LEAVING BOLOLO is the third of three linked stories. The first story is titled BOLOLO; the second id titled MY WEDDING DAY. They precede LEAVING BOLOLO on this blogsite.

When George Templeton and I came out of the guesthouse with our duffels, dawn was just creeping into the sky. Rain had fallen heavily for an hour after I returned to bed, but the clouds had scattered and were clearing. We had tea and toast while CAM Africans loaded the rear of the Ford Explorer with gear and packages to be delivered to Mondombe. Dave Roberts shook our hands on his way to the surgery; he was operating even on his wedding day. I half-expected to see Elizabeth, but she hadn’t appeared by the time we crept out of Bololo Station.
We encountered potholes in the road almost immediately. George took the first turn at the wheel. I was still tired from my long swim in the river, but it was impossible to sleep. Potholes were hard to distinguish in the dawn half-light. Once we hit a few of them, I scanned the road as intently as George did, pointing out trouble spots if I thought he hadn’t seen them.
We made slow progress, passing occasional villages. The country was hilly and we drove up and down, up and down. The rain had stopped hours before; in many places rushing water had cut gullies two to four inches deep across the surface of the road. At the bottom of the each descent, we encountered crude bridges over streams; they were merely a series of logs laid the same direction as the road. George worried about the vehicle slipping off the logs into the streambed and about the condition of the logs themselves. I regularly left my seat to test the logs, walking ahead of the vehicle. I signaled it forward when I sensed the bridge could hold its weight.
We did not arrive at Mondombe until after dark. Instead of being greeted the way we had been at Bololo, everyone making a festive fuss about the presence of George, the Central African Mission’s great benefactor, the mood was gloomy and depressed. Virtually all the missionaries were assembled in the living room of the home of Dr. Ronald Roberts, the older brother of Bololo’s Dr. Dave. They crowded around the radio. Some sat on the floor, others stood with grave expressions on their faces.
Dr. Ron shook our hands quietly and steered us into the kitchen. His once-pretty wife, her gray hair pulled back in a bun, her glasses askew where she had been wiping tears from her eyes, dished tuna casserole onto plates and handed them to us. Before we could thank her, she turned her back to us, overcome by tears. She moved into the pantry where shelves were stacked heavy with cans of tuna and vegetables. From the living room came the crackle of voices on the radio. As she stood in the pantry, her back to us, I felt her listening to those voices.
“There’s coffee here if you’d like some,” Ron Roberts said distractedly. He gestured to a tall thermos and some mugs. “All kinds of confusion over at Bololo,” he added. “One of the girls is missing.”
George and I glanced at one another.
The missionary looked at us oddly. “You were just over there, weren’t you?” he said, as if only then realizing where we’d come from. “Maybe you met her. Elizabeth Jenkins. My brother was supposed to marry her today.”
“She’s missing?” George asked, incredulous.
“People saw her at dawn–”
“We left about dawn,” I said.
“She was around then,” the doctor said, ”but when she was supposed to be getting dressed for the wedding, no one could find her. Lucas and Ruthie looked everywhere for her. Thought maybe she’d turn up at the church. She’s an independent-minded gal, mature for her age. That’s why she’d make a good wife for Dave, despite the age difference.” The wife emerged from the pantry, studiedly looking at the floor. She pushed past us and hurried into the living room. Ron Roberts ran a hand through his hair. “But she wasn’t at the church. She’s vanished.”
Neither George nor I said a word. I had arrived at Mondombe feeling famished, but now my hunger disappeared in the same way that Elizabeth Jenkins evidently had. I put my plate on the counter and poured myself some coffee.
“There’s two things could’ve happened,” Ron Roberts went on. “Local chief over there could’ve had her kidnapped. He wanted Elizabeth for his son and Lucas Jenkins wouldn’t hear of it. But I don’t think that’s it. He’s always supported our work and Dave patched him up one time after he’d had an accident.”
“Have they talked to him?” I asked.
“Yes. To him. And his daughter who’s a pal of Elizabeth. They say they have no idea what happened to her. Dave thinks they don’t. Lucas Jenkins isn’t so sure, but that’s what you’d expect of him.”
“Could she have run away?” George asked. “She was pretty young to marry.”
“Where’d she go?” Ron Roberts asked. “She didn’t take any clothes. Didn’t take any money, not that she had much. Didn’t leave a note.”
