He’d asked his father, implored him to let me keep me with him, close to him, he’d told him he must understand, must have known a passion like this himself at least once in his long life, it couldn’t be otherwise, he’d begged him to let him have his turn at living, just once, this passion, this madness, this infatuation with the little white girl, he’d asked him to give him time to love her a while longer before sending her away to France, let him have her a little longer, another year perhaps, because it wasn’t possible for him to give up this love yet, it was too new, too strong still, too much in its first violence, it was too terrible for him to part yet from her body, especially since, as he the father knew, it could never happen again.
The father said he’d sooner see him dead.
We bathed together in the cool water from the jars, we kissed, we wept, and again it was unto death, but this time, already, the pleasure it gave was inconsolable. And then I told him. I told him not to have any regrets, I reminded him of what he’d said, that I’d go away from anywhere, that I wasn’t responsible for what I did. He said he didn’t mind even that now, nothing counted any more. Then I said I agreed with his father. That I refused to stay with him. I didn’t give any reasons.
— Marguerite Duras, The Lover (trans. Barbara Bray)