New York, 1937
The first day came after an incredible night. Indy was always a wonderful lover, but that night he was as ardent as he'd been at 25, wanting her again and again. Before they settled to sleep, he cupped her chin in his hands and looked deep into her eyes. "So beautiful…" he'd whispered. "Something's not right between us, Bright Eyes, and I know it. But you're the love of my life, and I'll love you forever. Never doubt that." In the moonlight, his eyes had shone with unshed tears. Oh, Indy… Marion had wrapped her arms around his neck and cuddled in against him the way she used to when she was 17. He'd murmured endearments and kissed her hair until she fell asleep.
Marion kissed her sleeping man when she left in the morning, touched that their approaching wedding had turned him so tender and sentimental. Right. Now she knew better. She'd come home early with her wedding dress over her shoulder, but no one was there when she opened the door. No one else, she realized, would be there ever again. For Indy was gone. So were his clothes and suitcase. He'd left her his coffee cup in the sink. And a note.
Marion sat the bed, not hers, no longer theirs, and refolded the letter she'd found on her pillow. So. This is how it ends with the love of my life. I wonder if there's someone else… Her instinct told her there wasn't, yet. Adventure and archaeology had been enough to take her Indy away from her this time. Well, if the Cross of Coronado is what you really want, may the two of you have many long and happy years together, Jones, you bastard….
Maybe, she thought forlornly, Indy hadn't meant to say 'you are the love of my life.' Maybe he'd really meant 'you were'. Perhaps last night, in his own way, Indy had been saying goodbye. Was it already over when you took me in your arms, Indy? Were you packed up and ready to leave when you told me you'd love me forever? Or, she sighed ruefully, am I going to be cleaning up after one of your impulses-again?
Marion thought about pouring herself a good stiff drink, but a wrenching wave of nausea stopped that particular thought in its tracks. So she patted her stomach, and smiled at it fondly. Maybe it's a good thing I hadn't told him about you, yet. She started to wad the letter up in a ball and throw it away, then reconsidered, smoothed it out, and put it in a drawer. If you ever need to ask me why your father and I aren't together, little one, I can just show you this. But until then, at least I can tell you truthfully that Daddy's last word to me was 'Darling'. That's got to be worth something. The air suddenly seemed very cold. Marion wrapped her arms over her belly to shelter Indy's baby, and rocked slowly, comforting them both.
Then she got up, put on a sweater and sat down at the secretary desk in one corner of the bedroom. She was a mother, now, and there was work to be done. Marion blinked back her tears, sniffled once, and started writing a list. When she finished, she combed her hair, touched up her makeup, and left to go shopping.
She returned an hour later with thick cream colored stationery, a new fountain pen, a roll of stamps and a copy of Etiquette in Society, in Business in Politics and at Home, by Emily Post.
She knew she wouldn't sleep for a long time, so she made a pot of tea with calm steady hands, sat down at her desk and began to write, over and over:
We regret to inform you
That, by mutual consent
The marriage of
Henry Jones, Jr.
Will not take place
A few sheets were marred by tearstains, but she'd bought extra just in case. By 3:00 AM, she had a stack of neatly addressed envelopes stamped and ready to mail. At least Indy gave me enough time to write instead of 'phoning. It does make it easier…
Marion was exhausted, but she was never going to lie in that bed again. When she grabbed a pillow and blanket to carry out to the living room, Indy's discarded pajamas appeared. She picked up the top, rested her face on it and inhaled his scent, so familiar, still beloved. She carried the top to the couch with her and held it as, at last, the tears came and she cried herself to sleep.
The second day Marion picked up her list right after breakfast. By ten o'clock she'd written a note cancelling their officiant and enclosed his honorarium. By noon she had mailed the envelopes, and gone to the bank. By five she'd cancelled the florist, the reception hall, musicians, and caterer. She'd told them all something vague about a sudden death in her family, such a dreadful shock, and a private ceremony in the pastor's office to be held later. Whether or not they were taken in, the vendors expressed their sympathy- and gratitude. Times were hard, so Marion paid them in full. She even included a generous tip for the caterer's staff and the florist's delivery boy. She wasn't charitable enough to use her money from the Museum , though-she and the baby would need that to live on during the time she'd be unable to work. Indy had put her name on his account, and she figured Jones, damn him, could foot the bills and deal with the consequences of his actions for once. She sealed the receipts in an envelope and wrote 'Henry Jones' on the flap. Then she forced herself to buy some dinner for the baby's sake, ate it mechanically and went home.
By the third day her phone had started to ring. There's no one I want to talk to, she thought. I don't owe those people an explanation, and they won't be seeing me again if I can help it. Indy can tell his friends what he likes. Though it would be entertaining to see him squirm when they ask questions… So she took the phone off the hook and stuffed it under the couch cushions. Then she gathered her courage and brought Indy's remaining clothes to a laundry and her wedding dress to the Salvation Army. She thought wistfully of the happy bride who would be radiant in her lovely gown. Hope her luck is better than mine…
The fourth day was exhausting. Marion had spent it negotiating with movers, and buying a trunk to ship Indy's remaining books and clothes back to Barnett College in Fairfield. She had just kicked off her shoes and sat down when there was a knock on her door. What the hell….
"Hello, Marion" said Colin Williams. "May I come in? I brought food."