“Then I forgot you. I did not see you for nearly twelve years. I got married. And I no longer saw the woman in you, only the infinitely dear sister… Yes, except once! Once last year, when we were both alone and became so drunk! Then you suddenly got into a most uncommonly bad mood, you scorned me, made spicy innuendos about my marriage and then suddenly threw yourself upon me and bit me in the lips, so that they bled… Then I began, to get aroused.”
“Did I bite you?” she laughed mischievously.
“And then, once you were visiting us and brought me my early morning coffee in bed…”
She burst out angrily.
“Have you gone completely crazy? Can you even imagine, that I love you as a woman loves a man?”
He smiled strangely.
“You have just betrayed yourself. You have never loved me as a sister. You always trembled for me, just like I now tremble for you. Heh, heh: now do you know? Once, when it was your birthday, and so many children came over? We played hide and seek. You always hid with me in the darkest corner and pressed yourself so tightly against me. Look at me, let me look in your eyes… Don’t you know very well, that the two of us became so passionate that we nearly strangled in a desire, which other children didn’t have to endure? Heh, heh… Then I became a man…”
He suddenly became silent, it occurred to him, that he had said too much.
She laughed spitefully.
“Are you going to write an entire book? Some perverse story about incest, well? Heh, heh, heh… You won’t do that to me…”
“I would not do that to you at all. Don’t you believe me? Do you dare me? Listen Agaj, can’t you hear the terrible seriousness in my voice? Why are you squirming? Why won’t you admit, that you love me? Didn’t you tell me yesterday, that you nearly went crazy, when I returned from overseas last year? And do you believe I don’t know, that you have stolen mother’s money, in order to send it to me, when I was in need?… Does a sister do that? Why? Why do you want to deny it, that you love me?”
“I love you, like one loves a brother, no more,” she said dismissively.
“Ha, Ha, Ha, like one loves a brother? You must tell that to a criminal psychologist… Why are you becoming as pale as a corpse, why are your hands trembling? And you are drinking a lot, just to keep from becoming conscious of what I’m saying, don’t torture me…”
He became serious, his body trembled.
“Don’t torture me! I am so unspeakably happy over your love… I – I… His voice sank down to a scarcely audible whisper… You, Agaj, there is something strange going on inside of me…”
“I love you!” he gasped suddenly and his voice broke.
There was a long pause. The silence lasted uncommonly long.
“Now do you understand?” he whispered softly.
She didn’t answer.
“Yesterday you broke through into my soul… You were with me in the night… You were no longer my sister…”
She looked at him in terror. The corners of her mouth twitched in torment. Their eyes bored into each other, their glances intertwined inseparablely.
“This is terrible!” she said.
A sick fear flickered feverishly in her face.
“Yes, it is terrible,” he repeated absently.
Again a long silence. She stood up.
“Go back home! Go! Go!”
He never listened to her pleas.
“No, Agaj, I cannot leave you.”
“But what do you want of me?” she cried suddenly in outrage.
“Nothing, nothing… Naturally nothing…”
He smiled foolishly.
“Yesterday, there was still something called incest for me, heh, heh… I believed in incest. I was in the deepest despair, when I discovered, that the woman, with whom I had just experienced an unspeakable orgy, was my own sister. Today I have lost my sister. Today I see Agaj, the woman, the strange woman, that to me, stands above any other woman in the world, especially because, because she has my own blood, has a psychic piece of me.”
He hesitated suddenly.
“You, Agaj, are you afraid of incest?”
“I’m not afraid of it at all.” she laughed scornfully.
He looked at her with trembling fear, as if his entire life was now being decided. She looked straight into his eyes with a cruel coldness.
“But? You ask: But? There is no but, because you don’t exist for me at all as a man. You are simply my brother.”
“You lie! You lie! Why do you torture me with your lies? Don’t destroy that which is the most sacred in me, that which I live for, that which the entire contents of my soul is made out of.”
“You have forgotten your wife; you have a fever; your hands are glowing, and your eyes suck poisonously into my blood like scopolia… I don’t want to see you. You destroy my soul, you…”
She suddenly came to her senses and replied scornfully.
“Ridiculous: boundlessly ridiculous!” – She rushed – “you have the most beautiful, the most glamorous woman for a wife, never have I seen such a glamorous woman… And – and she is not enough for you; you run around with other women, and on top of that your own sister.”
“Oh, oh, you ran after me, just like I am running after you… Heh, heh… Only you are a coward, a coward. Only you don’t dare to confess it. But, when I told you yesterday, that perhaps I would be going away today –do you believe that I didn’t see your pain and the effort, which you made to conceal it? I adore my wife, but I love you. Do you finally understand: you, I love you. Since your childhood you have longed for these words, these words: ‘I love you!’ You trembled for me to say them to you. You wanted to force them out from me and now, now, when I have finally said them, why do you want to push me away so brutally? Perhaps you don’t believe that I am serious, because it’s happened so quickly and unexpectedly. In one second of torment… But now I live only in this feeling, my brain rummages around in feverish desire in those times, when you still didn’t understand how to conceal your desire. Suddenly my soul is broken open, I remember every word that you said for twelve years, I remember a thousand things, a thousand little things, a thousand looks and gestures from out of the past, I remember everything, that I had forgotten until yesterday…”