A FAREWELL TO ARMS by Ernest Hemingway

She had wonderfully beautiful hair and I would lie sometimes and watch her twisting it up in the light that came in the open door and it shone even in the night as water shines sometimes just before it is really daylight. She had a lovely face and body and lovely smooth skin too. We would be lying together and I would touch her cheeks and her forehead and under her eyes and her chin and throat with the tips of my fingers and say, “Smooth as piano keys,” and she would stroke my chin with her finger and say, “Smooth as emery paper and very hard on piano keys.”

“Is it rough?”

“No, darling. I was just making fun of you.”

It was lovely in the nights and if we could only touch each other we were happy. Besides all the big times we had many small ways of making love and we tried putting thoughts in the other one’s head while we were in different rooms. It seemed to work sometimes but that was probably because we were thinking the same thing anyway.

We said to each other that we were married the first day she had come to the hospital and we counted months from our wedding day. I wanted to be really married but Catherine said that if we were they would send her away and if we merely started on the formalities they would watch her and would break us up. We would have to be married under Italian law and the formalities were terrific. I wanted us to be married really because I worried about having a child if I thought about it, but we pretended to ourselves we were married and did not worry much and I suppose I enjoyed not being married, really. I know one night we talked about it and Catherine said, “But, darling, they’d send me away.”

“Maybe they wouldn’t.”

“They would. They’d send me home and then we would he apart until after the war.”

“I’d come on leave.”

“You couldn’t get to Scotland and back on a leave. Besides, I won’t leave you. What good would it do to marry now? We’re really married. I couldn’t be any more married.”

“I only wanted to for you.”

“There isn’t any me. I’m you. Don’t make up a separate me.”

“I thought girls always wanted to be married.”

“They do. But, darling, I am married. I’m married to you. Don’t I make you a good wife?”

“You’re a lovely wife.”

“You see, darling, I had one experience of waiting to be married.”

“I don’t want to hear about it.”

“You know I don’t love any one but you. You shouldn’t mind because some one else loved me.”

“I do.”

“You shouldn’t be jealous of some one who’s dead when you have everything.”

“No, but I don’t want to hear about it.”

“Poor darling. And I know you’ve been with all kinds of girls and it doesn’t matter to me.”

“Couldn’t we be married privately some way? Then if anything happened to me or if you had a child.”

“There’s no way to be married except by church or state. We are married privately. You see, darling, it would mean everything to me if I had any religion. But I haven’t any religion.”

“You gave me the Saint Anthony.”

“That was for luck. Some one gave it to me.”

“Then nothing worries you?”

“Only being sent away from you. You’re my religion. You’re all I’ve got.”

“All right. But I’ll marry you the day you say.”

“Don’t talk as though you had to make an honest woman of me, darling. I’m a very honest woman. You can’t be ashamed of something if you’re only happy and proud of it. Aren’t you happy?”

“But you won’t ever leave me for some one else.”

“No, darling. I won’t ever leave you for some one else. I suppose all sorts of dreadful things will happen to us. But you don’t have to worry about that.”

“I don’t. But I love you so much and you did love some one else before.”

“And what happened to him?”

“He died.”

“Yes and if he hadn’t I wouldn’t have met you. I’m not unfaithful, darling. I’ve plenty of faults but I’m very faithful. You’ll be sick of me I’ll be so faithful.”

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