Only Yesterday

By S. Y. Agnon; Barbara Harshav | Go to book overview

CHAPTER THREE
At Sonya's Place

1

When Isaac left Jerusalem, he didn't know what he would say to Sonya. But he relied on himself to come up with something on the way. By the time he got to Motza, he had taken his mind off Sonya, and when he entered Jaffa and came to Sonya's place, he was back where he was when he left Jerusalem, and didn't know what he would say.

It was twilight. Sonya was sitting in an easy chair made of canvas, and under her head was a little pillow tied to the chair with loops. The two windows were open, and a sweet darkness from outside mated with that darkness in the room. And in the space of the room was a sweetness of dusk that's special to Jaffa at sunset. The air in the room was still and Sonya's whole being filled the room. It had been weeks and months since Sonya had left the kindergarten and tried other kinds of things, but nothing came of all the things she tried to do. So, she considered going to Paris. And she relied on Paris to find something for her to do there. And she had already pictured to herself all that was in store for her in the big city. Suddenly she heard that Yarkoni, whom she thought was in Paris, had returned to the Land of Israel, and she was waiting for him to come to her place. Now she heard the sound of his footsteps and his fingers tapping on her door, like a person who wants to surprise his comrade and comes with a whisper and doesn't know that his comrade is waiting for him. God in Heaven, how blind are the eyes of fellows who think they are surprising a girl! But if Yarkoni wants to surprise me, I'll pretend I don't know he came back and that I'm surprised. And in a simple voice, Sonya called out, Come in.

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