Inside Anna Karenina's Head - Part 5

December 24, 2012
I have been seeing Vronsky all the same, and Alexei has been pretending not to notice. I never call him to my house, though, for that would stretch the boundaries of my husband’s and my already illegitimate and fragile consent. Today, however, Alexei had a meeting to attend from seven until ten o’clock. This window of time was a window of opportunity. I opened the window and let Vronsky in at eight. In a perfect storm of misfortune, he was late in coming to the house, and Alexei was early in returning. The two bumped into each other in the foyer, but nothing was said. According to Vronsky, Alexei only bowed and left again. What a bitter show of deference, for my husband knows that he no longer has me in his immediate grasp! Vronsky tried to comfort me. He reassured me of his love and its transcendence of time, and I reminded him of my mortality, foreboding in character, and its dependence on the events of time. I was a mess of desperation through his entire visit, hearing his heartbeat ticking away the time of our slippery, dangerous, heavenly affair. I will either hear it stop from Alexei’s wrath, or I will stop hearing it myself as trouble rings ever louder in my ears. By choice or by force, but either way by and by, I will have no ability to hear. There was a moment near our meeting’s end in which I felt a stir. A bump, a kick, an abnormality, a “stirring of new life inside [me]” (362). I am pregnant with an angel that will kill me like the devil, and my life is as good as done. In this treacherous game, have I won? The love that has saved me now digs me a grave, and I will climb submissively in.

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