the public house. Teresa was conscious then of how tired she was She was about to go to the bar and ask for ale when she stood still. Yes she was tired.

Then she saw Lionel turning around and looking at her. Teresa saw a strange look in his eyes. She knew he was drunk but he was drunk in that aggressive kind of way. Jackson was beside him and the latter looked to see what Lionel was looking at. He saw that Lionel was staring at Teresa, who was standing almost at the door of the public house. From where Jackson was sitting, you would think she was staring at them, almost studying them but Jackson knew that she was tired. She was simply staring because she was tired but the look seemed to unnerve Lionel who was slightly intoxicated. 

‘Why do you look at me like that…why does that woman look at me like that..she‘s mad..’, Lionel looked directly at Teresa as he said this and he raised his voice so she could hear too. He seemed to shout:
Why does she look at me like that…why doesn’t she leave me alone..isn’t she with some..' He stopped and seemed to be thinking of what to say next. Then he said:
‘Why don’t you leave, Teresa? You’re waiting there by the’re making me…’
 Teresa was suddenly conscious of what she was doing. Yes she knew she was staring in the direction of Lionel and she realised Lionel could become so aggressive over the slightest things. Still as she looked quickly at him and then away, she was conscious of how the atmosphere in a place like this could change so quickly. This type of uncontrolled aggression and anger never happened in the world of Denby and Aimee. Then Teresa said almost automatically and without thinking:
‘I don’t want to leave..Lionel’. Lionel looked carefully at her. She said then, walking towards Lionel: 
‘Sorry Lionel’. However she felt he couldn’t hear her because he turned away and seemed to start talking to Jackson about something. In a flash he had forgotten about her. She saw then that Jackson was trying to calm him.

She stood behind them now and she heard Jackson say:
‘You’re drunk, Lionel..why are you so angry..’. 
Then Lionel turned suddenly to her and caught her eyes. He muttered ’sorry’ and nodded his head. She was conscious then of Antoinette behind her. 
She heard Antoinette say:
‘Lionel’s crazy..what did you say to him, Teresa...?’ 
Teresa turned to Antoinette and said:
‘I didn’t say anything.. I just looked at him and he shouted..’
‘He’s drunk..don’t mind..’, Antoinette said quickly. 
Lionel had turned back to Jackson but now he turned again when he heard the women behind him. He said:
‘Sorry Teresa…Don’t make trouble..Antoinette’.
Then Antoinette said:
‘Don’t say it’s the’re so damned angry..this while…is it a girl or something…damn money…’
‘You’re funny, Antoinette’, Lionel said looking at her, ‘But I’m not interested in talking...’ Then he turned back to the counter. 

Teresa continued to stand behind Lionel and Jackson. She was going to walk away. She couldn’t afford a drink and she tipped Antoinette to say she was going. Antoinette, scarcely acknowledging this, turned around quickly again to talk to Lionel and didn't seem to be aware that Teresa had left the group and was walking to the door. Then Teresa turned suddenly. Jackson was behind her and he said:
‘I said I’d give you money..Teresa..but these people…do they have money..jewellery..take something…ask money from your admirer then.that’s what girls do.. Teresa..he’s seen where you work..he must know you need it…bring him back to your him…’
‘Maybe…’ Teresa said.
Jackson said quickly:
‘I’d take some money…of course I’ll try and help you..I’ll give you something to-morrow…but why don’t you take it from him..or that girl..they won’t know..what about the theatre,,the’re too damned afraid now..take the damned money.’ 
Antoinette came over to them and nudged at Jackson. Then she said looking at Teresa:
‘Teresa wants to be like like her..then take her jewellery..ask her..Aimee…I think she admires Aimee…that girl..cousin.‘
Antoinette stopped but she looked as if she was going to say more and she said:
‘You’re not surely thinking of taking money..stealing from them…the aristocrats..I mean ..Teresa’
Then Jackson turned to go back to Lionel and said:
‘I like that..aristocrats..aristos…’
‘They’re not aristocrat…they’re not even..’ Teresa said quickly to Antoinette as Jackson walked away.


Teresa and Denby walked together along the road leading to Teresa's rooms. Denby had wanted to know where she lived and now she stood pointing up p to her rooms.
She muttered ‘ I don’t want to go up, it's a nice evening.. can we walk’. Then she glanced quickly towards the public house at the end of the street. Perhaps Jackon and Antoinette were there. She turned to Denby and saw that he was looking into the distance towards the public house. Teresa said quickly:
‘Will we walk back….’
He said then:
'Why can't we go you not want ..'
'No it's not that...another time...but it's just a's untidy...'
'I understand...'
They were silent then. She closed her eyes briefly as she saw a woman waiting at a corner. She knew she was a prostitute. She turned around quickly. Actually she didn't mind Denby seeing where she lived, the kind of area. He must have known anyway ; He must have had an idea.
A wind seemed to suddenly whirl down the street and then there were the street-lamps around. Just wind and light. She heard Denby saying softly:
‘You showed me where you know where I live…’ He looked at her and smiled.
'We'll don't mind walking home alone..' Denby said.
Teresa replied:
'We’ll walk to Aimee’s', he said but in the windswept street, she couldn't hear what she said and she repeated:  
‘Of course.. I always walk back…I like this area.’ Then she heard him say something. The wind just made her catch a few words. He was saying:
‘I know you are a strong woman..wilful…proud…I like that Teresa…you seem lonely too..but the theatre …it is exciting isn’t it…’
She scarcely heard what he said but she heard him mention the word 'theatre'.
She nodded as she saw him glancing over at her. Then as the wind died down, she heard him speak:
‘Aimee ..she’s lonely too..she’s like a sister and she helped me you know get my rooms together and I want to help her…she has her circle of friends…some artists…’
‘Yes I understand’, Teresa said and in a flash she thought about money. Yes she needed money. Should she ask Denby for money. He had seen where she lived. Maybe she should have brought him to her rooms but they were so unkempt and dirty. Or maybe she should just steal...but this man was wooing her...yes..there was that as well....


