IN THE LIBRARY
Every Breath You Take by The Police begins to play and Charles nods as he takes a seat opposite me. "I understand more of your stories now I believe, though I still have so many questions."
Sighing, I finish my drink and ring the bell for George to bring me another. In moments George appears with a fresh drink and whisks away the empty glass, leaving us alone once again.
"Tell me what you understand."
"The men...you write about, it's all part of the routine. There are no casual encounters. You don't have any lovers."
Taking a large drink of martini, I follow along with the words of the song in my mind. "We have a regular Einstein. Did you come to that conclusion all on your own? Bravo."
"I..." he begins, but stops, studying me again. "In the stories you depict me as your boyfriend, which I don't understand. Ray is dead, why do you need this charade?"
Finishing the martini, I fling it into the fireplace and smile at the sound of shattering glass echoing throughout the library. Tears blur my vision, so I close my eyes before I respond.
"Ray is not dead. He will always live in me." I hold up the manuscript of Ray's book. "Do you understand?"
George enters with a tray containing two drinks and begins cleaning the broken glass in front of the fireplace. "One drink for you as well, Charles. Best mind your manners."
Gulping the martini, Charles clears his throat and pulls his shoulders back. "But we are not lovers, Ella."
I grip the desk and count in my mind to let the anger flashing across my face subside. Locking eyes with him, I speak. "It doesn't matter what you say. It's whatever I write in my notebook. You do not exist."
"So, Ray is alive and we are lovers?" he asks.
"Ray is alive. Drop that tone in your voice. And we are lovers you see, in my mind. Nothing else matters. Nothing. Do you understand?"
"Good, finish your drink. It's time to go all the way down the rabbit hole."