Trafika Europe 2 - Polish Nocturne

his soup, as if he couldn’t tear his eyes away from her as she stood over him, or maybe he’d lost his appetite. She couldn’t take her eyes off him either. Even though she’d put his soup down in front of him and she should have gone away, the way she’d go away from each of us after she put our soup down. She only snapped out of it when the cook leaned through the kitchen hatch and shouted:

“Basia, don’t just stand there! These bowls need taking!”

She said to him:

“I hope you like it.”

She’d never said that to any of us.

He said:

“Thank you. I’m sure I will.”

And he watched her walk away, right till she reached the hatch. He ate his soup, but it was like he wasn’t eating. It was krupnik , barley soup, I remember. Do you like krupnik? Me, I can’t stand it. Ever since I was a kid I’ve hated it. Eating a bowl of krupnik was torture for me. Then she brought him the main course, and he didn’t so much as glance at the plate. He took her braid in his hand, but not the way the others would grab hold of it. Rather, he lifted it


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