The following day Teresa stood with Jackson in a park near where she lived. It was dark in the park and some streetlights streamed light into the park. She said to Jackson:
‘I’m not going on the streets again, damn it, Jackson’. Jackson was quiet as Teresa thought: why would she go on the streets anyway...wasn't she being wooed...oh she wasn't making sense.. she was near marriage..anyway…but there was the rent but Jackson would help her..he had given her money..
She felt Jackson looking at her and he said:
‘What’s wrong…?'
‘I don’t know why I talk about money…and even think of going on the streets…don’t I have Denby…’, Teresa said without thinking.
Jackson didn’t seem to understand and he asked:
‘Do you need money for your rent..?’
‘Jackson, I just need it for my rent..and you’ve helped me…and I’m not that bad..anyway there’s Denby…isn't there?’ 
‘Are you his lover..?’ Jackson asked bluntly.
‘Do you mean that if I were his lover..he’ll give me he’s not..I said it before..he’s from a different backgtound and all…he wants to marry me…I think..I told you..he likes me.’
‘Of course, Teresa.. You sound so damn guilty..and do you like this damn Denby then ?’
Teresa looked quickly at him. She felt confused. She wondered quickly where this conversation was going.
Jackson sat down suddenly on a bench and looking up at her said:
‘Look Teresa ..I know you are tired…stop talking..I’m going to the public house now…I’ lll go in a minute..' Then he took out some bread to eat.
She looked at him and then away and remained standing at the wall. She said:
‘You’re working on the docks…are you deciding to work for an honest know.’
‘Of you… I want to work for an honest found the theatre..circumstances…that’s it isn't it..circumstances just drag us down…yes I found some work..I’m not happy..’
 Then he was silent and Teresa looked out of the park. She thought suddenly that she hadn't enough money to buy a drink. 
Then Jackson said:
‘What do you want him for..what do you want them for…this man..and this woman..they are your new friends…you want to use them..’
‘Of course not.. no..Jackson you're not making sense….' Still she had thought of stealing from Aimee and she didn’t tell Jackson that she planned to take some money the next time she was in Aimee’s rooms. Alot of people came to Aimee's house. Yes she had many friends, artists and all and she could think it was anyone. Then Teresa said looking at Jackson:
‘I’m not using them..Jackson...use that must think I’m mad..’
‘I know Teresa..I’m going now…Lionel is finishing I’ll leave you now…’
Teresa looked at him. She thought suddenly that she should be honest with Jackson and tell him she might take some money from Aimee but she turned away and muttered:
‘I’m tired..I ‘m so tired..', she said leaning against the wall. Jackson was quiet.
Then she continued:
‘Walking through the streets with him yesterday.. I really felt he was wooing me.. I think I really felt like a know..I’m not used to that…I mean you have Nelly now...’
‘Of course you’re not used to it….but Nelly...that's different..Denby is different..isn't he.’
'Yes..' Teresa said.
'Nelly is a working girl..', Jackson muttered. Then he said:
'This man...'
‘What’, Teresa stared at him in a confused way. Jackson looked up:
'I don't need money...'
'You're telling me to steal..'
‘Wait Teresa…it’s always you..I never told you to steal…maybe I did…but if he wants to marry you..then you can wait…can’t you..’ Jackson looked away and then put his hands on his face. He seemed tired and he muttered:
'Shut up Teresa..I’m going for a drink now with lionel.. You come too…I just don’t want to go home to Nelly yet..’
Of course’, Teresa replied. 


The following evening, Jackson stood again with Teresa outside the theatre where she worked. Antoinette had just left them. 

