115 Doxtater Pt. 4 (Image: “Despair”)

Mary Kent stood up and took charge of the preparations—expertly pouring careful amounts of the three liquids into the cups and stirring until a bit of froth appeared on the surface of the hot beverage. She handed a steaming cup to John and held out her own in a toast.

“Here’s to the enduring clinical contributions of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and the human condition insights of the Electra and Oedipus myths,” she pronounced.

As she sipped her drink she looked around the room taking notice of an open book laying face down on the hutch.

“Dante’s Inferno?” she asked as she picked it up. “I think you’re the first person I ever met that read the Inferno of his own volition.”

“Years ago I started reading a classic a month,” John explained. “Last month it was Death In Vienna.” I haven’t decided what next month will be.”

The girl spotted the picture of Vera and Sam on the hutch.

“Oh,” she said smiling, “is this your wife and little girl?” as she put down the book and picked up the picture. “They’re both very pretty. She has your eyes and your wife’s mouth and cheek bones.”

“Yes—thank you.” John Provisano replied.

“Is one of them named Samantha?” she returned.

“Yes,” the major replied surprised, “how did you know?”

“You said, ‘Samantha’ in your sleep last night,” Mary Kent continued as she put the picture back. “Who’s who?”

“My wife—at least she is at the moment,” John returned, “is Vita—but I almost never call my daughter Samantha—I always call her Sam.”

“Then who’s ‘Samantha’?” the girl asked. John hesitated then replied.

“Someone I knew during the war,” he acknowledged.

Mary Kent paused—thinking for a second.

“You named your daughter after an old girlfriend!” she burst out half accusing and half giggling. “And Vera was OK with that?”

For a few seconds Major Provisano sat silently eating his oatmeal feeling like a child caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

“Vita doesn’t know anything about the other Samantha,” He responded. “You look a lot like her—and you’re about the same age she was. She was from Buckinghamshire,” John admitted.

Silent for another second the girl snickered.

“Last night—you weren’t having sex with me,” she said, “you were making love to your old girlfriend Samantha.”

The major put down his spoon and wiped his mouth with a napkin.

“Well—it’s a bit more complicated than that,” he said, “but—yes—in part.” He glanced at the picture of Vera and Sam.

“I love them,” he intoned, “I’ve hurt them—betrayed them…”

Mary Kent stood up.

“They don’t have to know,” she said. “I’m certainly not going to tell them.”

“Secrets in a marriage are like poison,” John said.

“Oh—and like telling Vera all about us would be beneficial to your relationship?” she returned.

End part four

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