There was a silence. For some reason I knew what was going to fill it. I took up my plate again and forced the tuna casserole into my mouth.
“The other possibility is–” Again the silence. It created a hollowness in me. Finally he spoke the words: “Cannibals got her.”
George put down his plate. I did the same. It would have been a sacrilege to touch food while these words hung in the air. Once more the silence. It slowly faded. I again became conscious of the crackling voices from the radio in the living room.
“These things happen,” Ron Roberts said.
“But how?” George asked, his voice a croak, a whisper of astonishment. I glanced at him. He was appalled, but inclined to believe. I was not. Nothing was ever said about cannibalism in Kenya and I thought it was missionary juju. I turned away from them.
“Savagery’s making a comeback out here,” Ron Roberts explained to George. “This is one of the most savage places on earth. Read a little history. Read what the first explorers found when they came here.”
“Read what the first explorers did when they came here,” I interjected. “King Leopold and the Belgians. This place was worse than Auschwitz and Buchenwald.” George turned to me, dismayed by my sudden vehemence.
Roberts regarded me patronizingly as if I were an ignorant anti-missionary liberal that hospitality required him to tolerate. “You’re in denial, friend,” he told me.
“Bullshit,” I said.
“Stay calm,” George advised. “I know it’s hard to believe.”
“We’re tiny spots of light in this huge benighted jungle,” Roberts informed George. “We made progress for a while. But since that kleptomaniac Mobutu took power, all our gains have disappeared. Savagery’s on the rise. Believe me. Our Africans know it; they don’t much care. That’s how bad the paralysis is.” George nodded and we were silent a moment. Roberts shook his head. “If it turns out Elizabeth was taken by cannibals–” His voice faded on the air. “Well, I don’t know what the next step is.”
I could stand neither this talk nor the improbable thought of Elizabeth dead. I went outside. Everyone on the station seemed to be either in the Roberts’ living room or standing outside it. Africans stood there, crowding at the edge of the verandah in bewildered groups holding flashlights or kerosene lanterns.
I hurried away from the house, feeling alone, grateful that I was less interesting to the Africans than what was going on in the house. I went down to the river that flowed below the station. I stripped off my clothes and walked into the quiet and welcoming coolness of the water. Once I washed the day away and cleansed myself of talk of cannibalism, I felt sane again.
The night was very warm. The water soothed me. As I swam on my back, my feet kicking easily, my hands working lightly at my sides, I watched the thousands of stars. I felt almost as if I were floating among them. Eventually people began to leave the Roberts house. I saw their feet lighted by lantern glow and flashlight beams.
I left the water, moved to the pile of my clothes and wiped the river water off with my hands. As I reached for my undershorts, I heard someone call my name. I looked around and through the darkness saw a figure moving toward me. “Olecko,” the voice said. It was Elizabeth.
Standing there, clad only in the night, I felt a profound relief that she was here and okay. We embraced, holding each other tightly. When I looked at her for an explanation, she said only, “I couldn’t marry Doctor Dave.”
We embraced again and kissed fumblingly, awkwardly – she had not been kissed much – our bodies pressed together. Lolling in the water I could not believe that she had been carried off, but the thought of that possibility made me wish I had obliged her the previous night when she came to my bed. Now my body was responding to her presence, her warm nearness. I released her. I turned away. I did not want her, the mission station virgin, to notice my arousal. I shucked on my jeans, slipped into my sandals and picked up the rest of my clothes in my arms.
“How did you get here?” I asked.
She grinned. “In the Ford Explorer.”
“With George and me?”
She nodded and gave a laugh that she immediately stifled, putting her hand to her mouth. “No one can know.”
“Someone at Bololo must know,” I said.
She gave me an impish smile. “I came to say goodbye to you,” she explained. “I saw you talking to Dave.” She took my hand in the darkness. “I knew that if I married him I would never see you again. Or anyone like you.”
I felt apprehensive. Had she done this for me?
“Or ever have my own life.” She shrugged. “So I jumped into the back of the vehicle and crawled under the tarpaulin. When Ndeki came with your duffels I showed myself. I swore him to silence. He packed the gear around me so that I would be okay.”
“Are you okay?”
“I’m stiff,” she admitted. “And I’m famished.”
“People are very worried about you. They think cannibals got you.”
