TE15 Lithuanian Honey Cake
‘I will have to mend Verochka’s bag.’ That was the only clear thought in my head.
(9) It was well past midnight when, pressing my hand to my black eye, I climbed over the snoring Konkin and crept along the plank beds towards the door. What scared me most was that somebody had hit me in the face, but I hadn’t felt it as a real insult and wasn’t tortured by humiliation. The moon was bright. Shrinking from the cold, I headed up the road, barely able to understand a thing. A force was pushing me. I kept on walking until the dawn. At midday I sat in the warm sun on a hill among the flowers and it felt good. For the first time in many, many years. Verochka needed her bag to be mended. How would she go to school? She didn’t know how to use the awl. I’m sorry, Verochka. I smiled. I’m sorry all of you. I already knew what I had to do. I couldn’t go back to trying to be somebody to them, to be somebody for them all. I was not able to think about them differently. I was trying to live for them. And only now, in the middle of the field, did I realise that I was myself here, that I was me. Me as I was. I greeted myself and grabbed myself by the shoulders. Returning to them would inevitably take me
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