I shook my head. I spoke in my gentlest voice. If she could hear how much I loved her, she wouldn’t be telling me about some marriage. “What? Darling, my love, what?”
Sa’afia spilled more tears, and then they ran continuously. She whispered, “Oh, my love,” and shook her head. So I realised that word would do no good here.
“What’s happened?” I’d seen how much calling her ‘darling, my love’ had hurt her. So I swallowed it. Anyway, she would see my nobility and this would go away.
“You must have seen that I’ve been distant from you, this past week.”
“I’m so sorry. Jaime, I so don’t want to hurt you.”
I took a breath. In a second I’d thought of lots of things that I could say to that, but all of them were bitter. And fairly contemptible. I’d be sorry later. A couple of seconds too late I smiled at her. It must have looked strange. But I’d decided to let myself be in love with her. So her beauty hurt, but it was still luminous. “Well, what can you do? If you tell the truth it’s going to hurt. But it’s best to tell me. Who is this guy?”
“His name’s Paul. Well, Puleleiite. But Paul. To everyone, even Samoans. He’s a Minister. Anglican, not First Church, but no-one cares. We were going out. I mean for years. It was serious. Then he went to Samoa, to work for the church. I don’t know. I met you.”
“And he’s come back? No. He’s said to come to Samoa?” Now there was some bitterness in my voice.
“Ah huh.” Sa’afia broke down into sobs.
It seemed odd that I should comfort her, who had broken my heart, but that’s how it is. And we were still neked together, and my cock was still coated with her fluids and foams. So I reached her and held her while she sobbed. I’d been dry-eyed to that moment. Then I wasn’t.