He was his father’s favorite

XV.

We embraced the boy at the door of his white stone home.

hans vollman

He gave us a shy smile, not untouched by trepidation at what was to come.

the reverend everly thomas

Go on, Mr. Bevins said gently. It is for the best.

hans vollman

Off you go, Mr. Vollman said. Nothing left for you here.

roger bevins iii

Goodbye then, the lad said.

Nothing scary about it, Mr. Bevins said. Perfectly natural.

hans vollman

Then it happened.

roger bevins iii

An extraordinary occurrence.

hans vollman

Unprecedented, really.

the reverend everly thomas

The boy’s gaze moved past us.

hans vollman

He seemed to catch sight of something beyond.

roger bevins iii

His face lit up with joy.

hans vollman

Father, he said.

the reverend everly thomas

XVI.

An exceedingly tall and unkempt fellow was making his way toward us through the darkness.

hans vollman

This was highly irregular. It was after hours; the front gate would be locked.

the reverend everly thomas

The boy had been delivered only that day. That is to say, the man had most likely been here—

roger bevins iii

Quite recently.

hans vollman

That afternoon.

roger bevins iii

Highly irregular.

the reverend everly thomas

The gentleman seemed lost. Several times he stopped, looked about, retraced his steps, reversed course.

hans vollman

He was softly sobbing.

roger bevins iii

He was not sobbing. My friend remembers incorrectly. He was winded. He did not sob.

hans vollman

He was softly sobbing, his sadness aggravated by his mounting frustration at being lost.

roger bevins iii

He moved stiffly, all elbows and knees.

the reverend everly thomas

Bursting out of the doorway, the lad took off running toward the man, look of joy on his face.

roger bevins iii

Which turned to consternation when the man failed to sweep him up in his arms as, one gathered, must have been their custom.

the reverend everly thomas

The boy instead passing through the man, as the man continued to walk toward the white stone home, sobbing.

roger bevins iii

He was not sobbing. He was very much under control and moved with great dignity and certainty of—

hans vollman

He was fifteen yards away now, headed directly toward us.

roger bevins iii

The Reverend suggested we yield the path.

hans vollman

The Reverend having strong feelings about the impropriety of allowing oneself to be passed through.

roger bevins iii

The man reached the white stone home and let himself in with a key, the lad then following him in.

hans vollman

Mr. Bevins, Mr. Vollman, and I, concerned for the boy’s welfare, moved into the doorway.

the reverend everly thomas

The man then did something—I do not quite know how to—

hans vollman

He was a large fellow. Quite strong, apparently. Strong enough to be able to slide the boy’s—

the reverend everly thomas

Sick-box.

hans vollman

The man slid the box out of the slot in the wall, and set it down upon the floor.

roger bevins iii

And opened it.

hans vollman

Kneeling before the box, the man looked down upon that which—

the reverend everly thomas

He looked down upon the lad’s supine form in the sick-box.

hans vollman

Yes.

the reverend everly thomas

At which point, he sobbed.

hans vollman

He had been sobbing all along.

roger bevins iii

He emitted a single, heartrending sob.

hans vollman

Or gasp. I heard it as more of a gasp. A gasp of recognition.

the reverend everly thomas

Of recollection.

hans vollman

Of suddenly remembering what had been lost.

the reverend everly thomas

And touched the face and hair fondly.

hans vollman

As no doubt he had many times done when the boy was—

roger bevins iii

Less sick.

hans vollman

A gasp of recognition, as if to say: Here he is again, my child, just as he was. I have found him again, he who was so dear to me.

the reverend everly thomas

Who was still so dear.

hans vollman

Yes.

roger bevins iii

The loss having been quite recent.

the reverend everly thomas

XVII.

Willie Lincoln was wasting away.

Epstein, op. cit.

The days dragged wearily by, and he grew weaker and more shadow-like.

Keckley, op. cit.

Lincoln’s secretary, William Stoddard, recalled the question on everyone’s lips: “Is there no hope? Not any. So the doctors say.”

In “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln,” by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

At about 5 o’clock this afternoon, I was lying half asleep on the sofa in my office, when his entrance aroused me. “Well, Nicolay,” said he choking with emotion, “my boy is gone—he is actually gone!” and bursting into tears, turned and went into his own office.

In “With Lincoln in the White House,” by John G. Nicolay, edited by Michael Burlingame.

