“Ready to go?” he asked with raised eyebrows.
“Give me a second to get dressed, and we’ll be off then,” he answered quietly and crossed the room to where he had flung his clothes.
Perched at the edge of the bed, I watched his every step and then movement as he toweled himself off and began pulling on his jeans, committing each image to memory, unaware that he was aware of my scrutiny since he had his back to me, until he suddenly turned round to face me “Don’t look at me like that,” he admonished.
“Like what?” I asked, embarrassed at having been caught in the act of staring.
“Like you want me to come back to bed, instead of get dressed,” he answered knowingly.
Damn, he still knew me so well that he could read my thoughts, I cursed to myself, and since there was no point in denying that he was right, I simply shrugged, and turned away so he could finish getting dressed with some degree of privacy.
I, however, discovered that he wasn’t ready to let the matter drop when instead of continuing to get dressed, he strode back to where I sat and grabbing my upper arms, squatted in front of me and forced me to face him “What do you want me to do, Steph? Tell me and I swear to God I’ll do it,” he promised desperately, his eyes looking like giant pools of pain that mirrored my own.
Confronted with his raw emotion, I felt my eyes begin to once again fill up with tears at the hopelessness of our situation “Make it stop hurting, ” I whispered pleadingly in response to his question.
At my answer, he slowly released my arms “I would if I could, but I don’t know how to,” he confessed sadly.
“Then don’t make it any harder than it already is, and let’s just go,” I begged.
He held my gaze for a moment longer, and then as though admitting defeat, sighed deeply before giving in “Alright, let’s go.” Then he stood up to finish getting dressed.
We drove in silence to an ATM machine in a mall on the outskirts of town, and Greg left me in the car as he went into the ATM booth. Thankfully, there wasn’t much human traffic at the mall, and no queue outside the ATM booth so, our stopover did not attract any significant attention.
If the odd shopper happened to notice us, they did not appear to be unduly interested in our presence, or seem to wonder what we were doing together, which was a huge relief.
Greg’s transaction did not take long either, and when he got back to the car he wordlessly handed over a wad of notes that exceeded what I needed by far. While I was perfectly aware of his flamboyant generosity and had in all honesty expected him to give me a sizeable amount, my estimated figure had not come anywhere close to the amount I held in my hands that could easily afford to cover my home shopping budget for at least two months.
I was so blown away by the figure that I was momentarily rendered speechless, and although I briefly considered protesting that I couldn’t accept such a huge amount from him, I knew he wouldn’t let me hand back a single shilling so, when I once again found my voice, I simply breathed what felt like an inadequate “thank you.”
He acknowledged my thanks with a curt nod, and asked “Where should I drop you off?”
“Anywhere I can get a cab will be fine, thanks,” I answered in a subdued tone.
“There’s a cab stage at the entrance to the mall. I’ll let you out there,” he informed me as he reversed the car out of the parking lot, and I felt my heart constrict painfully at the realization that our time together was fast drawing to a close.
Source : The Observer