“Well, they didn’t,” she said. “Do you have anything I could eat?”
I went up to the station guesthouse where George and I were staying. I found my duffel in the room where I would sleep, removed two Power Bars from my gear and returned with them to the place where she was waiting at the river.
“There must be Africans who know you’re here,” I said. She nodded. “They won’t reveal you’re here?”
“They always know more than they tell,” she replied.
“Where are you going to sleep?”
“Can I come to your room?”
We agreed that she would come after the station generators cut off. I would leave the doors open for her and hope that George would be asleep. The driving had been long and hard; George had done most of it. I knew he was tired.
When I returned to the guesthouse, George was reading a Bible in the living room. He glanced at me, then read aloud. “‘Yea, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.’” He put the book down. “I know this disturbs you.” I nodded. “Me, too.”
I waited on the narrow single bed under the mosquito net. I wore my jeans because Elizabeth would share the bed with me; sleeping outside the mosqutio net was not an option. George began to snore. I could hear the ebb and flow of his breathing and felt certain Elizabeth could hear it, too, all the way to the river. The room was so hot that at last I pulled off my jeans and wore only my shorts. I fell asleep before Elizabeth came.
As she crawled beneath the mosquito net, I woke. “I couldn’t tell if it was you snoring or George,” she said. She snuggled down beside me, wearing only underpants.
We lay side by side. I kept my arms above my head, seeking to elongate myself, trying not to touch her. But the bed was too narrow for us to lie side by side in it without touching. For a time she lay completely still, her hands folded atop her breastbone. When I glanced down at her, her lips were moving. “I was saying prayers,” she told me. She turned beside me. She had small breasts, but they touched my rib cage and burned there. She kissed my shoulder. “Thank you for rescuing me,” she said.
We lay awake for a long time. I wondered if she knew that in the larger world beyond the island the missionaries had created men found the sight and feel of women’s breasts arousing. When I finally slept, I did so fitfully for I feared that I would turn toward her while asleep, wrap my arms about her and not be responsible for what happened.
Before dawn I supervised reloading the Ford Explorer and did my best to make sure Elizabeth was comfortable on the floor beneath the tarpaulin. Once we got on the road, headed for Kisangani, George drove without speaking. We were both waking up. He stopped at bridges. I got out to inspect them, waved him forward, and returned to my seat beside him. This happened without a word passing between us. Finally he mentioned our discussion of cannibalism with Ron Roberts and I realized he was miffed with me for challenging our host. “Those people have bought into a myth,” I said, defending myself. “I can guarantee you that Elizabeth Jenkins was not captured by cannibals.”
“How would you know?” he asked.

Finally I said, “Here’s a metaphysical conundrum for you. If you are told by missionaries that cannibals exist and snatch children and young adults, but the only evidence you have of them is the missionaries’ belief in them– Well, do they really exist?”
He was silent for a long time. Then he said, “You don’t believe it.”
I shook my head.
“Then what happened to Elizabeth?” he asked.
I ignored the question. “For some reason we are willing to believe that Africans are capable of unspeakable depravity,” I said. “Whites come into this country. They’re hungry for raw rubber and ivory and they murder and enslave the populace to get it. Lop off men’s hands. Starve them. Put them in stockades. Eat them every way except factually – and yet somehow it is still the Africans who are thought to be so depraved that they feed on their own kind.”
Neither of us spoke for a long while. At last George said, “I want to get out of this country.”
“This benighted country,” I said. “The heart of darkness. Which is reverting to savagery at the speed of light.”
“You don’t believe it?” George asked.
“I don’t know what to believe. Except that it’s a contention that very conveniently feeds the martyr complex of missionaries. Who are well-intentioned – even truly good – people. They just cannot believe that doing things any way but their way could possibly be okay.”
When we stopped for lunch at the side of the road, we had not encountered a single vehicle. George set the cooler on the hood of the vehicle; someone at Mondombe had made sandwiches for us. I opened the rear of the Explorer, pulled our luggage from it and set it on the road. When I rolled back the tarpaulin, Elizabeth stared at me with frightened eyes. “It’s all right,” I said. I helped her onto the road.
When George saw her, he almost overturned the sandwich cooler.
“Not eaten,” I said.
“Hasn’t eaten,” Elizabeth corrected. “I’m starved.”
