End Of The Affair excerpt by Graham Greene

I felt that afternoon such complete trust when she said to me suddenly, without
being questioned, 'I've never loved anybody or anything as I do you.' It was as
if, sitting there in the chair with a half-eaten sandwhich in her hand, she was
abandoning herself as quickly as she had done, five minutes back, on the hardwood
floor. We most of us hesitate to make so complete a statement - we remember and
we foresee and we doubt. She had no doubts. The moment only mattered. Eternity is
said not to be an extension of time but an absence of time, and sometimes it 
seemed to me that her abandonment touched that strange mathematical point of 
endlessness, a point with no width, occupying no space. What did time matter - 
all the past and the other men she may from time to time (there is that word
again) have known, or all the future in which she might be making the same 
statement with the same sense of truth? When I replied I loved her too in that
way, I was the liar, not she, for I never lose the consciousness of time: to me
the present is never here: it is always last year or next week.

She wasn't lying even when she said, 'Nobody else. Ever again.' There are 
contradictions in time, that's all, that don't exist on the mathematical point.
She had so much more capacity for love than I had - I couldn't bring down 
that curtain round the moment, I couldn't forget and I couldn't not fear. Even
in the moment of love, I was like the police officer gathering evidence of a 
crime that hadn't yet been committed, and when more than seven year's later I
opened Parkis's letter the evidence was all there in my memory to add to my
bitterness.

 

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