“What about the Principal?” Harry’s expression turns fierce as soon as I say the word ‘Principal’. I don’t know how to react to his sudden change in demeanor. “Did you see him? What did you talk about? Elisabeth, answer me.”
I flinch from his venomous tone. I hesitate, but decide to say what’s been on my mind.
“I… don’t think the Principal’s as bad as you say he is. He’s always so nice to me, and he’s always smiling…”
“Anyone can do that if they want to fool someone.”
“I don’t know. Not a lot of people would go out of their way to be nice to someone as young and unimportant as me.” Harry just looks at me. “What about you, Harry? Can you?”
“Don’t ask me.” Spitting out an answer, he goes back to kneading the pasta. I appeal desperately to the side of Harry’s face.
“The Principal, he told me about the woman who got away… and that she’s the reason he was never married. I’m sure he was talking about…”
“I know very well that he wasn’t married.” Harry cuts me off. “You don’t need to tell me about him. I already know. Don’t tell me all these things like it’s some amazing discovery you’ve made or something.”
“But you didn’t know about the woman he loved, did you? They were dating at the right time… It was when he was in his twenties, so it was about 20 years ago. That woman must be your mother…”
“What makes you say that? It could be some other broad.”
“I really don’t think the Principal is the type to…”
“And how the hell do you know what he is? Everyone has a dark side. People can say whatever they want about their past, change it in a way that suits them. But my mother can’t say anything anymore. She’s dead!”
“But…” Harry looks down and kneads the pasta compulsively, as if he could hide something in the dough. I swallow my hesitation, find my courage and press on.
“When you put it that way, you’re the one who sounds like you’re on the wrong side, Harry! Don’t go assuming things. You should talk to the Principal…” Harry looks up in the middle of my sentence. His cold gaze takes the words right out my mouth.
“I asked you to be my fake wife, but I didn’t ask you to find out about the Principal. Don’t stick your nose where it doesn’t belong!”
“It’s got nothing to do with you!” Harry starts to leave. I take his arm and stop him.
“Wait!” I grab his arm to stop him.
“Let go.” Seeing Harry’s icy stare, I impulsively take my hand back. He leaves the kitchen without looking back. I hear the front door close. All the fight drains from my body, and I fall to the floor. Harry’s really angry. I should have kept my mouth shut. I look at the apron he threw on the floor. When I came home he was in such a good mood, saying he was making really good pasta for dinner. I’ve never seen him look so cold. I totally struck a nerve, and didn’t even know. Tears well up and fall down my face. My heart feels heavy with the realization that all of this really is none of my business, just as he had said.
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