‘Why are you angry, Jackson, I mean you look angry’, Teresa asked, looking at Jackson who was standing a short distance away from her.
‘I’m not angry..', he replied. There was quiet and he said almost spontaneously and without thinking:
‘I have nothing..'
‘I know you need money Jackson..that’s why I am really grateful for helping me with the rent…and I don’t want to go on the streets..what with ..Denby and all’, she said she looking at him.
''s alright...I mean I have made me going with Denby and all...'
'What?', Teresa replied quickly. 
'No, no..I just feel bad..sad...'
'Are you coming to the pub..’, Jackson asked.
‘I might later..but I said I’d meet him..’, Teresa said.
‘He likes you..does he Teresa..I mean does he really like you?’
Teresa said quickly:
‘Maybe…he seems to..’ Teresa said without thinking. Then she continued:
‘I’m tired.. I don’t feel like talking…’
Jackson looked around and said:
'You should take some money from him...or maybe you have...tell me..' Jackson said raising his head.
'Maybe I might...' Teresa murmured.
‘Of course..Teresa…but I need money too...'
'I'm grateful..Jackson..I told you...'
Jackson replied:
'Yes..I know..but look here..look here in this can get money here..…you’re too respectable..too damn afraid..what happened to you know how to survive..Teresa…you look from help from me but not from your damn admirer or his damn friends..but you forgot‘re a survivor…aren‘t you…’
‘You’re not making sense, Jackson..’, Teresa said quickly. Jackson replied:
‘I am making know so…why am I not making sense then? All I said is you have to learn to survive..I thought you could survive…why can’t you go on the streets.. You want to survive, don't you..and you have this admirer…who might marry you. It’s a better situation than a lot of girls.’
‘So you think I should marry..’, Teresa said looking at him closely. Jackson had been speaking quickly and almost thoughtlessly but now he slowed down his speech. Suddenly Antoinette was beside them. Jackson looked up at her:
'Should she marry this me...' Jackson said. Antoinette looked at Teresa quickly and Jackson said:
‘What should I tell her..Antoinette. Help me..’. Then Antoinette said:
‘I didn’t know you wanted to marry him…Teresa.’
You say I should marry him’, Teresa replied in a tired way. She seemed to be almost staring at Antoinette and Antoinette saw that the tiredness in Teresa's eyes. They were quiet now and Antoinette said:
‘Are you coming to the public house later, Teresa..’
'I might...he said he might meet me..'
There was silence as Antoinette looked at Teresa. She looked as if she wanted to ask Teresa something. She looked as if she wanted to know something and she said:
'Will you marry then..Teresa...?'
‘I don’t know’, Teresa replied and she looked directly at Jackson. Then Teresa continued:
‘I don’t want to go on the streets.. Jackson..Antoinette’. She looked up at Antoinette who looked into her eyes. Teresa continued:
‘What’s wrong with that?.. I want to…I don’t want to fall again..what’s wrong with there..Antoinette...this is a chance..he likes me...’
Antoinette smiled and said turning to Jackson:
‘Is there Jackson…is there anything wrong with that ?’
Jackson was looking at the ground and didn't seem to hear what she had asked. He said:
‘Wrong with what..’
‘Wrong with…what…Teresa…', then she stopped and she turned to Teresa and addressed her:
'You want to survive..don’t you..Teresa’, Antoinette asked and she was aware she was asking the same thing as Jackson had.
‘Yes learn to survive again, Teresa…and don’t talk..act like a fool’. Then he rose and began to walk away. He turned and seemed to wait for Antoinette. He saw that Antoinette was sitting down on the bench and he heard the latter ask Teresa, who was standing in front of her:
‘Do you want to marry him..’
‘I don’t know..’, Teresa replied. 
Then Jackson approached the two women again. Teresa turned and said:
‘What’s wrong, Jackson?’
Then he said:
‘You’ll never be able to go on stage again…never work again..he won‘t let‘re be a respectable know..when you marry?’
‘What do you mean, Jackson?’, Teresa asked quickly.
‘He’ll stop it….your life..look at his background…..’
This made Teresa think and there was silence. Then Teresa said:
‘I have to go Jackson. Antoinette...maybe he’s at the front of the theatre..’
Then Jackson looked closely at Teresa, her clothes and said:
‘Do you like your life ..I mean all this..your life?’ 
Teresa looked at him almost unseeingly. She looked confused. Really she was tired. 
Antoinette said then:
‘Leave her alone, Jackson..’
Then Teresa said:
‘You’re funny, Jackson.. you’re trying to annoy me..rib me now..aren't you?’
‘I’m not..’ 
Then she said:
‘So my life…my life… you ask me if I like my life…what do you mean?’. He was quiet and she said:
‘Do you like your life, Jackson..?’
‘Of course not.. I hate it ..I hate stealing… I hate it… I do it because I have to..I hate it.. I hate working on the docks…do you understand me…you understand me…’.
‘I understand you Jackson, so do you understand me when I say I don’t want to fall back onto the streets, Jackson and maybe this is a chance…this man ..oh I am tired’.
‘I’ll leave you, Teresa. Are you coming Antoinette?', Jackson said beginning to walk away and Antoinette rose slowly from her seat.


A few days later, Teresa sat with Antoinette in the public house, Antoinette was waiting for another woman called Andie who was coming with her to work in the factory in the country. Antoinette stood at the door looking out and Teresa sat inside. Antoinette looked out, occasionally turning to Teresa inside. Antoinette was not drunk at all and she had a new energy to her. Teresa felt this as she watched her and it occurred to her that this new job for Antoinette was a new lease of life for the latter. Was Denby her own lease of life, Teresa wondered. 

Then Antoinette suddenly gestured to Teresa that she had seen Andie in the distance up the street and she walked quickly outside. Antoinette wanted to talk to Andie about the work. Andie herself had just separated from her husband and she had some young children who she looked after. She never drank in the public house. Antoinette had told Teresa just now that she had ‘her children’ to look after. 

