GALATEA: Omar? Omar! Omar Bingen!
OMAR: Galatea al’Rachid, as I live and breathe. How have you been? How long has it—
GALATEA: I think we saw each other four years ago, didn’t we?
OMAR: That’s right! You were at my going-away party.
GALATEA: Where are you off to now?
OMAR: Oh, I uh, I have a conference. In Dubai. Very important meeting. What about you? How have you been?
GALATEA: Well, I’m just getting back from vacation.
OMAR: Are you traveling alone?
OMAR: Oh! I’m so sorry.
GALATEA: Well, aren’t you traveling alone?
OMAR: Well, I’m on business. Don’t you have a… I thought I’d heard you were engaged or something?
GALATEA: A little bit. I was a little bit engaged. For a moment.
OMAR: Oh, dear. Are you trying to decide whether to ask about him?
GALATEA: Should I?
OMAR: You can always ask. I probably do have all of the information you could ever possibly need about him. If you really want to know. Do you?
GALATEA: You’re still friends with him, then?
OMAR: I don’t think I’ll ever stop being friends with him.
GALATEA: Even knowing what he is? How he treats people?
OMAR: You and I have very different perspectives on how he treats people. You of course know him as a man whom you loved who cheated on you. I, on the other hand, know him as the man—the only man whom I trusted—who did not judge me or ridicule me when I was at my most vulnerable. So yes, I will remain his friend.
GALATEA: No matter what he does to women?
OMAR: Were you entirely blameless in that situation?
GALATEA: How can you possibly ask me that!
OMAR: How can you ask me to turn against my friend?
GALATEA: What did he tell you?
OMAR: He told me from the start that he never really loved you. I told him from the start that if he didn’t love you, he shouldn’t be committed to what was doomed to be a long-distance relationship.
GALATEA: Was he ever faithful to me?
OMAR: He tried. A few times.
GALATEA: Did he love any of those other girls?
OMAR: I think you know the answer to that. I think you’ve always known. He only ever loved one woman. And she… well…
GALATEA: You mentioned the distance. Do you think it would have mattered?
OMAR: Do you want me to be frank?
GALATEA: This is the place for it, isn’t it?
OMAR: Oh! Right. The Fort. Yes, of course.
GALATEA: Please just tell me.
OMAR: If you two had managed to live in the same city, I doubt very much that he would have slept with anyone else. I think he would have considered that it would have made his life that much easier, being close to you all the time. So if you are asking me if I think he would have cheated, no, I don’t.
GALATEA: So it was my fault.
OMAR: Your mistake wasn’t staying here when he left. If you’d left with him, you’d have been the woman who left everything behind for a man, and he’d have never allowed that. He knew better. Your mistake wasn’t staying, it was loving him in the first place. Because while he might not have cheated if you had been there, that is not the same as being faithful.
GALATEA: He could have grown to love me.
OMAR: Not like her. No, he’s always been a man of adventure. You have always been an open book with your heart on your sleeve. You made a good sidekick and companion on his adventures, but you never could have been his goal. You never had enough mystery. He never had to unwrap you.
GALATEA: So you do know. You do know what he is.
OMAR: A great deal more than you do. That’s my flight. I should be going. I do hope you find what you’re looking for.
GALATEA: Omar. Is he happy?
OMAR: I do not believe he ever will be. Does that comfort you?
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