Saturday, March 5, 2011

    He stopped on the threshold of the main lounge, but hardly had he begun to scan the distribution of its scattered human contents, than an abrupt flurry occurred in a distant group. Ada, spurning decorum, was hurrying toward him. Her solitary and precipitate advance consumed in reverse all the years of their separation as she changed from a dark-glittering stranger with the high hair-do in fashion to the pale-armed girl in black who had always belonged to him. At that particular twist of time they happened to be the only people conspicuously erect and active in the huge room, and heads turned and eyes peered when the two met in the middle of it as on a stage; but what should have been, in culmination of her headlong motion, of the ecstasy in her eyes and fiery jewels, a great explosion of voluble love, was marked by incongruous silence; he raised to his unbending lips and kissed her cygneous hand, and then they stood still, staring at each other, he playing with coins in his trouser pockets under his "humped" jacket, she fingering her necklace, each reflecting, as it were, the uncertain light to which all that radiance of mutual welcome had catastrophically decreased. She was more Ada than ever, but a dash of new elegancy had been added to her shy, wild charm. Her still blacker hair was drawn back and up into a glossy chignon, and the Lucette line of her exposed neck, slender and straight, came as a heartrending surprise. He was trying to form a succinct sentence (to warn her about the device he planned for securing a rendevous), but she interrupted his throat clearing with a muttered injunction: Sbrit' usi! (that mustache must go) and turned away to lead him to the far corner from which she had taken so many years to reach him.

- Vladimir Nabokov
Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle

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