Then Antoinette came back. 
‘I just wanted to ask her if she was know… Teresa’, Antoinette said quickly. Teresa nodded and Antoinette continued:
 ‘I know you don’t want to come…I want to go…I need to…it’s a job…’
Teresa looked at her but didn’t say anything. Antoinette looked at her.
‘Will you marry Denby then ?’, Antoinette asked.
‘You go I should that what you are saying?, Teresa said.
‘You can come…’
‘I can’t know that…Denby..’, Teresa stopped and then she asked:
‘No…Nelly…I mean there’s Nelly…’, Antoinette stopped as she seemed to be looking at something.
Teresa turned around and saw a man in a soldier’s uniform sitting at one of the tables. He was alone and was looking at them.
‘Does he think we’re prostitutes…or…’, Teresa asked turning to Antoinette. 
‘You’re mad, Teresa..what are you saying?’
Antoinette glanced again at the man.
‘I think…will I go over to him..’, she seemed to be thinking to herself as she stood at the door. She looked down at Teresa who didn’t say anything. Then Antoinette said suddenly:
‘Now Andie, the woman I just talked to..she was married….’
‘Oh please…Antoinette…’
‘I’m just saying…that maybe ..’, Antoinette stopped and seemed to think. She looked down at a glass of ale and said:
‘Teresa, is that for me?’
Antoinette sat down and started to sip the ale. Then she said:
‘Wait…so you like Denby..’, then Antoinette glanced over at the man and said:
‘He’s watching us…you’re not interested…I mean…I think he’s looking at me…yes I might leave you..’
‘Wait Antoinette, don’t leave me…’, Teresa said quickly. It began to bother her to see Antoinette behave so airily. Yes she was energized by a possible new job. Teresa knew she didn’t really care what happened to her and her relationship with Denby and for the first time, she felt alone. Yes she would have to make the decision. She’d have to decide whether to marry. Jackson and Antoinette didn’t really care. Then she heard Antoinette say:
‘You don’t want to…’
‘That man.. dammit… Teresa..he’s watching us…will I go over to him and get some money out of him..’
Then without thinking, Antoinette shouted:
‘Soldier, buy us some drinks! What’ya looking at something about it…’
‘Yes dolls…yes I will…’, Teresa heard the man saying as he rose and went to the counter. He came back with three glasses of ale. 
‘Doll you up for a night..’, he said looking at Teresa.
‘Sir, turn to my friend…’
‘Yes I will.. with pleasure..’, he turned to Antoinette. He was obviously drubk and he planted a large kiss on Antoinette’s neck. She said quickly:
‘Get off soldier..what are you doing?’ She pushed him away and looked at Teresa and smiled:
‘He’s keen…’
Teresa saw that he was a man of their own age. He had a moustache and rosy cheeks and his moustache too was speckled with drops of ale. Suddenly he seemed impatient and said:
‘You’re leading me on..women..look I have to get something out of this..what a kiss…’
‘Alright, have a kiss…’, Antoinette said and she planted a kiss on his cheek.
Then Antointte said turning to Teresa who was sitting looking at them:
‘Are you going…?’, Teresa didn’t understand what Antoinette meant.
The soldier looked down at Teresa and then back at Antoinette. He seemed to think that the two women had a secret code.
‘You’re not going to rob from me?’
Antoinette seemed to take some time to answer this question but then she said quickly:
‘Of course not..make up your mind, soldier..will we go somewhere…just the two …’. Then she stopped and looking at Teresa said:
 ‘You’re not coming…?’
‘I have my friend for her..’, the soldier said addressing Antoinette and Antoinette turned instantly to Teresa:
‘Are you interested, girl?’
‘No, I’m not..’, Teresa answered directly. Then she rose quickly. Antoinette’s behaviour had confused her for a while and this sudden willingness to spend a night with the solider capped it all. 
Teresa said:
‘No, I have to go…have a night of it…both of you..’. Then she walked out of the public house. She heard Antoinette suddenly shouting:
‘There’s money in it…’. Teresa turned and Antoinette said:
‘Soldier boy says he’s give us money..more drinks…’
Teresa said quickly:
‘No thank-you..’
Then Antoinette shouted into the night:
‘Alright then..see you to-morrow pet..’
Teresa turned and continued her walk to her rooms. 

It was a week later and Teresa sat with Denby in his rooms. Antoinette had left suddenly for her new job in the factory the day before. As Teresa looked out of the window, she was thinking of this. She felt alone and sensed that change was in the air. She looked up at the moon. Then she heard Denby behind her:
‘You’re lonely.. are you lonely…?’, Teresa turned. She was surprised by this question. She replied:
‘I don’t understand..’
‘I mean.. Teresa.. .that you look look so distant standing there..but I want to be close to you..’
Teresa tried to smile and she looked closely at him. She was thinking of Antoinette but she felt it wasn’t right to talk to Denby about her friend’s departure. 
‘Sit down…’, Denby said. As Teresa remained standing, she became suddenly impatient. Maybe she should get married. Yes make the move. Yes make a decision. 
She sat down beside Denby. She said without thinking:
‘I feel alone…my friend..she’s gone to another city…’
Denby seemed interested by this:
‘You feel sad..but I’m here for you.. Teresa…’
They were silent and Teresa looked up at the moon through the open window. She said:
‘It’s cold outside…’
‘I’ll walk home with you..’
‘I didn’t mean that..’
Denby then rose and looked down at her:
‘I want to understand you..’, Teresa heard him saying and suddenly she felt her mind going. She could hardly listen to him and felt she should go. She rose suddenly but Denby said:
‘Sit down. I want to say something…I want to give you something…’
Teresa saw him turn to a sideboard and then he turned back to her with a necklace of red jewels. She believed they were rubies or at least they looked like them. Denby put the necklace into her hand and closed her fingers over it.
Teresa remained quiet. She didn’t know what to think and she heard Denby say:
‘I want you to have this…it’s a gift…and you will keep it forever…’
‘Can I talk to you then about the future, Teresa?’
‘Of course’.
‘You say your friend is gone…but it’s not right to be lonely…I mean.. I am lonely.. but I have you..we have each other…’
‘Yes’, Teresa said automatically looking up. She still had the necklace clasped strongly in her hand and she heard him say:
‘You will think of marriage..I think we can marry…’
So the moment had come and she didn’t know what to say. Then Denby said:
‘You’re not answering..did you not expect this?’
Teresa looked up at him almost dumbly:
‘I mean..yes…I …’
‘You love me…I love know that I hope…’
‘Yes and I love you..and we should marry…I’s right….’
‘Yes I think so…you are beautiful to me…’
Denby turned then and looked out of the window. There was silence but it was a comfortable silence and Teresa still held the necklace in her hand. She was thinking:
I have a necklace..a real gift.. I have never had anything like this…and it means..what does it means…marriage.does it…and he says he is lonely…yes were two lonely souls being drawn towards marriage..and I want it…yes I am lonely.. there is is right to marry…and that loneliness is right..there is the is real…I need something real..

