"But Albertine suffered terrible remorse afterwards. I believe that when she was with you she had conquered her passion and put off indulging it from day to day. Besides, her affection for you was so great that she had scruples. But it was quite certain that if she ever left you she'd begin again. Only I think that after having left you, if she succumbed to that overpowering urge, her remorse must have been even greater. She hoped that you would rescue her, that you would marry her. She felt in her heart that her obsession was a sort of criminal lunacy, and I've often wondered whether it wasn't after an incident of that sort, which had led to a suicide in a family, that she killed herself on purpose. I must confess that in the early days of her stay with you she hadn't entirely given up her games with me. There were days when she seemed to need it, so much so that once, when it would have been so easy elsewhere, she couldn't bring herself to say good-bye without taking me to bed with her, in your house. We were out of luck, and were very nearly caught. She'd taken advantage of the fact that Francoise had gone out to do some shopping, and you weren't yet home. then she'd turned out all the lights so that when you let yourself in with your key it would take you some time to find the switch; and she'd left the door of her room open. We heard you come upstairs, and I only just had time to tidy myself up and come down. Which was quite unnecessary as it happened, for by an incredible chance you'd left you key at home and had to ring to the bell. But we lost our heads all the same, so that to conceal our embarrassment we both of us, without having a chance to consult each other, had the same idea: to pretend to dread the scent of syringa which as of matter of face we adored. You were bringing a big branch of it home with you, which enabled me to turn my head away and hide my confusion. This didn't prevent me from telling you in the most idiotic way that perhaps Francoise had come back and would you you in, when a moment earlier I had told you the lie that we'd only just come in from our drive and that when we arrived Franocise hadn't yet left the house (which was true). But the big mistake we made - assuming that you had your key - was to turn out the light, for we were afraid that as you came upstairs you'd see it being turned on again; or at least we hesitated too long. And for three nights on end Albertine couldn't get a wink of sleep because she was constantly afraid that you might be suspicious and ask Franoicse why she hadn't turned on the light before leaving the house. For Albertine as terribly afraid of you, and at times you maintained that you were treacherous and nasty and that you hated her really. After three days she gathered from your calm that you hadn't said anything to Francoise, and she was able to sleep again. But she never resumed her relations with me after that, either from fear or from remorse, for she made out that she did really love you, or perhaps she was in love with someone else. At all events, nobody could ever mention syringa again in her hearing without her turning crimson and putting her hand over her face in the hope of hiding her blushes."
Marcel Proust, The Fugitive, pp. 613-614
At the end of a long and meandering confession (at the end of a long and meandering paragraph) Andree sums up her relationship with Albertine. First off, to be fair, I suppose all confessions, that is if you've lived fully or least wicked, are long and meandering. In telling her story Andree reveals the story behind the story of a bizarre anecdote that occurred much earlier in Remembrance of Things Past. Marcel had returned home and met a very flustered Andree who immediately covered her guilt/embarrassment by criticizing his decision to bring a branch of syringa home with him. At the time you just felt that there was something else going on, and now we finally get the backstory. Albertine was so hot to get Andree in bed that she risked getting caught: "There were days when she seemed to need it, so much so that once, when it would have been so easy elsewhere, she couldn't bring herself to say good-bye without taking me to bed with her, in your house." It's a passion that we never see Albertine display towards Marcel, although, to be fair, we don't see Marcel display it towards Albertine for that matter. If we can believe Andree, it was a passion, both for Andree individually and for women collectively, that Abertine could barely control and which made her feel guilty; Andree even goes so far as to tell Marcel that Albertine felt that "her obsession was a sort of criminal lunacy." A couple days ago we saw that Marcel himself wasn't certain why Andree suddenly making this almost unsolicited confession, and he proposed that maybe she was telling him this mainly to cause him grief. When Andree telle him, "She hoped that you would rescue her, that you would marry her," I tend to think that she was trying to cause him pain. Yes, it may hurt to have Albertine's closest friend share that his former mistress considered him "treacherous and nasty" I think it is more painful to hear that she was hoping that you would rescue her, and that you had failed her. No matter her rationale, Andree assures Marcel that that night was the last time they were ever together, "either from fear or from remorse, for she made out that she did really love you," although even here Andree digs in one last dagger: "or perhaps she was in love with someone else."