I was rereading a collection of short stories by William Trevor when I came across a passage in one of his stories that gave me pause. I remember the first time I read the story I had stopped at the same place, and something about it stayed with me, because ever since then, at odd moments here and now, that passage will flash through my mind and I can still feel the potency of it.
An infidelity occurs in the story, and the passage takes place in the middle of a difficult conversation between the husband and wife. The wife has just confessed to her husband of the summer love affair she had with a man named Sebastian. She says to him:
“I ended it. And besides, it wasn’t much.”
And then the passage:
A silence grew between them. ‘I love you,’ Sebastian had said no longer ago than last June, and in July and in August and September also. And she had loved him too. More than she loved anyone else, more than she loved her children: that thought had been there. Yet now she could say it wasn’t much.
Few tasks are more tedious than explaining in detail why you love a piece of art, so I won’t — but I love this paragraph, and I love the last sentence of this paragraph. It is so well written, so plain, and so true. >> Continue reading..