Then Denby turned. He came over and looked at her face. Then he looked down at her hand holding the necklace and smiled. She said quickly:
‘I never had anything like gave me anything like this..’
‘You like it.. I’m happy…it’s been in my family…and I want you to have it…’
There was silence as he sat down beside her and she said without thinking:
‘So we will marry..?’
‘I want you?’

A few days later, Teresa stood with Jackson behind the theatre. There was darkness around them. Jackson looked around him. Then he said after a silence:
 ‘It is quiet now….Antoinette’s gone…Nelly wants to go, you know..we might go.’
‘I know…’
‘So you still want to stay here..are you still so intent on marrying him..’
Teresa didn’t look at him when he asked this question but she thought quickly that maybe she shouldn’t tell Jackson that she planned to marry Denby. She looked up at Jackson and said:
‘I’ m not! Why would I? You sound as if I want to trap him..trap him into marriage..’
Jackson looked at her seemingly surprised:
‘What Teresa…I thought you were trapping’re not making sense…I thought he liked you…’
Teresa tried to think:
‘Of course…I mean…yes..I’m tired…maybe I will marry him..yes because he likes me…’
There was silence again and Jackson looked away and then she saw him taking bread from a pocket and begin to eat it. She thought then: Maybe she should tell him that Denby gave her the necklace. She said quickly: 
‘He gave me a necklace, Jackson. He likes me, doesn’t he?’
‘Oh you are lost, Teresa’, Jackson retorted almost immediately.
‘ say I’m lost…’
‘Yes marry him, dammit..I’m tired…’
‘Alright then, Jackson…I’d like to marry, if I’m honest..because it’s right..I have nothing do I? So why shouldn’t I marry?’
Then Jackson saw her take something from her pocket. It was the necklace and she held it out to him as she said:
‘It’s valuable, isn’t it..and it’s not fake…I mean…’
Jackson took the necklace from her and sat on the bench. Teresa saw him looking carefully at it and she said:
‘It’s valuable, isn’t it Jackson?’
‘Of course’, he replied. Then he looked up at her and said:
‘I mean I don’t know..but…’, he stopped and looked again at the necklace. Then he said looking up at her again:
‘Why not run away..take this…you don’t like you..I mean…’
He saw Teresa looking at him confused:
‘I don’t understand, Jackson..but why should I? Doesn’t this mean he likes me?’
Jackson remained silent and .she sat beside Jackson and looked at the necklace in his hand. She said softly:
‘I told you he likes me…’
‘Yes you told me..’ he said almost dreaming, ‘but you are mad..mad to stay with him…what about you…Teresa..’ he stopped and turned quickly to her. He continued:
’I know you have a chance….but all this..and why not take this damned necklace…say you lost it… he likes you..he trusts you..’
‘Wait..he trusts me…maybe I have feelings for him..I don’t know…and he trusts me…and I can’t steal..that means prison doesn’t it? No’re mad..’
They were silent again and Jackson said:
‘Well I’d like to leave..Nelly would..I’m sure Antoinette would like you with her..I’m just’s not you..I know you..does life with Denby suit you…’
Teresa turned to him:
‘And Jackson..please tell me…that honestly you don’t think I should marry?’
Jackson answered immediately:
‘Alright..I’m not telling you anything..I don’t know…’
Then Jackson rose and he placed the necklace in her hands and said:
 ‘It’s yours..Teresa…don’t think I’ll take it from you..I’m not going to steal it…’
‘Yes you’d take it if you could..Jackson’, Teresa he said quickly.  
Jackson stood away. He didn’t mind her saying this. He was used to her, used to her words and her manner. He said quickly:
‘Of course I’d take it..I know what this is worth…and you ‘d take it..if you could. Why oh you want to marry him? Take this! Look, he gives you this damned necklace. Take it..say you lost it..and go to Antoinette…’
‘I know maybe you’re right..but he’s..I can like him..I could marry him..I could..I think I could…’
The thought occurred to her that Jackson and the others might be jealous of her but she also believed that Jackson was trying to advise her as well as he could. Yes he had a strange way of thinking and yes she knew that he doubted whether she actually loved Denby so maybe he was right...
Then she heard him say:
 ‘You’re dreaming..Teresa…I want to move on..I want to go with Antoinette. Nelly does…’Then he turned away but almost immediately he turned back and faced her. He said quickly:
 ‘And you owe me money…Teresa...what’s to stop me taking this as payment..’
This surprised Teresa. She knew Jackson could be like this. Yes he could be jealous. He could be angry. He could steal. She said quickly:
‘Oh stop Jackson..I only owe you a couple of pounds..this is worth more…isn’t it..?’ He replied:
‘You play with me..Teresa..and I’m not going to stop you or tell you what to’s your damned life…alright.’
They were quiet then. He looked at Teresa taking the necklace from the pocket and examining it again. He heard her saying:
‘You won’t steal this from me..will you Jackson…’. Yes the thought had occurred to her that she shouldn’t have mentioned the necklace at all and definitely not to Jackson. It was only because Antoinette was gone that she was confiding in him. Oh why was she telling him all these things now ? She wanted to marry and that was it. It was right..She felt Jackson was making sense but…marriage was right…she felt really that she couldn’t think properly anyway. Marriage wasn’t such a big step for her anyway and she wanted to escape..
