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I told all my friends that I would certainly marry now. When they asked me, “What’s happened?” I replied: “My first love has appeared in New York.”

Stella had not been my first love; and though I had been in love with her once, that was not why I decided to marry her. The real reason was a deep sense of duty, and I used the first-love theme to give it a light touch.

As a result of my decision, my life had once more become meaningful. My state of mind did not lead me to question whether Stella wanted to marry me. I took it for granted that being alone in the world now, she would let me brighten her life. Nor did I let myself think that she might bring me a little happiness, too. Why should I be made happy, I who had lived through the war in New York not only in complete security but also surrounded with comforts? Stella had gone through hell, and happiness was owed to her.

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