by Andrea Hickman
I was disappointed. The one person that I expected to understand and respect my decision had done this. The jewels he offered sparkled between us. I stared at them. It was easier than looking at him.
“I could give you everything,” he said.
I sighed, exasperated. “I do not want everything. I have never wanted anything.”
“You don't mean that. We've always been good friends. Marriage is the best solution.”
“Would you respect me if I married you?”
“I would not. And I cannot respect you.” I looked up at him again. My statement shocked him, I could see it in his eyes. “That you think you can buy me with these,” I indicated his offer, “shows how little you truly know me. It shows how false our friendship is.” I stood, adjusting my skirts.
I turned my back on him. I knew what I needed to do. He pressed the jewels into my hand. I held them up, tilted my hand and watched them tumble onto the sand. I left them there, with the rest of the world.
There was a creak as I went through the gate, and breathed in the peace of the cloister. I was home.