Things went on this way for some time. We sleepwalked through our relationship and fought without energy, prolonging the end that each of us could see so clearly. It was Madeleine who brought it to a close. The fact hit me harder than I anticipated. She seemed completely in control. I am convinced that women have an ability to make decisions about their feelings that men do not have. A coldness arose in Madeleine that I could never understand. I told her as much. She explained it was something she had to do. I told her I had to do the same, but was unable. She stopped answering my calls. She told me to give her time. And so I did.
I saw Brigitte as often as I could and slept with her whenever the occasion presented itself. Sometimes even when it didn’t. She was young and wise and as reckless as I was. We were running so far ahead, so fast, knowing full well we’d eventually have to catch our breath, but neither of us willing to stop and find out what that would entail. We’d make love in a café bathroom, a retail change room and on a train to Monaco. It was France, so it was tolerated. She was leaving at the end of the month and I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to follow her to Hong Kong. She wanted the same. I wanted to tell her about Madeleine, but I knew I couldn't. She would form an opinion of me that was inaccurate. I could've told her before we were intimate, but not after. So I kept it inside, something that seemed to be becoming somewhat of a habit. The deceit tormented me, so I threw it away. "I'll tell her later," I told myself, quenching my guilt. I allowed myself to be happy and enjoy the days we had left in Paris together.