Eliza's Last Question

"Where the devil are my slippers?" Higgins said, seeing Eliza walk in the door. He smiled and slumped down into his chair, moving his fedora over his eyes.

"Not just yet," Eliza said, moving farther into the room, her pink skirt rustling as she moved. "I want to know something first."

Higgins didn't look up, but spoke from under his cap, "What is it you would like to know, Eliza?"

"What are your intentions, if I stay?" her voice was too high but it did not waver.

Higgins sat up straight and looked her in the eye. "Intentions? I suppose you wish to hear confessions of devotion? Sonnets fit for Shakespearian performers. Well, I am no Romeo. No, Lancelot ready to spout flowery words. So you will get none of that here," he paused, his face softening.

Eliza stood rigid with her shoulders back and her head high.

"But if you must know," he said softer, "my intention is to marry you, on the grounds that I seem to be at a complete loss without you."

He stood up and walked closer to her. He reached out his hand and then let it fall back to his side.

Eliza smiled at him, "then you love me?"

"Must I be so frank? Can you not live satisfied, knowing that I intend to marry you?"

"Freddy, has told me how he truly feels many times."

"I am not, Freddy. Blast Freddy! If you want Freddy go back to him! I will not pretend to be what I am not, Eliza."

She closed the space between them and took hold of the same hand he had just reached for her with. "I do not want, Freddy," she said, sadness in her voice. "I do not want Shakespeare or Lancelot. I just want the truth. I know you're a selfish, arrogant man, but I still…love you. And if you never say it again, tell me just this once how you feel."

Higgins gripped her hand tightly and said, "Dash it all, Eliza you are the most insufferable woman out of all the insufferable women I have met! And out of all of them…You…you," he looked down at the floor rather than meet her eyes, "you would have to be the one that I fall in love with." He looked up at her. He looked into her smiling eyes.

"Really? Honestly?" she asked.

"I have grown so accustom to you, that at some point, I must have started to love you."

Eliza let his hand go and turned away from him, "I'll get the slippers," she said. Before she could get to far away, Higgins grabbed her arm and pulled her close.

"Blast the slippers," he said and he kissed her.