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She wanted desperately to put out her hand
and clutch his arm and explain why she was
sad, and not because of Tom, who had suddenly
become quite unimportant, but because
she loved him so much and he didn't care
two straws for her.
'I'm very happy,' she said a shade too
loudly. As the waiter went past she took
another glass of champagne.
'Happy? Oh yes, and I'm sure you will
be— -because you will make your own happiness.
You'll tend it with all the care of
someone holding a last candle in the dark.
You'll learn to make do with second best; a
great many men and women do, you know.
Just a few know what real happiness is—
to love someone so much that nothing else
matters any more, only the two of you and
the life you share.' Gideon smiled faintly.
'We could have been like that, you and I. You know that deep in your heart, don't you,
my darling? And do you know something
else? If it would make you happy, I would
give up all I have and live in a desert with
you, or on top of a mountain. I'd pluck the
moon from the sky and hang the stars round
your beautiful neck. The world could be paradise.'
He sighed. 'But most of us, as I said,
make do with second best.'
Amelia drank in every word, her insides
glowing with excitement. He loved her—he
must, to talk to her like that. She had only to
explain...

The next minute she knew that she never
would. He laughed suddenly and the mockery
in his laugh was so blatant that she winced.
'What nonsense one talks at weddings! Come
and meet Fiona; we came together—we've
known each other for a long time.

Betty Neels

Betty Neels
Betty Neels

Born: September 15, 1909

Died: June 7, 2001

Profession: Writer

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