THE SPACE BETWEEN

This was a pleasant camp under big trees against a hill, with good water and close by, a nearly dry water hole where sand grouse flighted in the mornings.

Would you like me to read?” she asked. She was sitting on a canvas chair beside his cot. “There’s a breeze coming up.

No thanks.

This was the way it ended in a bickering over a drink.

I wish we’d never come,” the woman said. She was looking at him holding the glass and biting her lip.

Listen,” he said. “Do you think that it is fun to do this? I don’t know why I’m doing it. It’s trying to kill to keep yourself alive, I imagine. I was all right when we started talking. I didn’t mean to start this, and now I’m … being as cruel to you as I can be. Don’t pay any attention, darling, to what I say. I love you, really. You know I love you. I’ve never loved any one else the way I love you.

He slipped into the familiar lie he made his bread and butter by.

(Excerpted from The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway, 1927 Charles Scribner’s Sons)