Only Yesterday

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

CHAPTER TEN
Continuation

1

Sonya came with Yarkoni. Isaac stood up from the bench and gave her his seat. Between Isaac and Sonya there was neither love nor hate, neither envy nor rancor. All the time they had been friendly with one another, they were close to one another, when they grew apart, they behaved like all the other couples who separated, that is, like people who have nothing to do with one another and have nothing for one another. Man has free will, if he wants to, he gets close, if he wants to, he goes away, and if they go away, that's not a tragedy, and if they chance to meet among folks, they don't make a comedy of running away from one another. Sonya had already stopped thinking of Isaac, and Isaac had stopped thinking of Sonya, and since he met Shifra, he no longer tried to get close to Sonya. Sonya didn't want to know Isaac's business, and Isaac, who was afraid at first that he would have to reveal it to her, wasn't afraid anymore, for Sonya was concerned with the whole world, but not with Isaac.

When she sat down, she raised her eyes and looked at him, as if she suddenly noticed him and said, You're still here? Isaac didn't know what to answer, whether to apologize to her for not having yet returned to Jerusalem or whether to agree with her that he was still here. He nodded at her and was silent. Sonya laughed and said, If I see you, it's clear that you're still here. As she talked with Isaac, she looked at Yarkoni.

Yarkoni was sad and was depressed. His heart was obviously remorseful and bitter. And just a little while ago, he was happy. Sonya sat and thought about several men she knew, the Russian journalist and Grisha, Rabinovitch and Isaac. Aside from Grisha that pest who

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