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.It’s not that I was hiding anything from her; it’s just that there was something so sacred, so fragile, about having discovered Saul so unexpectedly in the middle of Sharon Burke’s duller-than-dull party that I was afraid to talk about it.Even to Rachel.It was like betraying a confidence, in some strange way.Ordinarily I would have felt guilty about holding out on Rachel, especially about something as important as budding love.But as it turned out, the next few days were pretty busy ones for both of us, and the only conversations we had were hasty and superficial.“How was Sharon’s party?” she called to me on Monday morning as I was running to music theory and she was trekking over to the language lab.“It was okay.”“Good.I’ll call you later.”But she never did, because of some last-minute quiz that was scheduled for Tuesday.I was relieved, in a way, that things were ending up that way.I preferred to be left on my own, to daydream, to plan, and to moon over this new stranger who had wandered into my life from Brooklyn, of all places.So lost was I in my own little world, in fact, that I was actually surprised to hear Rachel’s voice when I answered the telephone that Tuesday night at exactly seven-twenty-two.“Hi, Sallie? It’s me, Rachel.How are you? I feel like I haven’t talked to you in ages!”“I know.I guess I’ve been busy the last couple of days.”“Me, too.And now I’m drowning in Don Quixote.Spanish test tomorrow.Already! It’s only the third week of classes, and already I’m swamped.”“They don’t waste any time, that’s for sure.” I glanced at my watch nervously.Seven-twenty-four.“I wanted to ask you a favor, though.You know my English notebook, the one I lent you last week? I need it back right away.I found out today that I have to give a little talk on Moby Dick tomorrow in class, and all my notes are in it.Do you think maybe you could drop it off tonight? It’s kind of an emergency.”“Uh.” Seven-twenty-five.At any minute Saul would be at my front door, guitar in hand.But then it occurred to me that it might be kind of fun to surprise Rachel.“Sure, I’ll bring it over.But is it okay if someone else comes with me?”“Who? Jenny?”“No.It’s a surprise.Someone you’ve never met before.”“It’s fine with me.I just washed my hair, but if this mystery person doesn’t mind getting dripped on, I certainly don’t care.”“Okay.We’ll be by in around fifteen minutes.”I hung up, wondering what Rachel’s reaction to Saul would be.I hoped they would like each other.There is nothing worse than having the people you care most about going at each other like cats and dogs.Once again I had an ugly thought: Perhaps it would bother Rachel that Saul was Puerto Rican.There was no reason why it should, as far as I knew.But still, I was suddenly keenly aware of the current status of New York’s social scene.Well, the solution to that was simple enough.I just wouldn’t tell her.I’d let her get to know him first, let her see what a terrific guy he was.There was nothing wrong with that.I mean, I don’t exactly go around introducing my friends to each other by saying, “This is Rachel.She’s Jewish.” Or “This is Dan, he’s German.”Promptly at seven-thirty the doorbell rang, and there was Saul.Once again, I’d dressed in that special style that I call “conscientious-casual.” I knew that the excitement of seeing him again was bringing a sparkle to my eyes and a flush to my cheeks.I’d noticed that about myself lately; every time I looked into a mirror, I appeared to be glowing.It was most becoming, I thought.“Hi, Sallie! All set for a night of hard work?”“You bet.But first I have to do a quick errand.Do you mind if we run over to a friend’s house for a minute? I have to drop something off.It’s only a few blocks away, and we won’t have to stay very long.”“It’s fine with me.”He deposited his guitar in my room, and after scrounging around my desk for a few minutes, I carne up with Rachel’s notebook.“All set?” he asked, and we set off for the Glasses’ apartment.“The person you’re about to meet is my best friend in the whole world.Her name is Rachel Glass.People are always kidding us about our last names.Glass and Spooner.Get it? Anyway, she’s been my best friend ever since I moved to New York, just about.”I proceeded to fill Saul in on my entire history as we walked over to Rachel’s.It was a lovely evening, I remember, with that balmy feeling of late Indian summer.But the promise of autumn was unmistakable.That’s my favorite time of the year, I think.Early fall.And then early spring is nice, too.I think when the seasons are just about to change from very hot to very cold, and vice versa, it makes the air seem fresher and the world seem brand-new [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]