She extended her arm, to help him up, but like a wounded animal, refused her offer. His face was like a crumpled piece of forgotten scrap paper.
‘I’m sorry Elizabeth, keep the wine, and the flowers, it’s not your fault I let you down.’
‘Thomas, we can talk about this.’
‘It’s best for all concerned if we don’t get too involved, my church wouldn’t approve of ignoring my wedding vows.’
‘You should have told me you were married,’ Elizabeth whispered, and steered him to the sofa.
Thomas was like a child who had been found eating from the biscuit tin.
‘I should have told you from the start, but Martha has always suffered with bouts of nervous episodes. She’s so vulnerable. I’m frightened to leave her alone in case she hurts herself.’
‘Thomas, there’s no need to apologise.’ Elizabeth squeezed his hand, it felt so weak beneath hers.
‘I don’t deserve a woman like you.’
‘No, I love you even more Thomas. Not many men would stick with a woman with depression. You’ve put up with so much already. I’m sorry I got angry.’
‘Martha is my responsibility and my vows are important to me. I promise, one day I will tell her, but she is very fragile now.’
‘I’ll wait as long as it takes.’ Elizabeth said.