The death was only moments ago. The body lay upon the bed, the coverlet thrown back. He wore the pale blue pajamas. His arms lay at his sides. The cheeks were still enflamed. Three pillows lay in a heap on the floor. The small side table was askew, as if roughly pushed aside.

In “Eyewitness to History: The Lincoln White House,” edited by Stone Hilyard, account of Sophie Lenox, maid.

I assisted in washing him and dressing him, and then laid him on the bed, when Mr. Lincoln came in. I never saw a man so bowed down with grief. He came to the bed, lifted the cover from the face of his child, gazed at it long and lovingly, and earnestly, murmuring, “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth. God has called him home. I know that he is much better off in heaven, but then we loved him so. It is hard, hard to have him die!”

Keckley, op. cit.

He was his father’s favorite. They were intimates—often seen hand in hand.

Keckley, op. cit., account of Nathaniel Parker Willis.

He was his father over again both in magnetic personality and in all his gifts and tastes.

In “Lincoln’s Sons,” by Ruth Painter Randall.

He was the child in whom Lincoln had invested his fondest hopes; a small mirror of himself, as it were, to whom he could speak frankly, openly, and confidingly.

In “Reckoning: An Insider’s Memories of Difficult Times,” by Tyron Philian.

Will was the true picture of Mr. Lincoln, in every way, even to carrying his head slightly inclined toward his left shoulder.

Burlingame, op. cit., account of a Springfield neighbor.

One feels such love for the little ones, such anticipation that all that is lovely in life will be known by them, such fondness for that set of attributes manifested uniquely in each: mannerisms of bravado, of vulnerability, habits of speech and mispronouncement and so forth; the smell of the hair and head, the feel of the tiny hand in yours—and then the little one is gone! Taken! One is thunderstruck that such a brutal violation has occurred in what had previously seemed a benevolent world. From nothingness, there arose great love; now, its source nullified, that love, searching and sick, converts to the most abysmal suffering imaginable.

In “Essay Upon the Loss of a Child,” by Mrs. Rose Milland.

“This is the hardest trial of my life,” he confessed to the nurse, and in a spirit of rebellion this man, overweighted with care and sorrows, cried out: “Why is it? Why is it?”

In “Abraham Lincoln: The Boy and the Man,” by James Morgan.

Great sobs choked his utterance. He buried his head in his hands, and his tall frame was convulsed with emotion. I stood at the foot of the bed, my eyes full of tears, looking at the man in silent, awe-stricken wonder. His grief unnerved him, and made him a weak, passive child. I did not dream that his rugged nature could be so moved. I shall never forget those solemn moments—genius and greatness weeping over love’s lost idol.

Keckley, op. cit.

George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo, 2017.

Let this be real

All morning I stand on a stump as buyers file by. They take souvenir photos of my claws, using pens and matchbooks for scale. They note the cracked flesh and the swelling and doubt aloud my ability to handle fieldwork. They ask can I cook. I say no. They ask can I build furniture or supervise a cleaning staff or create interesting pastries. I say no no no. By dinnertime it’s just me and a set of Siamese twins and a few double amputees sitting hopefully on crates.

Krennup and Mollie glare at me from across the Sterno fire.

“Are we not going to be able to get anything for you?” Krennup says. “Are you literally worthless? Those feet are so off-putting. It’s frustrating.”

“Maybe we could rent a power sander,”Mollie says.

“Not to intrude, folks,”says a buyer nearby wearing a wool vest, “but you’ve talking to this man in awfully derogatory terms. I don’t even talk to my sheep so negatively. I have half a mind to buy this fellow and turn him into a shepherd.”

“If you’ve got fifty bucks you can turn him into dog food for all I care,”Krennup says.

“Oh, come now,”the man says. “What does a comment like that tell us about your self-image? Talk about an inhibitory belief system. You see yourself as someone who needs to sell someone else to a dog-food factory in order to validate yourself. And yet it seems to me that you have some very fine qualities. If nothing else, the fact that you own property says some positive things about your organizational skills and your will to power. Cut yourself some slack, friend. Come down off that cross of your own making, and believe in you!”

“Whatever,”Krennup says. “Do you want him or not? Fifty, firm.”

“Frankly, I abhor this slavery thing,”the man says to me. “But you can’t fight it. So I do my part to treat my people like human beings. My name’s Ned Ventor. I consider myself to be working for change from within the system.”

