We should never have happened, but we did. She was the daughter of a wealthy American industrialist and I was a struggling artist. We met at the home of my patron, another wealthy American industrialist — Paris was awash with them. When I first saw her, the world stopped. We were inseparable from then on.

I was late to our favorite bistro. She and her sister, Cecile, were already there, heads together, Cecile scribbling furiously. Audrey was bubbling with excitement, she was breathtaking.

They’d received a cable from their father. He needed them at home and had booked two tickets on the next boat to New York. It left in three days and they were in a frenzy of preparations.

My heart dropped. She was leaving me. When Audrey saw my face, she kissed me.

“You’re such a silly,” she whispered in my ear. “Let’s get married before I leave. I’ll book you on the boat after ours. It’ll give me time to prepare Daddy.”

We married in Southampton the day before she left.

The next morning I dried her tears. We’d be together soon. Their ship was new and unsinkable, and our lives were just beginning.



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