In the morning, while still in bed, Amalia could not remember whether she had fallen asleep even for half an hour since the minute her father left her room, or whether she lay in oblivion, without tears, without thoughts, without movement, buried in a pillow. The whole body ached painfully, as if from fatigue, empty noises stood in my head. She remembered that she and Arkady agreed to meet exactly one week later. She hoped to overcome her father’s intractability during this time. God knows, it’s not her fault that she fell in love with Arkady! Where can she, so weak, so timid, resist the elements?
She slowly, quietly stood up. Sunbeams streamed into the room from a wide window with a drawn curtain. Passing through the colored glass inserted into one sash, the rays were colored and lay on the floor in fiery-transparent spots. The room was light. Sometimes impetuous clouds covered the sun, and for a moment everything became cloudy, dimmed, shadows appeared from nowhere: they ran, glided, expanded, and suddenly disappeared.
Amalia slipped her feet into her slippers to keep from knocking, changed from her crumpled nightgown to a blue flannel dressing gown, and headed to the kitchen to prepare breakfast. She was in a hurry. Only one thought, clear, implacable, possessed her now. Relatives should know that when she marries Arkady, she does not cheat on them at all. She will remain the same, sensitive and responsive. Father, brothers and sister will undoubtedly understand — she fell in love with Arkady forever. Love without asking throws its grains into the hearts of those whom it has chosen. And maybe the sprouts that sprouted in their hearts were drawn to each other because the age difference between her and Arkady was really great. These invisible sprouts will stretch out, become trees, and then mighty trees, their branches will intertwine, form a single lush crown, and birds of paradise will chirp there.