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14.

  • For almost a fortnight this unbearable restraint has lain upon us. Her friend
  • lives with her, and we are never alone. A circle of men surrounds the young
  • women. With my seriousness and melancholy I am playing an absurd role as
  • lover. Wanda treats me like a stranger.
  • To-day, while out walking, she staid behind with me. I saw that this was done
  • intentionally, and I rejoiced. But what did she tell me?
  • "My friend doesn't understand how I can love you. She doesn't think you either
  • handsome or particularly attractive otherwise. She is telling me from morning
  • till night about the glamour of the frivolous life in the capital, hinting at
  • the advantages to which I could lay claim, the large parties which I would
  • find there, and the distinguished and handsome admirers which I would attract.
  • But of what use is all this, since it happens that I love you."
  • For a moment I lost my breath, then I said: "I have no wish to stand in the
  • way of your happiness, Wanda. Do not consider me." Then I raised my hat, and
  • let her go ahead. She looked at me surprised, but did not answer a syllable.
  • When by chance I happened to be close to her on the way back, she secretly
  • pressed my hand. Her glance was so radiant, so full of promised happiness,
  • that in a moment all the torments of these days were forgotten and all their
  • wounds healed.
  • I now am aware again of how much I love her.