He shakes my hand, then slips Krennup a fifty and leads me to a wagon with padded seats, where four other Flaweds are sitting unchained drinking lemonade.

“Care for some lemonade?”he says. “Bagel? I hope these seats are neither too soft nor too hard. Please fill out a name tag. Attention all! What I usually like to do is hold a brief philosophical orientation session to get us all on the same wavelength. Any objections? Is this a good time for it? Great! Then let’s begin with principle number one: I trust you. I’m not going to treat you like a slave and I don’t expect you to act like one, not that I think for a minute that you would. Second principle: My sheep are your sheep. I realize that without you, the shepherds, my sheep would tend to wander all over the mountainside, being eaten by wolves or the dispossessed, not that I have anything against the dispossessed, only I don’t like them eating my sheep. Principle three: If we get through the year without a lost sheep, it’s party time. We’ll have couscous and tortilla chips and dancing and, for the main course, what else, a barbecued sheep. Principles four and five: Comfort and dignity. You’ll be getting hot meals three times a day, featuring selections from every food group, plus dessert, plus a mint. You’ll each be getting a cottage, which you may decorate as you like, using a decoration allowance I’ll distribute upon our arrival. Buy a lounge chair, or some nice prints, maybe even a coffeemaker, whatever, have some Flawed friends over for cards, I don’t care. In fact I think it’s great. You come out to the meadow next morning feeling empowered, you give your sheep that little extra bit of attention, all the better for me. My take on this is: I can’t set you free, but if I could, I would. That is, I can’t set you literally free. My business would be ruined, wouldn’t it? But spiritually free, that’s another matter. So I’ll be offering meditation classes and miniseminars on certain motivational principles we can all put to work in our lives, even shepherds. For that matter, even sheep. We’ll be doing some innovative sheep-praising, which you might think is nutty, but after you see the impressive gains in wool yields, I think you’ll do a one-eighty. They come up and lick your hands as if to say: Hey, I like who I am. It’s touching. I think you’ll be moved. Any questions?”

“Where exactly are we going?” asks a petulant Flawed on my right whose name tag says Leonard.

“Great question, Leonard!”Ventor says. “You said to yourself: Look, I want to know where I’m headed. I like that. Good directedness. Also good assertiveness. Perhaps you weren’t quite as sensitive to my feelings as you might have been, given that I should have told you where we were headed right off the bat and so therefore feel at the moment a little remiss and inadequate for not having done so, but what the heck, a good growth opportunity for me, and a chance for you, Leonard, to make yourself the center of attention, which seems to be one of your issues, not that I’m in a position to make that judgment, at least not yet. The answer, Leonard, is: southern Utah. Here, take a look.”

He passes around snapshots of his ranch and we sit oohing and aahing while holding our lemonades between our knees. It’s beautiful. The skies are blue, the cottages immaculate, the mountains white.

On my soft seat I say a little prayer:

Let this be real.

George Saunders, Bounty, [in:] George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline: Stories and a Novella, 1996.

My new life. Cover me up now! With a blanket. I need my beauty rest

“Perhaps you need to go home,” he says. “I’m sorry for your loss. But I’d like to encourage you not to behave like one of those Comanche ladies who bite off their index fingers when a loved one dies. Grief is good, grief is fine, but too much grief, as we all know, is excessive. If your aunt’s death has filled your mouth with too many bitten-off fingers, for crying out loud, take a week off, only don’t take it out on our Guests, they didn’t kill your dang aunt.”

But I can’t afford to take a week off. I can’t even afford to take a few days off.

“We really need the money,” I say.

“Is that my problem?” he says. “Am I supposed to let you dance without vigor just because you need the money? Why don’t I put an ad in the paper for all sad people who need money? All the town’s sad could come here and strip. Good-bye. Come back when you feel halfway normal.”

From the pay phone I call home to see if they need anything from the FoodSoQuik.

“Just come home,” Min says stiffly. “Just come straight home.”

“What is it?” I say.

“Come home,” she says.

Maybe someone’s found the body. I imagine Bernie naked, Bernie chopped in two, Bernie posed on a bus bench. I hope and pray that something only mildly bad’s been done to her, something we can live with.

