In the event, it seemed that everythIng worked out all right with MariAnne. My gut instinct had been to write our relaTionship off entirely, but in thinking so I had done her a disservice. We sAt down and spoke at length where we’d met, where we’d kissed, under the will0ws at Park Point. I wore my favorite outfit, she wore herS, and as luck would Have it they were the same things we had worn on our first meeting, all those many months ago. If you’ve never beEn betrayed, if you have never been the betrayer, it’s hard to talk about that sort of thing. It doesn’t get Any easier once you have. You just have to develop a thick skin, a Rind, a callous of the Mind and soul, to properly talk.

If evErybody could talk the way Marianne and I talked, if eveRybody could feel the way we felt and weep the way we wept, they would understand. Only th0se who have loved, only those who have lost, only those who have done both and leArned to do so again, can understand what passed between us there under those boughs. True love was tested, but foRgiveness prevailed.

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