بخش 16کتاب: ملت عشق / فصل 16
- زمان مطالعه 6 دقیقه
- سطح متوسط
دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»
این فصل را میتوانید به بهترین شکل و با امکانات عالی در اپلیکیشن «زیبوک» بخوانید
متن انگلیسی فصل
NORTHAMPTON, MAY 22, 2008
Beneath her white duvet, Ella swallowed past a sore throat, feeling worn out. Staying up late and drinking more than her usual limit several nights in a row had taken their toll. Still, she went downstairs to prepare breakfast and sat at the table with her twins and her husband, doing her best to look interested in their ongoing chatter about the coolest cars at school when all she wanted was to go back to bed and sleep.
All of a sudden, Orly turned to her mother and inquired, “Avi says our sister isn’t going to come home again. Is that true, Mom?” Her voice reeked of suspicion and accusation.
“Of course that’s not true. Your sister and I had a quarrel, as you know, but we love each other,” Ella said.
“Is it true that you gave Scott a call and asked him to dump Jeannette?” Avi asked with a grin, apparently enjoying the subject immensely.
Ella glanced at her husband with widened eyes, but David raised his eyebrows and flipped his hands open to indicate it wasn’t he who’d told them such a thing.
With practiced ease, Ella gave her voice the authoritarian tone she used when giving instructions to her children. “That’s not quite right. I did speak with Scott, but I did not tell him to dump your sister. All I said was not to rush into marriage.” “I’m never going to get married,” Orly announced with certitude.
“Yeah, as if any guy would want to have you as his wife!” Avi snapped.
While she listened to her twins tease each other, for reasons she couldn’t understand Ella felt a nervous smile settle on her mouth. She suppressed it. But the smile was there, carved under her skin, as she walked them to the door and wished them all a nice day.
Only when she returned to her seat at the table could she get rid of the smile, and she did that simply by allowing herself to sulk. The kitchen looked as if it had been attacked by an army of rats. Half-eaten scrambled eggs, unfinished bowls of cereal, and dirty mugs cluttered the counter. Spirit was pacing the floor, eager to go out for a walk, but even after two cups of coffee and a multivitamin drink all Ella could manage was to take him out into the garden for a few minutes.
Back from the garden, Ella found the red light flashing on the answering machine. She pressed the button, and to her great delight Jeannette’s melodious voice filled the room.
“Mom, are you there …? Well, I guess not, or you would have picked up the phone.” She chuckled. “Okay, I was so angry at you I didn’t want to see your face again. But now I’m cool about it. I mean, what you did was wrong, that’s for sure. You should never have called Scott. But I can understand why you did it. Listen, you don’t need to protect me all the time. I’m not that premature baby who needed to be kept in an incubator anymore. Stop being overprotective! Just let me be, okay?” Ella’s eyes filled with tears. The sight of Jeannette as a newborn baby flashed across her mind. Her skin utterly red and sad, her little fingers wrinkled and almost transparent, her lungs attached to a breathing tube—she was so unprepared for this world. Ella had spent many a sleepless night listening to her breathing just to make sure she was alive and would survive.
“Mom, one more thing,” added Jeannette, like an afterthought. “I love you.”
On that cue Ella let out a deep breath. Her mind shifted to Aziz’s e-mail. The wish tree had granted his wish. At least the first part of it. By giving her a call, Jeannette had done her part. Now it fell upon Ella to fulfill the rest. She called her daughter’s cell phone and found her on her way to the campus library.
“I got your message, honey. Listen, I’m so sorry. I want to apologize to you.”
There was a pause, brief but charged. “That’s all right, Mom.”
“No, it’s not. I should have shown more respect for your feelings.”
“Let’s leave it all behind, shall we?” said Jeannette, as though she were the mother and Ella her rebellious daughter.
Now Jeannette dropped her voice to a confidential mumble, as if afraid of what she was going to ask next. “What you said the other day kind of worried me. I mean, is that true? Are you really unhappy?” “Of course not,” Ella answered, a bit too quickly. “I raised three beautiful children—how can I be unhappy?”
But Jeannette didn’t sound convinced. “I meant with Daddy.”
Ella didn’t know what to say, except the truth. “Your father and I have been married a long time. It’s difficult to remain in love after so many years.” “I understand,” said Jeannette, and, oddly, Ella had the feeling she did.
After she hung up, Ella allowed herself to muse over love. She sat curled up in her rocking chair and wondered how she, hurt and cynical as she was, could ever experience love again. Love was for those looking for some rhyme or reason in this wildly spinning world. But what about those who had long given up the quest?
Before the day ended, she wrote back to Aziz.
Dear Aziz (if I may),
Thanks for your kind and heartwarming reply, which helped me through a family crisis. My daughter and I managed to leave behind that awful misunderstanding, as you politely called it.
You were right about one thing. I constantly vacillate between two opposites: aggressive and passive. Either I meddle too much in the lives of loved ones or I feel helpless in the face of their actions.
As for submission, I’ve never experienced the kind of peaceful surrender you wrote to me about. Honestly, I don’t think I have what it takes to be a Sufi. But I have to give you this: Amazingly, things between Jeannette and me turned out the way I wanted only after I stopped wanting and interfering. I owe you a big thank-you. I, too, would have prayed for you, but it has been such a long time since I last knocked on God’s door that I’m not sure if He still lives in the same place. Oops, did I speak like the innkeeper in your story? Don’t worry, I’m not that bitter. Not yet. Not yet.
Your friend in Northampton,
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