At home the door’s wide open. Min and Jade are sitting very still on the couch, babies in their laps, staring at the rocking chair, and in the rocking chair is Bernie. Bernie’s body.

Same perm, same glasses, same blue dress we buried her in.

What’s it doing here? Who could be so cruel? And what are we supposed to do with it?

Then she turns her head and looks at me.

“Sit the fuck down,” she says.

In life she never swore.

I sit. Min squeezes and releases my hand, squeezes and releases, squeezes and releases.

“You, mister,” Bernie says to me, “are going to start showing your cock. You’ll show it and show it. You go up to a lady, if she wants to see it, if she’ll pay to see it, I’ll make a thumbprint on the forehead. You see the thumbprint, you ask. I’ll try to get you five a day, at twenty bucks a pop. So a hundred bucks a day. Seven hundred a week. And that’s cash, so no taxes. No withholding. See? That’s the beauty of it.”

She’s got dirt in her hair and dirt in her teeth and her hair is a mess and her tongue when it darts out to lick her lips is black.

“You, Jade,” she says. “Tomorrow you start work. Andersen Labels, Fifth and Rivera. Dress up when you go. Wear something nice. Show a little leg. And don’t chomp your gum. Ask for Len. At the end of the month, we take the money you made and the cock money and get a new place. Somewhere safe. That’s part one of Phase One. You, Min. You baby-sit. Plus you quit smoking. Plus you learn how to cook. No more food out of cans. We gotta eat right to look our best. Because I am getting me so many lovers. Maybe you kids don’t know this but I died a freaking virgin. No babies, no lovers. Nothing went in, nothing came out. Ha ha! Dry as a bone, completely wasted, this pretty little thing God gave me between my legs. Well I am going to have lovers now, you fucks! Like in the movies, big shoulders and all, and a summer house, and nice trips, and in the morning in my room a big vase of flowers, and I’m going to get my nipples hard standing in the breeze from the ocean, eating shrimp from a cup, you sons of bitches, while my lover watches me from the veranda, his big shoulders shining, all hard for me, that’s one damn thing I will guarantee you kids! Ha ha! You think I’m joking? I ain’t freaking joking. I never got nothing! My life was shit! I was never even up in a freaking plane. But that was that life and this is this life. My new life. Cover me up now! With a blanket. I need my beauty rest. Tell anyone I’m here, you all die. Plus they die. Whoever you tell, they die. I kill them with my mind. I can do that. I am very freaking strong now. I got powers! So no visitors. I don’t exactly look my best. You got it? You all got it?”

We nod. I go for a blanket. Her hands and feet are shaking and she’s grinding her teeth and one falls out.

“Put it over me, you fuck, all the way over!” she screams, and I put it over her.

We sneak off with the babies and whisper in the kitchen.

“It looks like her,” says Min.

“It is her,” I say.

“It is and it ain’t,” says Jade.

“We better do what she says,” Min says.

“No shit,” Jade says.

All night she sits in the rocker under the blanket, shaking and swearing.

All night we sit in Min’s bed, fully dressed, holding hands.

“See how strong I am!” she shouts around midnight, and there’s a cracking sound, and when I go out the door’s been torn off the microwave but she’s still sitting in the chair.

In the morning she’s still there, shaking and swearing.

“Take the blanket off!” she screams. “It’s time to get this show on the road.”

I take the blanket off. The smell is not good. One ear is now in her lap. She keeps absentmindedly sticking it back on her head.

“You, Jade!” she shouts. “Get dressed. Go get that job. When you meet Len, bend forward a little. Let him see down your top. Give him some hope. He’s a sicko, but we need him. You, Min! Make breakfast. Something homemade. Like biscuits.”

“Why don’t you make it with your powers?” says Min.

“Don’t be a smartass!” screams Bernie. “You see what I did to that microwave?”

“I don’t know how to make freaking biscuits,” Min wails.

“You know how to read, right?” Bernie shouts. “You ever heard of a recipe? You ever been in the grave? It sucks so bad! You regret all the things you never did. You little bitches are gonna have a very bad time in the grave unless you get on the stick, believe me! Turn down the thermostat! Make it cold. I like cold. Something’s off with my body. I don’t feel right.”

I turn down the thermostat. She looks at me.

