She always liked bossing. There were two girls there, younger than herself who were her great friends. It was not long before I dubbed them her “body-guard”—she lived under the fallacy that she was so delicately constituted psychically, that she must be protected. No strange person of the street must be allowed to sit next to her in trams or boats. She could not go in crowds, she told me. She used to linger near when the “Great One,” as they called the lecturer, strode down from the platform that she might mingle in his aura and carry the influence home with her.
Read alsoLove Me, Hurt Me: A Husband's Tale of Torture Volume 3
It was my birthday and my wife, Karen, decided to give me a surprise. I had worked all day, so while I was at work, she spent the day preparing my birthday surprise for me. I had no idea what it was going to be, because if I had, I probably would have run out of the building as fast as my legs would have carried me. When I…
At that time I did not know what an “aura” meant.
Tony mystified me. He said very little, and held aloof. Yet although he seldom spoke to her I felt he was almost always conscious of Sybil.
The sight of those girls’ hanging about and pretending to be busy talking to each other till the Great One should march past them, disgusted me. I stood apart, and one day found myself by Tony’s side.
I began to talk of Carpenter and the “Drama of Love and Death.” In no time I was entranced. Here was enthusiasm. He was at home with every book I mentioned.
We soon became good chums’ for when we talked of books we forgot everything else; so that while Sybil was waiting to have the aura of the Great One showered over her we were talking so hard that we used to wander off and walk home together, before we noticed that she had not followed.
This made Sybil furious—Anyone might have thought it was jealousy because Tony was her friend and she did not like to share him—but it was not that; she felt I was her property—it was rivalry she felt with Tony—I was her proselyte and she was furious with him for intervening.
She began to talk about me to the others—I felt she was doing it, Tony used to look on and say nothing and try to save me from her. I used to see his eyes glaring, as he stood with folded arms, just as he had stood when first I met him. He did not appear to watch her, but I knew he was conscious of her all the time, and disapproving.