hakeswill (hakeswill) wrote,

Smiley's People - page 295

Smiley with his ex:

"She stopped and gazed at him, and held him away from her, trying to read his answer. She whispered, "For goodness' sake," and he could see the doubt, the pride, and the hope in her face all at once, and wondered what she saw in his, because he himself had no knowledge of what he felt, except that he belonged nowhere near her, nowhere near this place; she was like a girl on a floating island that was swiftly moving away from him with the shadows of all her lovers gathered round her. He loved her, he was indifferent to her, he observed her with the curse of detachment, but she was leaving him. If I do not know myself, he thought, how can I tell who you are? He saw the lines of age and pain and striving that their life together had put there. She was all he wanted, she was nothing, she reminded him of someone he had once known a long time ago; she was remote to him, he knew her entirely. He saw the gravity in her face and one minute wondered that he could ever have taken it for profindity; the next, he despised her dependence on him, and wanted only to be free of her. He wanted to call out "Come back" but he didn't do it; he didn't even put out a hand to stop her from slipping away."

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