“Go show your cock!” she shouts. “That is the first part of Phase One. After we get the new place, that’s the end of the first part of Phase Two. You’ll still show your cock, but only three days a week. Because you’ll start community college. Pre-law. Pre-law is best. You’ll be a whiz. You ain’t dumb. And Jade’ll work weekends to make up for the decrease in cock money. See? See how that works? Now get out of here. What are you gonna do?”

“Show my cock?” I say.

“Show your cock, that’s right,” she says, and brushes back her hair with her hand, and a huge wad comes out, leaving her almost bald on one side.

“Oh God,” says Min. “You know what? No way me and the babies are staying here alone.”

“You ain’t alone,” says Bernie. “I’m here.”

“Please don’t go,” Min says to me.

“Oh, stop it,” Bernie says, and the door flies open and I feel a sort of invisible fist punching me in the back.

Outside it’s sunny. A regular day. A guy’s changing his oil. The clouds are regular clouds and the sun’s the regular sun and the only nonregular thing is that my clothes smell like Bernie, a combo of wet cellar and rotten bacon.

Work goes well. I manage to keep smiling and hide my shaking hands, and my midshift rating is Honeypie. After lunch this older woman comes up and says I look so much like a real Pilot she can hardly stand it.

George Saunders, Sea Oak, [In:] Pastoralia, 2000.

Wilgotne, przenikalne, wypowiadalne

Do Drugiej Pracowienki przysłali jakąś bladą wysoką dziewczynę.

– I co powiesz? – dobiegło z głośnika pytanie Abnestiego.

– Ja? – zapytałem. – Czy ona?

– Oboje.

– Niezła – przyznałem.

– W porząsiu – powiedziała dziewczyna. – Znaczy w normie.

Abnesti kazał nam się nawzajem ocenić w sposób bardziej wymierny pod kątem urody i seksowności.

Wyszło na to, że podobamy się sobie mniej więcej średnio, czyli bez wyraźnego pociągu ani odrazy z żadnej strony.

– Jeff, kroplić? – spytał Abnesti.

– Zatwierdzam – powiedziałem.

– Heather, kroplić?

– Zatwierdzam – powiedziała dziewczyna.

Spojrzeliśmy po sobie, jakbyśmy się pytali „I co dalej?”.

Otóż dalej było to, że Heather zaczęła wyglądać zajebiaszczo. Widziałem, że też jej się podobam. Zmiana była tak nagła, żeśmy się prawie roześmiali. Jak mogliśmy nie widzieć, że z tego drugiego jest taki ekstratowar? Na szczęście w Pracowience stała kanapa. W kroplówce oprócz tego, co na nas testowali, było chyba trochę ED556, które obniża poziom wstydu prawie do zera, bo raz-dwa wzięliśmy się do roboty na tej kanapie. Ostro między nami iskrzyło. I to nie tylko w temacie jebunku. Stało nam, owszem, ale generalnie też było ekstra. Jak wtedy, kiedy człowiek całe życie marzy o jakiejś dziewczynie i nagle ona ląduje z nim w tej samej Pracowience.

– Jeff – powiedział Abnesti. – Proszę cię o zgodę na podkręcenie ośrodków werbalizacji.

– Kręć śmiało – odparłem spod Heather.

– Kroplić? – spytał Abnesti.

– Zatwierdzam – powiedziałem.

– Ja też? – spytała Heather.

– Zgadłaś – odpowiedział ze śmiechem Abnesti. – Kroplić?

– Zatwierdzam – ona na to, mocno zdyszana.

Już po chwili dzięki dobroczynnemu działaniu domieszki Verbaluksu™ do naszych kroplówek nie tylko ruchaliśmy się jak ta lala, ale też mieliśmy supernawijkę. No bo na przykład zamiast powtarzać w kółko te same seksowne teksty (różne „łał!”, „o Boże”, „ja pierdolę” i tak dalej), zaczęliśmy improwizować na temat swoich wrażeń i myśli w podniosłym stylu, ze słownictwem rozszerzonym o osiemdziesiąt procent, a nasze precyzyjnie wyrażane spostrzeżenia nagrywano dla celów późniejszej analizy.

