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Jazz Age Love This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

I remember when you said you were leaving, when you told me good riddance and goodbye. I remember how I reproached you when I found out about the affair, trying to make you regret your decisions. You ignored me, stoically slamming down the contents of your whiskey glass instead as you sat in your armchair, obviously agitated with my emotions and pleas for you to stay. I remember how I cried out to you from the veranda in front of our house as you drove away. And I remember how I spent the next few months wistfully inhaling all your scents that you’d left behind—your cologne, your aftershave, and the pungent aroma of your Cuban Quintero cigars that permeated your clothes—and remembering the happy days. Two years ago, we had fun. You were colloquial, always conversational and willing to talk. But lately, I realized that I couldn’t pretend anymore that you weren’t developing a supercilious and disdainful attitude towards my friends and me.

You always did believe that we girls should be more effeminate and dainty. You didn’t exactly object to my shorn, close-cropped hair, but I knew that you didn’t exactly approve either. You always pretended to enjoy the whimsical parties with their omnibuses of people from every class, festooned in bright, harlequin costumes. You always did pretend to enjoy the semi-gaudy, sparkling and glittering dresses that I wore, or the way I singed my hair with Marcel irons for parties. You believed it was not right, that it was inappropriate behavior for girls in that day and age. Yet, you still went along with it, that was, until a few years ago. But I think I now realize why, at the end, you started banning me from going. I regarded the truth incredulously at first, but looking back, I see how obvious it was. It was so I wouldn’t find out about her, wasn’t it? Because paradoxically, you—you the one who disapproved of me, you, who disapproved of everything—were having an affair with a girl who was more morally corrupt than I. She was always there, and I supposed I didn’t notice. You always pretended, but the truth can never be hidden forever.

You hypocrite, now I’m glad you scampered off when you did. I may have had my heart broken, but they always have said that it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.

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