Chapter 11 - Moth

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Valentina's view of romantic relationships and people as a whole, were heavily coloured by her past romantic experiences. Romances that eventually ended in break-up were never nice but they did offer the benefit of teaching valuable life lessons. She had been in love twice before and thought she had grown wiser and stronger for them; however nothing could have prepared her for the great, unravelling chasm of heartbreak she found herself in from falling in love with Rex.

It was a strange story that she found difficult to understand now herself (the little she allowed herself to remember)... She had been in charge in the beginning, but the tables had turned quickly. She did make several tepid attempts to end the ill-fated love affair and "move on". Yet every time Valentina ever even took notice of some handsome (and younger) guy, who appeared as though he might actually be a contender for her affections –and in contrast to her existing circumstances there were quite enough of these dreamboats floating about London and the Caribbean at the time– Rex would reel her in. A few well placed words about their deep, kindred connection and that he was going through a confusing period in his life and very sorry... that he couldn't bear the excruciating thought of losing her (he even went into histrionics that he was convinced she was going to "abandon" him once or twice)... and Valentina would drop the latest 'dreamboat' without a second thought and shortly be back at Rex's side cheering him on and hanging on to his every word, with slavish adoration.

Rex's recollection (the little he allowed himself to remember) was strangely quite different to that of the girl's, whose voice he had once needed to hear before going to bed each night:

'He hadn't ever been that keen, really. Of course, he had LIKED the dear girl. He thought she was "quirky and quite cool actually," "...interesting," "...someone nice to hang out with." Truth be told, it was his mother and his aunt (or rather her best friend) who had wanted the relationship.' They had seen Valentina first and for some strange reason became enchanted with the "absolutely lovely girl," claiming she was perfect for him and felt certain she would "banish the demons in him." They had never approved of any of his romantic choices: "always racy, hot-blooded, exotic types." After yet another shameful, smash-up affair with the already inappropriate girlfriend of a family friend –being that he was no closer to getting back with his more than suitable ex wife and all-in-all seemed headed full speed toward disaster– an intervention was in order. And so, mummy and aunty found a more suitable racy, hot-blooded, exotic type: "this one with good breeding at least." They hinted and pushed and complained... until finally! he gave up and agreed to approach the girl, just to get them off his back. He felt very sorry for the darling girl. She was an absolute angel, but woefully he had never had any truly serious feelings for her. It wasn't his fault she had fallen so deeply in love with him. He had tried to avoid the inconvenient debacle.'

The fact was however, he had been keen. VERY KEEN... for a little while.

Oddly enough, at first it was Valentina who hadn't been interested and it incensed Rex. 'No one ever said "no" to HIM! What was wrong with her?! He was after all more than a little attractive (so he was told) and stinking rich! He wasn't that young anymore, but he hadn't had any complaints from anyone (except perhaps the ex wife and she was dreadful).'

At first, Valentina avoided Rex –a man she deemed a childish, unstable, characterless playboy– as if she were trying not to catch the flu. However, after three months of persistence, she was worn down: 'He had only ever wanted one other woman as much AND HE HAD MARRIED THAT ONE!'... 'Everyone misunderstood him except her, because she was such a beautiful misfit herself. Couldn't she see they were meant for one another?'... 'He knew the pain and isolation that she suffered because others did not easily understand her, BUT HE DID, because they were the same.'... 'He wasn't going to give up, if he had to wait outside her door until he was old and grey! Because they were made for each other and if she didn't see that, then he would have to have enough sense for the two of them.'...

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