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Simone by Sunlight: Can People-Pleasing Save a Romance?

Our relationship, as I discussed in the previous installment, centered largely on the sea — going there at night, sitting outside at the beach cafés, something we both loved. Wine, waves, airplane lights floating in, sounds of techno-jazz bubbling up from speakers.

It lasted until a night in early October — a night with a thrill, an excitation in it, troops of swift waves rushing the shore, towering, grey, ghostly clouds over the water. I was feeling pretty high. Here I was, with wine and my French girl. If there was something better I could have ordered from the menu, I wasn’t sure what it was.

Simone, though, was cold — relentlessly cold, shivering. Nothing helped, even though it was — I thought — only a mild wind blowing in from the sea.

She said the season was now turning too cold and this would be the last night we could sit out here. I said next time she could just wear something warmer. She said — an edge in her voice — that it would not help to wear something warmer. It was too cold.

Not long after, still sitting there, she at last told me about her disease. She had had it years ago, and gotten over it, but it had left her with a cold sensitivity.

That explained the summer mornings in the apartment.