Then he said:
‘You are lost, Teresa…ask yourself…what .he wants..what this man wants.’
Teresa felt now that Jackson hadn’t her best interests at heart or did he? She really wasn’t sure. But they were friends for so many years. He helped her so many times. She was an outsider like him. She thought like him in ways. She stole and he stole and they both were sorry. They were both cynics and yes in a way, Jackson was right to doubt Teresa’s motives in marrying but she had never met anyone like Denby before. That was the thing. She had really never met a man like him before and she never had this chance…but it was more than a chance…maybe it was the right move to marry…
She replied then:
‘What do you mean ? He wants to marry me…everyone isn’t a cynic like you, Jackson. He certain;y doesn’t thinkg like you..and why would he marry someone like me anyway?’ Then Jackson said:
 ‘Not everyone thinks like you Teresa…either…but you don’t like him…I’m just saying! Marry him if you damn want. ’
Teresa seemed lost. Then she said:
 ‘I can confide in your, Jackson , can’t I ?’
He replied:
‘Yes..’ Then she said:
‘This is a chance..isn’t it..I mean this necklace…some women would take this and run away…but what if he reported it to the police…‘ 
Teresa knew she wasn’t making sense. She was talking stupidly now but for years, Jackson and herself were stuck in the mire of just surviving from day to day. Stealing meant nothing to Jackson. Maybe it was right to think of just taking the necklace and running away. It was something to be thought through! 
Jackson seemed to listen closely. Then he said:
‘We can think of something…’
‘Wait ..I‘m not thinking of stealing this.. Jackson..I can’t’. 
‘Then what?‘, Jackson said looking directly at her. 
She was quiet as she said:
‘Should I run away with it..then…?’
‘I don‘t‘s up to you..’, Jackson said…
Teresa rose her head and said:
‘So it‘s up to me.. I thought you had a plan..’
‘No Teresa..I mean if you want to…I‘m sure…I can think of a plan…but I mean you look unsure. Do you want to marry this damned fool…is that it…I can‘t stop you..oh I’m tired.. I don’t want to talk anymore. ’
They were silent then and Teresa put her head in her hands. Yes she was comfortable in Jackson’s company. Yes they were friends. They could talk to each other and in ways she could trust him. 
Then she heard him speaking:
‘I need money..of course…and that necklace…look at it..Teresa I‘m lost.. I don‘t know what to think…’
Then he took some bread from his pocket and chewed it. He said then looking at Teresa: 
‘No, Teresa, you truly are a fool..and you will be happy to marry him but you won’t be happy…’ 
‘Don’t call me a fool anyway..’ she said quickly, looking at him. Then she said quickly:
And he wants to marry me..what about that?’
‘But you don’t want to marry him, do you?’ Jackson said.
‘How do you know..?’
‘I don’t’.
They were silent and then she said almost teasingly:
‘Jackson you talk stupid…you want to own me…one of your girls…and what will Nelly think …the way you speak to me like this’ .
Jackson seemed to smile. Then he said:
‘We are friends above all, aren’t we Teresa..we grew up together …’ 
Teresa looked quickly at him and then away. She said: 
‘Alright this necklace…..this necklace belongs to me…now.’
Jackson seemed to think about something and said:
‘So you will marry him…then?’
‘Yes, maybe’. He replied:
‘Because you think it is an opportunity., is that it..Teresa? You want to escape, want to escape from me.. all this… you are cruel aren’t you…you use men..don’t you..’ Jackson said looking at her. 
‘I don’t’, Teresa replied automatically.
They were silent again as he said:
‘That necklace…would you marry someone just to get a own something like that..something that someone like me couldn’t give you..’ Teresa looked at him closely. Maybe Jackson was beginning to make sense now. She wanted to smile but these words made her sad inside.
‘Are you dreaming..are you making sense? ’, she said softly.
‘I am making would marry for money..wouldn’t you?’
Teresa looked at him wide-eyed and said:
‘Wait it’s not…Jackson..I’m tired..and you’re not making sense….’
He replied:
 ‘I’m’d marry for money…wouldn’t you?’
Then he rose to go away:
‘I’m going …’
As he walked away, she shouted:
‘’re not right…’ He turned and said:
‘You’d marry for a necklace…wouldn’t you?’
‘A necklace?’ Teresa asked. He looked at her quickly and turned away again. She called out:
‘Wait Jackson…’
‘You want to escape from here…is that it?’, Jackson said turning around again and she said:
 ‘Why wouldn’t I.. I don’t want to go on the streets….again..ever..’
‘You have work..don’t you…and why don’t you go to work with Antoinette…she’s gone to the country to work..there’s factories there…’ 
She didn’t know what to say. She felt tired and she said without thinking: 
‘And what if he wants to marry me…’
‘This man..this admirer..alright..but you’re marrying for a necklace…’
‘You’re mocking me, Jackson..that doesn’t make sense…’ 
He was silent. Then she said:
‘Ask me why I would marry him…Jackson.’
He answered quickly:
‘Teresa, I don’t want to know.. I don’t want to know… I have just seen the necklace..that is all…and I know it’s valuable. Is this man so stupid..does he know how valuable it is…’ Teresa replied:
 ‘No Jackson…I’m tired..I know I can’t answer your questions. You ask if I marry for a necklace and you know I don’t…He gave it to me. He likes me, doesn’t he? ’
 ‘Alright, Teresa, I’m going.. He said and he turned and walked away. This time she let him go away. 