Jeśli o mnie idzie, to czułem mniej więcej coś takiego: zdumienie narastającą świadomością, że tę oto kobietę stwarzają na bieżąco wprost z mojego własnego umysłu najgłębsze me tęsknoty. Po tylu latach nareszcie (myślałem) udało mi się znaleźć właśnie tę konfigurację ciała/twarzy/umysłu, która uosabiała wszystko, co upragnione. Smak jej ust i aureola jasnych włosów, rozsypanych wokół twarzy o cherubinowym, a zarazem wyuzdanym wyrazie (leżała teraz pode mną z zadartymi nogami), a nawet (nie żebym chciał wysławiać się grubiańsko albo zbrukać wzniosłe uczucia, będące podówczas mym udziałem) wrażenia, które wywoływała jej pochwa na całej długości mego dźgającego członka, były właśnie tymi, których zawsze łaknąłem, choć nigdy aż do owej chwili nie zdawałem sobie sprawy z żarliwości rzeczonego łaknienia.

Innymi słowy, pożądanie budziło się i w tymże momencie doznawało zaspokojenia. Było tak, jakbym (a) tęsknił za pewnym niekosztowanym dotychczas smakiem, aż (b) owa tęsknota stawała się bez mała nieznośna i oto © miałem nagle w ustach kąsek o dokładnie tym smaku, idealnie kojący mą tęsknotę.

Każda wypowiedź, każda zmiana pozycji dowodziła jednego: znaliśmy się od zawsze, łączyło nas braterstwo dusz, a spotkawszy się i pokochawszy w wielu wcześniejszych żywotach, mieliśmy się też spotykać i kochać w wielu późniejszych, zawsze z tym samym, transcendentnie oszałamiającym skutkiem.

Nastąpiło potem trudne do opisania, lecz nader rzeczywiste odpłynięcie w cały ciąg rozmarzeń, które najtrafniej można określić mianem czegoś na kształt odfabularyzowanych pejzaży umysłu, to jest sekwencję niejasnych wizji mentalnych, ukazujących miejsca, jakich nigdym dotąd był nie odwiedzał (gęstwę sosen w dolinie pośród wysokich białych gór; drewniany dom w alpejskim stylu, stojący w ślepym zaułku, z podwórkiem zarośniętym rozłożystymi, karłowatymi drzewami jak z rysunków doktora Seussa), a każde z nich budziło we mnie głęboką, tkliwą tęsknotę i wszystkie owe tęsknoty stężały w jedną główną, postradawszy odrębny swój byt: w namiętne pragnienie Heather i li tylko Heather.

Zjawisko mentalnych pejzaży było najsilniej odczuwalne podczas trzeciej (!) rundy kochania. (Widocznie Abnesti zaprawił moją kroplówkę Vivisztyftem™).

Potem miłosne wyznania jęły lać nam się z ust jednoczesną strugą, lingwistycznie zawiłe i w metafory bogate: śmiem twierdzić, żeśmy się poetami stali. Pozwolono nam leżeć w oplątwie własnych naszych członków nieomal godzinę. Błogostan był to istny. Doskonałość wcielona. Zdarzyło nam się to, co uchodzi za niemożliwe: szczęście, które nie więdnie, aby ukazać strzelające z niego cienkie pędy jakowegoś nowego pożądania.

Tuliliśmy się do siebie z zajadłym skupieniem, mogącym iść o lepsze z tą skupioną zajadłością, która towarzyszyła nam podczas pierdolenia. Rozchodzi mi się o to, że przytulanie w porównaniu z pierdoleniem nie wypadało ani trochę gorzej. Leżeliśmy, bardzo przyjaźnie ze sobą spleceni, jak szczenięta albo małżonkowie, którzy spotykają się po raz pierwszy od chwili, gdy jedno z nich otarło się o śmierć. Wszystko wydawało się wilgotne, przenikalne, wypowiadalne.

A potem działanie kroplówki zaczęło częściowo słabnąć. Chyba Abnesti wyłączył dopływ Verbaluksu™. I pewnie też inhibitor wstydu. Generalnie wszystko zaczęło się kurczyć. Nagle dopadło nas onieśmielenie. Ale wciąż była w nas miłość. Zaczęliśmy proces rozmowy na zejściu z Verbaluksu™, a to zawsze wychodzi niezręcznie.

Widziałem jednak w jej oczach, że wciąż darzy mnie miłością.

A ja niewątpliwie to uczucie odwzajemniałem.

George Saunders, Ucieczka z Pajęczej Głowy, [W:] Idem, 10 grudnia. Opowiadania, tłum. Michał Kłobukowski, Warszawa 2016.