شنبه هجدهم مارس 1944

کتاب: آن فرانک: خاطرات یک دختر جوان / فصل 58

آن فرانک: خاطرات یک دختر جوان

86 فصل

شنبه هجدهم مارس 1944

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Dearest Kitty,

I’ve told you more about myself and my feelings than I’ve ever told a living soul, so why shouldn’t that include sex?

Parents, and people in general, are very peculiar when it comes to sex. Instead of telling their sons and daughters everything at the age of twelve, they send the children out of the room the moment the subject arises and leave them to find out everything on their own. Later on, when parents notice that their children have, somehow, come by their information, they assume they know more (or less) than they actually do. So why don’t they try to make amends by asking them what’s what?

A major stumbling block for the adults-though in my opinion it’s no more than a pebble-is that they’re afraid their children will no longer look upon marriage as sacred and pure once they realize that, in most cases, this purity is a lot of nonsense. As far as I’m concerned, it’s not wrong for a man to bring a little experience to a marriage. After all, it has nothing to do with the marriage itself, does it?

Soon after I turned eleven, they told me about menstruation. But even then, I had no idea where the blood came from or what it was for. When I was twelve and a half, I learned some more from Jacque, who wasn’t as ignorant as I was. My own intuition told me what a man and a woman do when they’re together; it seemed like a crazy idea at first, but when Jacque confirmed it, I was proud of myself for having figured it out!

It was also Jacque who told me that children didn’t come out of their mother’s tummies. As she put it, “Where the ingredients go in is where the finished product comes out!” Jacque and I found out about the hymen, and quite a few other details, from a book on sex education. I also knew that you could keep from having children, but how that worked inside your body remained a mystery. When I came here, Father told me about prostitutes, etc., but all in all there are still unanswered questions.

If mothers don’t tell their children everything, they hear it in bits and pieces, and that can’t be right.

Even though it’s Saturday, I’m not bored! That’s because I’ve been up in the attic with Peter. I sat there dreaming with my eyes closed, and it was wonderful.

Yours, Anne M. Frank

SUNDAY, MARCH 19, 1944

Dearest Kitty,

Yesterday was a very important day for me. After lunch everything was as usual. At five I put on the potatoes, and Mother gave me some blood sausage to take to Peter. I didn’t want to at first, but I finally went. He wouldn’t accept the sausage, and I had the dreadful feeling it was still because of that argument we’d had about distrust. Suddenly I couldn’t bear it a moment longer and my eyes filled with tears. Without another word, I re- turned the platter to Mother and went to the bathroom to have a good cry.

Afterward I decided to talk things out with Peter. Before dinner the four of us were helping him with a crossword puzzle, so I couldn’t say anything. But as we were sitting down to eat, I whispered to him, “Are you going to practice your shorthand tonight, Peter?”

“No,” was his reply.

“I’d like to talk to you later on.”

He agreed.

After the dishes were done, I went to his room and asked if he’d refused the sausage because of our last quar- rel. Luckily, that wasn’t the reason; he just thought it was bad manners to seem so eager. It had been very hot downstairs and my face was as red as a lobster. So after taking down some water for Margot, I went back up to get a little fresh air.

For the sake of appearances, I first went and stood beside the van Daans’ window before going to Peter’s room. He was standing on the left side of the open window, so I went over to the right side. It’s much easier to talk next to an open window in semidarkness than in broad daylight, and I think Peter felt the same way. We told each other so much, so very much, that I can’t repeat it all. But it felt good; it was the most won- derful evening I’ve ever had in the Annex. I’ll give you a brief description of the various subjects we touched on.

First we talked about the quarrels and how I see them in a very different light these days, and then about how we’ve become alienated from our parents. I told Peter about Mother and Father and Margot and myself. At one point he asked, “You always give each other a good-night kiss, don’t you?”

“One? Dozens of them. You don’t, do you?”

“No, I’ve never really kissed anyone.”

“Not even on your birthday?”

“Yeah, on my birthday I have.”

We talked about how neither of us really trusts our parents, and how his parents love each other a great deal and wish he’d confide in them, but that he doesn’t want to. How I cry my heart out in bed and he goes up to the loft and swears. How Margot and I have only recently gotten to know each other and yet still tell each other very little, since we’re always together. We talked about every imaginable thing, about trust, feelings and ourselves. Oh, Kitty, he was just as I thought he would be.

Then we talked about the year 1942, and how different we were back then; we don’t even recognize ourselves from that period. How we couldn’t stand each other at first. He’d thought I was a noisy pest, and I’d quickly concluded that he was nothing special. I didn’t understand why he didn’t flirt with me, but now I’m glad. He also mentioned how he often used to retreat to his room.

I said that my noise and exuberance and his silence were two sides of the same coin, and that I also liked peace and quiet but don’t have anything for myself alone, except my diary, and that everyone would rather see the back of me, starting with Mr. Dussel, and that I don’t always want to sit with my parents. We discussed how glad he is that my parents have children and how glad I am that he’s here.

How I now understand his need to withdraw and his relationship to his parents, and how much I’d like to help him when they argue.

“But you’re always a help to me!” he said.

“How?” I asked, greatly surprised.

“By being cheerful.”

That was the nicest thing he said all evening. He also told me that he didn’t mind my coming to his room the way he used to; in fact, he liked it. I also told him that all of Father’s and Mother’s pet names were meaningless, that a kiss here and there didn’t automatically lead to trust. We also talked about doing things your own way, the diary, loneliness, the difference between everyone’s inner and outer selves, my mask, etc.

It was wonderful. He must have come to love me as a friend, and, for the time being, that’s enough. I’m so grateful and happy, I can’t find the words. I must apologize, Kitty, since my style is not up to my usual standard today. I’ve just written whatever came into my head!

I have the feeling that Peter and I share a secret. Whenever he looks at me with those eyes, with that smile and that wink, it’s as if a light goes on inside me. I hope things will stay like this and that we’ll have many, many more happy hours together.

Your grateful and happy Anne

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