Beneath her silence she was writhing with impatience

And when that afternoon I arrived home at kilometre 27 on the road from town, she was walking around, already waiting for me on the lawn, and came and opened the gate so that I could drive right in, and as soon as I came out of the garage we climbed the stairs together to the conservatory, and no sooner were we there than I opened the middle curtains and we sat down in the wicker chairs, our eyes fixed on the hilltop opposite, where the sun was setting, and the two of us sat in silence until she asked me ‘what’s the matter?’, but I, somewhere else entirely, remained distant and still, my thoughts lost in the red sunset, and it was because she repeated the question that I replied ‘have you eaten yet?’ and as she said ‘later’ I got up and wandered over to the kitchen (she followed me), took a tomato from the fridge, went over to the sink and washed it, then went to get the salt-shaker from the cupboard and sat down at the table (she followed all my movements from across the room, while I, to annoy her, pretended not to notice), and it was under her constant gaze that I began to eat the tomato, sprinkling more salt on what remained in my hand, making a show of biting into it with relish in order to reveal my teeth, strong as a horse’s, knowing that she couldn’t tear her eyes off my mouth, knowing that beneath her silence she was writhing with impatience, knowing above all that the more indifferent I seemed to be, the more attractive she found me, I only know that when I finished eating the tomato I left her there in the kitchen and went to get the radio that was on the shelf in the living room, and without going back to the kitchen we met again in the hall, and without a word and almost together we entered the half-light of the bedroom.

Raduan Nassar, A Cup of Rage, translated by Stefan Tobler, 2015.

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