If only we’d never gone there, thought Alan. They were scrambling up the mountainside in the late afternoon heat. Alice was so tanned that she looked as if she had lived on the Mediterranean for months, while he, being fair, had turned a blotchy, peeling.
He looked up at the mountainside, the path twisting upwards towards the cairn cross, the white heat bleaching the rock. Why on earth couldn’t they talk about it? Why couldn’t he even accuse her?
He had thought it was going to be all right. But it was as if the heat had drained their love.
At home they had been so blissfully happy that he now realized it couldn’t have lasted. She comes to his school from the Midlands because her family had split up. An only child, living with her father, trying to look after him, lonely, depressed, anxious, she had come to Alan to be healed. At least, that’s what he liked to think. Had he healed her? No. Tom had, even though Alan loved her with all the passion. Now his hatred for both of them was as strong as his love.
“Coming,”Alan looked at his watch. Five, The crickets would start singing soon. He walked on, the sweat pouring into his eyes. Knowing she had opened the bottle of mineral water. Would she let him catch up with her? An even greater misery seized him. It reminded him of the night he made himself drunk on the rough local wine his parents bought in the village. His heart had ached then, too, and his sense of loss had increased as he relived each minute of a day when Tom and Alice had seemed to draw closer and closer together.
He walked faster. Here, a few miles away on the bare mountainside, there was arid space, and the olive groves, clustered in the stone-cluttered valleys below.
Alan strode doggedly on, looking down at his red, peeling legs, thinking of Tom’s strong, straight, brown ones.
Suddenly he had turned the corner by the stone shelter. He could see her waiting for him. If Tom were here, they would be together, mocking him, looking at each other, leaving him alone. As he strode self-consciously on Alan focused his mind on her.
“Where’re we going to camp?”She was sitting on an outcrop, her slim body supple and salt-caked. Her legs were swinging and he longed to run his hands over them. Instead he imagined Tom doing that and hot, angry tears filled his eyes.
“Alice,”he cried out. “Alice!?” No response. Alan began to run.
It was only when he was back at the front door of the monastery that he realized there was one place he had not been to. His heart thumping and his throat dry, he went down the steps.
Now he ran eagerly forward, pushing his way through the foliage. He gave a gasp of relief. She was there, lying on the pine needles.
She woke slowly, sleepily, stretching in the sun. “Sorry—I fell asleep.”
“Where the hell have you been?”
“I went for a walk.”
He held up the bracelet and the ring.“I found these.”He was angry, positive. She looked away.“Come on .Why did you do it?”I’ve been searching for you. I thought—I thought you’d been kidnapped or something. Been hurt?
I’m sorry.” 【已有很多网友发表了看法，点击参与讨论】【对英语不懂，点击提问】【英语论坛】【返回首页】
“That’s not enough.”
“I laid a trail.”
“You did what?”He was outraged.
“I wanted you to find me.”
“I was terrified—I thought—”
“I’m sorry.” She stood up. “I suppose I wanted to frighten you.”
“Why ?” he barked at her.
She looked away again. “I didn’t think you wanted me any more.”
“You haven’t spoken to me. You seemed so cold. Indifferent somehow.”
“But it’s you who were indifferent. ”
She looked genuinely amazed.“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“I thought you wanted Tom. Didn’t want to be with me.”His voice broke.
“I thought you found him—more fun.”
“Him? Oh, he’s a baby. I was lonely, I suppose. You seemed so fed up with me. I didn’t realized it would —oh , Alan.” She got up and drew him to her , kissing him so hard on the lips.“You are such a bloody fool.” I love you—don’t you know?
“Why did you come here?”he asked.
“I was wandering about. I couldn’t sleep. Look—”She knelt down and stared at the Latin inscription on the two solitary graves.“Who are they?”she asked.
“I don’t know. I’ve often wondered. Dom Carols Fuenta —he’s definitely a monk. But the odd thing is that he’s buried alongside a woman.” He paused and then went on.“Maria Degardes. He was buried in 1892. She was in 1894.”
“Were they lovers?”
“I used to make up stories that they were.”
“I was just thinking. A silly thought. I expect you’ll laugh.”
“Suppose we lived here for the rest of our lives and when we died we were buried here. But in one grave. Together.”
Alan took Alice’s face in his hands and kissed her on the lips.