Day 11: Noblesse Oblige

Word of the Day:

noblesse oblige


the moral obligation of those of high birth, powerful social position, etc., to act with honor, kindliness, generosity, etc.

So.  That’s.  Going to be fun.  Yay.

Jacob Smithens was many things—a scoundrel, an idiot, and a waste of my time—but let it never be said that he lacked noblesse oblige.

He helped me into my coat, still deflecting.

“But,” he said for the umpteenth time. “It’s not what it looks like.”

I had come here fifteen minutes previously, calm and resolute, strode proudly into his spacious (and rather extravagant) apartment, and informed him that we should no longer see one another.  When he asked for a reason, I gave him one:

Two days earlier, his telephone had rung.  He wasn’t in the room, so I answered it, and was treated to a young woman’s voice inquiring whether Jacob was present.  I informed her that he would be back in a moment, if she would like to wait.  She said (I quote), “Oh, alright.  And is that godawful girlfriend of his in the room?  Because she probably shouldn’t be, if I’m going to talk to Jake.”  I asked why; she replied, “Well, you know, I don’t think she’d much like me, since I’m sort of seeing her boyfriend these days.”

When I recounted all this to Jacob, he had grown very pale, then very red: he proceeded to ask me what business I had answering his phone for him.

I politely told him that it was a mistake I wouldn’t repeat.

He then said, “She must have had the wrong number.  You know I’d never cheat on you, babe.”  I did not believe him then; I can’t imagine my mind being suddenly changed any time soon.

He was still babbling.  I reached for the door, but he opened it for me.

“Bye, Jake,” I said smoothly.  I turned.  I walked away.

Cara Kennaway


5 thoughts on “Day 11: Noblesse Oblige

  1. We both gotta stop making these snippets about breakups. You’re bringing me down, I’m bringing me down, love is naught but a disaster…

    But anyway. Cleverly done. I’d say this project is going well.

  2. “With great power comth great rethponthibility!” Matthew yells as he jumps off the couch into a pile of pillows.

    Perhaps I should be offering some form of objection to this potentially disastrous behavior. I know Jill would be. I think it’s for that reason that I let the kid go a little crazy. Like, okay, helicopter momma’s away for the evening, the fun aunt is over to babysit, let’s go flying off the furniture. I’m cultivating a preference in this boy which may serve me well later in life.

    And, if I’m being honest, after two and a half hours of hearing Spider-Man’s declaration of his noblesse oblige endlessly repeated in my nephew’s lisping tones, the thought of some mild catastrophe befalling is seeming less horrible by the minute. Mild, mind you. Not fatal or anything. Just serious enough to have a dampening effect on his heroic enthusiasm.

    Just don’t tell Jill I said so, okay?

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