Suddenly famous, he began to indulge in joys never before available to h im, especially attention. He loved the ocean of eager listeners, rapt as they stared, intoxicated with adoration. Yet he never succumbed to their lust, try though they might, his fidelity stayed pure. I don’t know how tempted he was, but I do know he had ample opportunity to enjoy several casual relations with very attractive ladies.
In fact, I have to confess to swimming in his wak but I never saw him weaken, heard him time and again talk about her, his mystery woman, his anima, the pinnacle of his dreams. Like Prince with his Bible, he chased them away. Which, of course, only made them want him more.
After Tim was identified as the love letter author, speculation immediately started to identify Milady. He only shook his head when they asked, muttered evasively that she would know and for the rest, it was none of their business.
Feeding their interest, begging guesses that ranged from members of the royal family to his mum, although there were definitely passages in known letters that argued against the mother readig, some celebrity theories were interesting, using literary historical analysis, if not entirely plausible. Theories based on women Tim knew or was reputed to know came close to the mark, too close for comfort.
When one theory claimed my wife was his love, I had to think twice about that, even knowing what I knew, because the reasoning was so sensible.
But the reality was that no one else really knew about his fling with Marylou, clandenstine as it was, the only reason I knew was my role as apparent alibi, so no one suspected her, no one spoke her name.
At first, the attention, the desire to unravel the mystery filled Tim with terror, then anxiety, nervousness but finally he forgot, having fixed his responses, enjoying the result, ignoring the risks until he became dulled, apathetic even.
And then the interview came upon him.
And then he spoke her name.