George laughed with relief and handed her a sandwich. “Did you plot this together?” he asked me.
“No.” I said. “I was as surprised as you.”
He listened without comment to Elizabeth’s account of why she was with us. He nodded when she explained that she could not spend her life having babies and making meals for a man – however good he was, however important the work he did – whom she did not know. Her decision to flee had been sudden, but it was irrevocable. She implored, “Please don’t send me back.”
“You better eat,” was all George said. He spoke hardly at all the rest of the day.
We spent the night drawn into the yard of a derelict building with half its corrugated iron roof pulled off. George and I took turns sitting guard in the Explorer. When half a dozen warriors carrying hunting nets discovered us and drew near shortly before dawn, I honked the horn. They jumped, whirling as one man, and raced off into the gloom.
We reached Kisangani late the next afternoon and stayed three days waiting for George to set up a plane to Nairobi. It was clear that Elizabeth had not been in a real town in a very long time. She looked at everything with her intelligent and eager curiosity, but she also held onto my wrist or hand wherever we went, wanting to make sure that she never got separated from me. George got us top floor rooms in the best hotel, one for him, and because she would not stay alone, one for Elizabeth and me. He told me, “You be with her. Keep her out of sight. And don’t take any liberties.”
The way people stared at Elizabeth, we realized reports were circulating of a missing girl fitting her description. When George contacted the local CAM missionaries, they wanted to know all about the girl who had vanished. Was it really cannibalism?
So while he arranged our Nairobi flight and made the pay-offs necessary to get proper documents for Elizabeth, I tended her – babysat her really. She was like a precocious child. Questions popped into her head about the most improbable things: What became of refuse when you flushed a toilet? How did vending machines work? Why were buildings built so tall? Did they often fall down? When I assured her they did not, she became intrigued by elevators; it seemed magical to her that she could enter a room on one floor and leave it on another. She wanted to see everything in the town, but, of course, was forbidden to do so. So she spent hours gazing from the balcony of our room, asking questions about everything she did not understand. If she was partly a child, she was also partly a woman, one with intelligence and a quick sense of humor.
She announced that she wanted to be called Liz. She was leaving Elizabeth behind. I realized that without knowing it she had been readying herself to leave Bololo for some time. I liked being with her. I sometimes wondered if I were attracted to her. I decided that it was merely a matter of our being thrown together.
Without consulting George, our second night in Kisangani, I took her out of the hotel for a walk around town. And a little shopping. We got her new underwear, a pair of shorts and a top and something that would serve as a nightie. I was disappointed in the quality of the merchandise, but she could not keep wearing the same set of clothes. She had no idea what money was worth, but her mission background convinced her that everything was too expensive. If people looked at us suspiciously as we walked, I put my arm around her shoulders; she wrapped her arm around my waist. The missing white girl would probably have been reported taken by Africans. We passed as European tourists.
The walk exhilarated her. Back at the hotel we sprayed ourselves against mosquitoes and went onto the balcony to watch the street life down below. After a moment she went back inside. Left alone, I wondered: What on earth is George going to do with her in Kenya? He was antsy about his wife discovering that he had become involved with a teenage mission girl. But getting her out of Kenya would be as complicated as getting her out of the Congo. When she came back outside, she was wearing her new clothes. She was fairly purring. “I feel like a new woman,” she said. “Now I’m really Liz.”
Back inside, we got ready for the night. It was warm in the room. In the bathroom she changed into the light nightie we had bought. While she was there, I changed into new boxers, got into bed and turned off the light. She left the bathroom and sat down on my bed. She asked, “Aren’t you going to kiss me goodnight?”
“I’m already asleep,” I said.
“You fat liar. My parents always kissed me goodnight.”
“I’m not your parents.”
“I can’t get to sleep unless someone kisses me goodnight.”
“What does ‘bullshit’ mean?” She giggled.
“It means I’m not kissing you goodnight.”
“You think I’m ugly, don’t you?”
“I’m not playing this game.”
“I don’t know how to kiss and I want to know.”
This was undoubtedly true. Liz would want to know how.
“Puh-leeze,” she said exaggeratedly. “When Dr. Dave kissed me goodnight. I knew we both needed lessons. If he’d known how to kiss me, I’d have stayed. I’d be in bed with him right now, kissing him.”
