Consuelo runs away.

from The Tale of the Rose by Consuelo de Saint-Exupéry page 146 nonfiction ~2 min read

At that moment I cried out, “No, it’s not possible. I will never see him again!”

I ran away, swift as a gazelle, but one of my friends caught me and held me back with all his force, saying, “But you’re mad!”

“Yes, I’m mad from waiting, I’m afraid. I want nothing more, nothing in the world. He is alive, he is alive, that was all I wanted to know, and now I can go, I can go to a place where no one ever waits again, for anything.”

A fit of weeping calmed me down. Soon my husband was holding me in his arms. “But you look like a clown with these tears flowing on all sides. Messieurs, take a picture of my wife,” he added, turning toward the journalists. “She is none too lovely to look at today, she’s in the midst of a great tempest, so leave me alone with her. I’m the only one who can save her.” And he whispered in my ear, “Let’s go to the hotel, the two of us. Don’t be afraid. I’m with you. I have so many stories to tell you. Is it true that you tried to flee when the boat came in? Is it true that you wanted to run away? Is it true that you wanted me to go from door to door asking where you were? I would have walked all my life to find you, just as I walked on and on, despite my thirst, to see you again. Why did you want to run away?”


I was finally able to sleep again, and to smile, and I wrote to my husband to come and pick me up. I was cured; I no longer wanted to run away, I wanted only to be in his arms. I was no longer a fruit that falls from the tree but a seed that wanted to be sowed, planted in the ground for all eternity. I wanted to live in my husband’s heart. He was my star, my destiny, my faith, my end. I was small, but I had within me an immense power for living. I had gathered all the starlight in the universe into my eyes in order to bathe him in its glow.

A love like that was a serious illness, an illness from which you never entirely recover.

Soon I was unfair, jealous, belligerent, impossible to live with. I would not give so much as a smile to all the women whose names were noted down in his book every day for cocktails, lunches, meetings in Paris. I missed the clear sky God had given me when he made me Tonio’s wife. I was very bad—I couldn’t endure the feigned shyness of the young girls, the high school girls who asked him to give them his autograph on a book or a photo, to say nothing of my conduct toward the women who dared to intrude further on our intimacy.

In spite of everything, I lost the battle. Tonio needed more gentle landscapes, tenderer things, lighter baggage that could be left anywhere.

—Consuelo de Saint-Exupéry, The Tale of the Rose, p. 146