فصل 03

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فصل 03

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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3

We belong together

IHAD not yet made love to Jenny. In the three weeks we had been together, we had held hands. Sometimes we had kissed, but that was all. Usually I moved much faster - ask the other girls that I’d been out with! But Jenny was special.

I felt different about her and I didn’t know what to say to her.

‘You’re going to fail your exams, Oliver.’

We were studying in my room one Sunday afternoon.

‘Oliver, you’ll fail your exams if you don’t do some work.’

‘I am working.’

‘No, you aren’t. You’re looking at my legs.’

‘Only once every chapter.’

‘That book has very short chapters.’

‘Listen, you aren’t as good-looking as all that!’

‘I know, but you think I am, don’t you?’

‘Dammit, Jenny, how can I study when all the time I want to make love to you?’

She closed her book softly and put it down. She put her arms around me.

‘Oliver, will you please make love to me?’

It all happened at once. It was all so unhurried, soft and gentle. And 7 was gentle too. Was this the real Oliver Barrett the Fourth?

‘Hey, Oliver, did I ever tell you that I love you?’ said Jenny finally.

‘No, Jen.’ I kissed her neck.

‘I love you very much, Oliver.’

I love Ray Stratton too. He’s not very clever, or a wonderful footballer, but he was a good friend to me. Where did he go to study when I was in our room with Jenny?

Where did he sleep on those Saturdays when Jenny and I spent the night together? In the old days I always told him all about my girlfriends. But I never told him about Jenny and me.

‘My God, Barrett, are you two sleeping together or not?’

asked Ray.

‘Raymond, please don’t ask.’

‘You spend every minute of your free time with her. It isn’t natural . . . ‘

‘Ray, when two adults are in love . . . ‘ ‘Love? At your age? My God, I worry about you, I really do.’

‘Don’t worry, Raymond, old friend. We’ll have that flat in New York one day. Different girls every night . . . ‘ ‘Don’t you tell me not to worry, Barrett. That girl’s got you, and I don’t like it!’

That evening I went to hear Jenny play the piano with the Music Group.

‘You were wonderful,’ I said afterwards.

‘That shows what you know about music, Preppie.’ We walked along the river together. ‘I played OK. Not wonderful.

Not “Olympic Games”. Just OK. OK?’

‘OK - but you should always continue your music’

‘Of course I will. I’m going to study with Nadia Boulanger, aren’t I?’

‘Who?’

‘Nadia Boulanger. She’s a famous music teacher in Paris.

I’m very lucky. I won a scholarship, too.’

‘Jennifer - you’re going to Paris?’

‘I’ve never seen Europe. I’m really excited about it.’

I took her by the arms and pulled her towards me. ‘Hey - how long have you known this?’

Jenny looked down at her feet. ‘Oliver, don’t be stupid.

We can’t do anything about it. After we finish university, you’ll go your way and I’ll go mine. You’ll go to law school—’

‘Wait a minute! What are you talking about?’

She looked into my eyes. ‘Ollie, you’re a rich Preppie.

Your old man owns a bank. My father’s a baker in Cranston, Rhode Island . . . and I’m nobody.’

‘What does that matter? We’re together now. We’re happy.’

‘Ollie, don’t be stupid,’ she repeated. ‘Harvard is full of all kinds of different people. You study together, you have fun together. But afterwards you have to go back to where you belong.’

‘We belong together. Don’t leave me, Jenny. Please.’

‘What about my scholarship? What about Paris?’

‘What about our marriage?’

‘Who said anything about marriage?’ said Jenny in surprise.

‘Me. I’m saying it now.’

‘Why?’

I looked straight into her eyes.

‘Because,’ I said.

‘Oh,’ said Jenny. ‘That’s a very good reason.’ She took my arm and we walked along the river. There was nothing more to say, really.

The next Sunday we drove to visit my parents in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Jenny said it was the right thing to do, and of course there was also the fact that Oliver the Third paid for my studies at Harvard.

‘Oh my God,’ Jenny said when we drove up to the house.

T didn’t expect this. It’s like a damn palace!’

‘Please, Jen. Everything will be fine.’

‘For a nice all-American girl of good family, perhaps. Not for Jennifer Cavilleri, baker’s daughter, from Cranston, Rhode Island.’

Florence opened the door. She has worked for the Barrett family for many years. She told us that my parents were waiting in the library. We followed her past a long line of pictures of famous Barretts and a glass case full of silver and gold cups.

‘They look just like real silver and gold,’ said Jenny. ‘They don’t give cups like those at the Cranston Sports Club!’

‘They are real silver and gold,’ I answered.

‘My God! Are they yours?’

‘No, my father’s.’

‘Do you have silver and gold cups too, Oliver?’

‘Yes.’

‘In a glass case, like these?’

‘No. Up in my room, under the bed.’

She gave me one of her good Jenny-looks. ‘We’ll go and look at them later, shall we?’

Before I could answer, we heard a voice.

‘Ah, hello there.’ It was Old Stonyface.

‘Oh, hello, sir. This is Jennifer—’

‘Hello there.’ He shook her hand before I could say her full name. There was a smile on his usually rock-like face.

‘Do come in and meet Mrs B a r r e t t . . . My wife Alison. This is Jennifer—’

‘Calliveri,’ I said - for the first and only time, I got her damn name wrong!

‘Cavilleri,’ said Jenny politely. Mother and Jenny shook hands.

All through dinner Mother kept the polite small talk going.

‘So your people are from Cranston, Jennifer?’ said my mother.

‘Mostly. My mother came from Fall River.’

‘The Barretts have factories at Fall River,’ said Oliver the Third.

‘Where they cheated their workers for centuries,’ said Oliver the Fourth.

‘In the nineteenth century,’ said Oliver the Third.

‘What about the plans to put automatic machines in the factories?’ said Oliver the Fourth.

‘What about coffee?’ my mother said quickly. We moved back into the library. We sat there with nothing to say to each other. So I started a new non-conversation.

‘Tell me, Jennifer,’ I said, ‘what do you think about the Peace Corps?’ She looked at me in surprise.

‘Oh, have you told them, O.B.?’ asked my mother.

‘It isn’t the time for that, my dear,’ said Oliver Barrett the Third, with an “Ask me, ask me!” look on his face.

‘What’s this, Father?’ I asked, just to please him.

‘Nothing important, son.’

‘I don’t know how you can say that,’ said my mother. She turned to me. ‘Your father is going to be Head of the Peace Corps.’

‘Oh,’ I said.

‘Oh!’ said Jenny in a different, happier kind of voice.

‘Well done, Mr Barrett.’ She gave me a hard look.

‘Yes. Well done, sir,’ I said at last.

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