I turned my back and faced the other way. I heard some rustling. She came around to the other side of the bed. She giggled. Then:
“Now will you kiss me?” she asked.
I looked up. She was naked. In the ambience of the room, from the dimness of the streetlights down below, I had no trouble seeing her. She looked very womanly, very tempting. Her breasts were larger than I had thought. I did not want to deal with this, especially since George would consider this taking liberties.
“Put that thing back on and I’ll kiss you.”
“A real kiss?”
“A real one. Put it back on.”
“You’re no fun.”
“Back on.”
She did a little dance around the bed and flirtatiously put the nightie back on. Truth be known, I was disappointed. I sat up in bed, took her by the shoulders so that I was not embracing her and gave her a real kiss.
“Wow!” she said. “That’s not at all how Dave does it.”
“That’s how I do it. Now go to bed.”
We both lay awake for a while. Finally I heard her regular breathing. I thought, If this keeps up, my resolve will falter. In fact, I wondered if my saying no was really the best thing to do. Here was a young woman, old enough for marriage by African standards, who had a lot of catching up to do. I would not have thought that sex was the best place to start. But if she wanted to start there, once we took her to Kenya what would happen to her? Maybe caring sex was something she should have a taste of. That’s sophistry, but it made an awful lot of sense just then.
The next day we played three games of Scrabble. We told each other our life stories. Since these tended to be boring – I admitted to only one girlfriend – I embellished accounts of my travels in Europe with fanciful episodes of international intrigue and lurid crime. We had a room service dinner of cheese sandwiches and bananas, played a game of checkers and then took another nocturnal walk.
When we returned, it was almost midnight. We got into our nightclothes. I kissed her again, a tepid “real kiss.” We got into our separate queen-size beds. We turned out the light and waited for sleep.
She said, “I want to be called Liz.” I made no reply. Finally she said, “Well?”
“Goodnight, Liz.”
“Elizabeth was all right for Bololo. My mother’s name for me.” She was silent for a moment, then added, “But now that I’m a new person, I want to be Liz.”
“Goodnight, Liz.”
We said no more. I had dozed off; then I felt the bed move. Elizabeth – excuse me, Liz – had slipped into bed beside me. “What are you doing?” I asked.
“What’s it like sleeping with another person?”
“No idea. I’ve only had one girlfriend. Remember?”
“What language! Where did you learn that?”
She said nothing for a long spell. Finally she moved over and snuggled beside me. I reviewed my thoughts of the previous night that maybe learning about this was the best thing for her development. Bullshit, I told myself.
“Liz would like to be kissed,” she said.
I said nothing, did nothing.
“Are you having trouble with IT?” she asked. I made no reply. “I know men need IT to stay on an even keel.”
“Who told you that?”
“I know that for men IT is like a force of nature they can’t control.”
“Who fed you this bunkum?”
She nestled beside me and I realized she was naked.
“Does that bother you?” she asked.
“Liz wants to know about more than kisses, doesn’t she?”
“I know this is like one of the terrible African rainstorms. Isn’t it?” She giggled and placed a hand on my chest. “The wind starts howling: ooo-ooo!” She made an ooo-ing sound. “Palm fronds blow away.” She waved her hand above my face. “The first drops come, lightly on the roof.” She skittered her fingertips lightly across my chest, back and forth, then in a circle that grew bigger and bigger. I took her hand before the raindrops got intimate. “Then they pound and pound and pound. Is that what it’s like for you?”
I kissed her.
“Mmm! Liz likes that.”
I kissed her more slowly, more deeply.
I crouched beside her and kissed her body.
“Mmm!” She wrapped her arms around me.
“You’re too young for this,” I said.
I laughed and got out of the bed.
“Don’t go! Please!”
I shucked off my shorts, got a condom and returned to bed. We became lovers.
I was as gentle and unhurried as I could manage. When it was over, she said, “That hurt.” I held her and told her to sleep. We woke as the first light was stretching across the sky. She said, “Let’s do it again. Maybe it won’t hurt so much in the daylight.”
When I told George that liberties had occurred, he gazed at me, severely disappointed. I asked, “What happens to her when we get to Nairobi?”
“I’ve been wondering,” he said. “I’m sure I can get her a passport.”
“Can you take her to the States?”
He shook his head. His wife who had stayed watching animals would be with him. They could not appear to be trying to slip a young woman out of Africa against her parents’ will. “Can she stay in Kenya?” he asked. “Can you look after her?”