A week later Teresa sat with Anette in a coffee-house. Teresa had just mentioned that Jackson had decided to move away from the city. They were quiet now. Teresa looked at Anette closely. She had't told Anette that she planned to marry. Yes in the last week she had begun to think that it was right to marry Denby. She felt alone too now that Antoinette and Jackson were gone. Then Teresa said quickly:
‘I’m going to marry…’ Anette seemed to study Teresa. Yes she felt that this man might propose to Teresa. She was just surprised at the tone of Teresa's voice. There seemed to be fear in it. Anette answered:
‘You are happy it what you want..’
Teresa smiled and nodded. She felt Anette's eyes on her, looking carefully at her but she didn't want to talk of the marriage, or Denby now. She had mentioned the marriage to Anette. That was all she wanted to do.
'I'm marrying...that's all....'
She heard Anette say quickly:
'You are happy...I asked you if you were happy...'
'Yes..I mean...'
Then Teresa said:
'You know the necklace...the one Denby gave me...'
'I''d love a gift like that...', Anette said cheerfully.
'No...I told Jackson...and maybe I shouldn't..he steals...'
'You said he's gone...anyway the necklace is yours...when you marry it will be in your possession...'
Teresa tried to smile.
'Yes, Anette, I just thought he’d try and steal it…’
They were quiet then and then Teresa said:
‘I feel so lonely…I feel so… I need something…Antoinettte's gone..’
‘You want to're lonely....there’s nothing wrong…he’s in love with you.. I know..’
‘I like him’, Teresa replied quickly, 'I like him a lot..’
Aneete looked away. As Teresa looked at Anette's profile, she suddenly remembered Aimee. Yes she hadn't seen Aimee in a long time. Still Aimee had the same high cheekbones as Anette and that was what reminded Teresa of the former. Then Teresa closed her eyes without thinking. Yes, that money..she had stolen money from Aimee..but that was weeks ago...Aimee didn't seem to think it was her...or maybe she didn't notice...but AImee had a lot of visitors...she had lots of friends...

Then Teresa said suddenly:
'This summer has been long, hasn’t it , Anette..we can still remain friends…I mean I know you want to go back to Sweden..don't you?’
‘I’ll go back to care fro my mother..she’s sick..but I’ll come back, Teresa..’
‘I'd like to remain friends, Anette’, Teresa said looking closely at Anette.
‘Yes we will’, Anette replied. There was silence as Anette seemed to think of something. Then Anette said:
‘You mentioned the necklace…are you just marrying for ..a just want to know..I mean you're a friend, Teresa...I'd marry for security..but I'd have to like the man too..’
‘Anette..that’s please don’t say that..that damned I mean it's the only thing anyone gave know...oh I don't know..', Teresa felt as if words were coming from her mouth. She didn't know what she was saying and she felt confused. She stopped and tried to think. Then she said:
But Anette.. I want to remain friends…I can’t live a life anyway on this…I couldn't marry for that..Jackson asked me...maybe I'm marrying for some security...but I like him...'
'I understand, Teresa'.
Teresa seemed to wait for Anette to speak further and Anette said:
‘No I understand, Teresa. You like him, I know that and there is some security too..he will care for you..and all.. I understand…I understand…’


Next weekend, Denby and Teresa took a train to the coast. They were now in agreement, both of them, about marrying. They both sensed they were alone now, alone together. Aimee spent less time with them and for Teresa, Antoinette was gone. They spent more time together and one evening, Denby asked Teresa if she'd come to the coast, just for a day. Teresa agreed.

