The Marriage-Feast

The creak of the floorboards became music to her ears. Muffled birds would chirp like jazz trumpets off in the distance. The turn of the doorknob, that rich and vibrant pitch, squawked once a day, signaling the return of Felix. Her eyes would widen with expectations, and he would stride in, flicking his jacket to the side, placing a small basket of food down to the right of the door, and then he would grab her and show her just how much he loved her.

The first time he had shown her, let’s not split hairs, she was scared. Soon she came to understand that this was how men showed their appreciation for women, and she felt very fortunate that he loved her as much as he did. He showed her every day, and she came to rely on it. She probably lived for it, twiddling her thumbs all day, combing her hair, eating the fruit he had brought the day before, waiting for him, waiting for his love.

As his footsteps faded down the wooden steps outside the flat, the saddest part of the day would overwhelm Beatrice. For a time, she would simply sit and imagine him here, holding her, and that would be enough. Soon she found this was not enough, and that idea worried her. Was she becoming ungrateful of his love? Oh, if he ever found out that thinking of him was (horrors) boring her, he might stop loving her, he might leave her here for weeks on end without his touch.

So she redoubled her efforts. She thought only of him. When she found her mind wandering, she chastised herself. She would think of food, of the sun, of Father Tötges, of her long lost homeland. Then she would scream at herself: this kind of thoughts would get her in trouble.

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