“I wish I’d know the Italian couple,” she told Ugarte.
She imagined them sometimes, felt the sweet sting of jealousy for the two of them, like the two halves of juniper wood, bonding around a common purpose. Working together. Excited from the developments of the day. Creating what had never existed. Testing variations of their new creation. Perhaps arguing over the particulars of a detail or refinement and becoming exasperated with each other in their shared intensity. Washing it all away in the evening with waves of love-making before drifting off to sleep in their small bed. Whatever their meager possessions and dreams, they shared them.
Kak knew she would never have that, with or without Philip. Why did she have to know it? She wished then, as she had so many times, that she could be spared self-awareness. Life would be so much easier without it.
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