They sat opposite each other on the train. It crossed Teresa's mind that the guesthouse owners would think they were married but this didn't bother her and it didn't seem to bother Denby. Above all, both of them wanted to be free of the city for a day or two. As she looked out of the window, she felt her mind empty. It was that fear again. She felt lonely too. She saw more of Denby but that was right! No she spent more time with him now that Jackson and Antoinette were gone. Yes she was alone now and she needed something. Yes she needed to marry, Was this the right reason to marry? She looked at Denby quickly and their eyes met. He said quickly:
‘You are lonely…Are you lonely, Teresa’.
'No, I have you..', she said without thinking.
'But this world here..these fields..and then the won't feel lonely...', Teresa tried to smile. Then the image of the sea came before her. Maybe she would feel lonely.
'Yes.. I do..I think...', she stopped. She couldn't tell Denby about the fear in her. Yes she could hardly look at the countryside outside. She felt she had no interest in it although it was all new to her. She heard Denby say:
'I thought it'd be nice to go on this said your friends have left...and..'
'It is nice...'
'We can sleep separately...and..but we have the same room...'
'Of course...I don't mind...'
Then Denby bent over and touched Teresa's knee. He said:
'That's why I like're gently..kind...we understand each othe..don't we...'
Teresa put her hand on Denby's hand. 
Then she thought of something and she said:
'Will we marry know by the sea...?'
Denby sat back quickly:
'There's no hurry to marry is there..but it would be nice...'
'I mean..when will we marry?'
'When we come back..maybe in a few weeks..would you like that?'
Teresa seemed to think;
'I'd like that...'
'I have some family...I'd like them to be there...'
Teresa was quiet then as she listened to the noise of the train. She looked back and said:
'Yes when we go back..I'd like that...'

When they came to the destination, it was nearly evening. They alighted from the train and walked through the town together. Denby seemed to know where he was going. Maybe he was here before but Teresa didn't say anything! As she walked through the town, the thought came to her that she didn't really want to go back to the theatre or the place where she lived. Yes she wished she didn't have to go back! Why not marry..oh she wished they would marry quickly now...she wished she could leave the theatre as soon as possible and she didn't want to go back to her own rooms. 

Then there was the sea before her. Denby turned to her and smiled:
'You like the sea...'
'I like it..', Teresa said without thinking. 
Then she heard Denby ask:
'Is there something wrong...'
'No...I was never by the sea...I wish I didn't have to go back...', Teresa said quickly. They were quiet then as they continued to walk to the guesthouse. 

They sat in their room later. Teresa sat on a chair in the corner beside the window as Denby stood in front of her. She said then smiling:
‘They think we’re they..?’
'We'll be married soon...'
'In a few weeks...?', Teresa asked softly.
She saw Denby smiling.
' a few weeks...'
Then she said suddenly:
‘I don’t want to go back to the theatre, to work.. I want something new…’
'Yes, you don't need to go back..I told you we'll get married soon...'
He came over and touched Teresa's right shoulder.
'Be calm, Teresa...I thought I knew you...there's nothing wrong..we will marry..we are together...'
Teresa tried to smile. Yes Denby must think she was behaving stangely. She said then:
'No,'s made me hopeful...I'm looking forward to it...can you say something like that...'
'Of course...'
Denby seemed to think and he stood at the window looking out. Then he said:
'When we can move into my rooms...then we'll get somewhere better..'
'Yes..that's alright...'
Denby turned to her and said:
'You are in can move into my don't mind?'
'Of course not...', Teresa said quickly. 
‘We'll marry when we go back..yes.. we’ll get married in the city…when we go back…I’ve told my friends anyway that I'm marrying you…’

They were quiet as lovers are now . She was conscious then of the silence around her. She felt the sea beside her too. The silence now meant a new life was beckoning for her. She felt the sea rising, the waves rising and turning. Yes it all signaled a new life.  


The following day they walked along the beach. They would return in the evening to the city.

‘I feel so alone’,Teresa said to Denby as they stopped and looked into the sea. She looked out and continued:
'It’s so quiet quiet'.
‘walking along like this…I’s strange here…’
'It's not strange...'
'But it's quiet...look there’s couples in the distance..they…’, Denby said looking ahead of him.
Teresa made a noise as if to speak and Denby said quickly:
‘What ..Teresa..’
Teresa was going to say that others might think they were a married couple but unmarried couples walked along the beach too! 
Then they stopped and Denby said:
‘You’re cold aren’t you..Teresa…come close to me..’
She felt the wind at her face and Denby pulled her to him. She said quickly:
‘You're the only one I have...I have no real relatives.. I don’t want anyone at the marriage..’
‘You need someone..just a friend from the theatre..maybe..a witness’
‘Yes’ she said pushing him away gently and looking at him closely in the face. She said:
‘You’re kind to me..why are you so understanding….so kind…I don’t understand..’
'I love you, don't I ...?', he replied. 

Then as it began to rain, they both turned automatically in the direction of their lodgings. 
‘I am lonely’, Teresa said suddenly , 'I am lonely. This place isn’t for me’.
‘You mean this day away to the sea, come on Teresa. It's only a will do you good’, he said smiling.
‘But I’m so lonely….’ she seemed to repeat herself. Maybe it was the cold. Maybe the rain. She felt as if she had to speak. There was that fear in her. She felt as if she had to say something and she kept repeating the fact she was lonely. Then Denby said suddenly:
‘You’re not lonely with me, are you?’ She didn't answer immediately and he heard her sigh almost with coldness as she pulled the coat around her. Then she looked up at him. She said quickly:
'No...I mean..I'm cold..that's all..I'm not that's not it..I’m not lonely…no I’m cold.’