"An express letter for you, Pascal," said Marguerite, coming into the room where her brother was working.
"Thank you," said Pascal with a smile. Unhurriedly he tore off the perforated edge.
"Pascal, I can no longer bear not seeing you," wrote Anne. "To me, these four days have seemed endless and I absolutely must talk to you. I shall be on the Luxembourg terrace in the usual place at four o'clock and I shall wait for you. Please forgive me."
Pascal's face clouded: the urgent tone of the appeal astonished him, and with Pascal astonishment was always close to reprobation; and the ring of passion seemed to him indecent. Anne's passion took him aback all the more in that she was poised, temperate and restrained.
He sighed. "Perhaps it is impossible for me to feel what people call love," he murmured. He had confessed this to Anne, confessed it with humility. It had grieved her: how difficult it was to be sincere! She said she admired this anxious attention to truth, but she would have been much happier if Pascal had simply said to her "I love you." She was always tormented. How could he make her understand that he loved her much better than if he had loved her more?
—Simone de Beauvoir, When Things of the Spirit Come First, p. 147