“I’m a school teacher,” I said.
“Can you get her into the school?” he asked. “I’ll take care of the expenses.”
Once we got to Nairobi – and before his wife flew in – George succeeded in securing Elizabeth an American passport. The deputy headmaster assured me that an exception could be made; she could enroll in the school where I taught. When the Templetons left, Mrs. Templeton assuming that Elizabeth was the daughter of American expatriates in Kenya, everything seemed to have been worked out.
The next week, however, the Kikuyu headmaster overruled the decision of his Kalenjin deputy. In what seemed a matter of tribal one-up-manship, I was informed that Elizabeth could enroll only if she were my wife. In which case, of course, she would be living with me. When I explained this to Elizabeth, she burst into tears. She was still very dependent on me; she refused to go into Nairobi streets alone. “I should have obeyed my parents,” she cried. I shook my head. “Well, will you marry me then?” she asked.
I went to the Kenya Marriage Registry office. I ingratiated myself to a clerk, gave him one hundred dollars American and received in return a certificate affirming that Elizabeth and I were man and wife. But were we married? It was one of those metaphysical conundrums. I tried to explain it to Liz. “We are not married,” I told her, showing her the certificate. “This paper says we are. But we aren’t really.”
She nodded, looking at me with huge eyes.
“But we love each other,” she said. “We do love each other, don’t we?”
I assured her we did. “But it isn’t the kind of love married people feel.”
“Let’s say vows,” she suggested.
I stalled. I did not want to exchange vows. “We’ll have to think about the kind of vows we’d make.”
That night when we were in bed together, holding one another, she said, “I love you, Nate. I always will. That’s my vow.”
“I will not let you make that vow at seventeen,” I said.
“Then what kind of vow can I make? Will you make a vow?”
“I vow,” I said, “always to be your friend. To love you as a friend.” Sensing that she might cry, I began to laugh. “And,” I added, “I will take care of you until you finish high school.”
She repeated this vow and we kissed and made love. “We are getting better at this,” she said. “I understand why Mutimba thinks about it so much.”
“Do you think about it a lot?” I asked.
“Hmm,” she replied drowsily. “Do you?”
Elizabeth completed her third year of high school in Nanyuki. She lived with me as my wife. When my teaching contract was not renewed, we returned to the States with George Templeton’s help. He found me a job in Newport Beach and we established residency so that when Elizabeth finished high school the following year – as she did – she would qualify for a resident’s admission to the University of California system. I repeatedly suggested that she tell her parents where she was living – cheaply in Costa Mesa – but while she was still in high school, she refused. When she won admission to UC San Diego, she rented a post office box, informed her parents that she was alive and suggested they write her there.
Although she was “married” in high school, she went off to UCSD as a single woman. We agreed that she must have a life independent of me. No one at the university was to know that the law had ever considered her married. Or that she might have considered herself married. I stayed nearby so that she would not feel abandoned. I was less than an hour away if she needed me.
Our being apart seemed right to me. A mentor should not be sleeping with the woman he mentors. A young person coming of age should not keep trying to please the person who has parented her.
She is now in her fourth year at UCSD. She expects to graduate in June. I am back in Kenya, teaching at a secondary school in Nairobi. George Templeton has promised Elizabeth a trip to Africa when she graduates: to Kenya to see me, to Congo to see her parents who write to her that Kabila’s takeover of the country has speeded the reversion to savagery. Cannibalism is once more on the rise.
Elizabeth writes me she has had boyfriends; she even lived with one man for a while. She knows there is a Kenyan woman whom I see. She writes that she loves me, in fact has always loved me since the night she came to my room in the guesthouse at Bololo. She claims that when she is with other men there is always a withholding. The withholding is about me. She cannot give herself fully, she says, to any other man.
Her letters perplex me. How can she love me? Isn’t it just a matter of my having romantically imprinted on her at a moment of emotional susceptibility?
Yet strangely I, too, feel toward her an emotional– Connection? Attachment? Commitment? I’m not sure what. Is it possible that I love her? When I met her, I was a man. She had just turned seventeen, a mission kid. And yet… There is also a withholding in me. When I am with women, Elizabeth is always there, too. Can this be love? Perhaps we’ll find out when she comes to visit in June.