×

We use cookies to help make LingQ better. By visiting the site, you agree to our cookie policy.


image

KLARA AND THE SUN - KAZUO ISHIGURO, Part Two - 02 (1)

Part Two - 02 (1)

‘Come on! What are you doing?' Then she grasped the doorframe and leaned out at an angle. ‘Hurry up! Everyone's already here!'

Rick appeared in the doorway, and Josie, taking his arm, drew him into the hall.

He was dressed as he'd been on the grass mound, in normal jeans and sweater, but the adults seemed immediately to notice him. Their voices didn't actually stop, but the volume fell. Then the Mother came through the crowd.

‘Rick, hello! Welcome! Come on in.' She placed a hand behind him, ushering him towards the guest adults. ‘Everyone, this is Rick. Our good friend and neighbor. Some of you already know him.'

‘How are you, Rick?' a woman nearby said. ‘Great you could make it.'

Then the adults began to greet Rick all at once, calling out kind things, but I noticed a strange caution in their voices. The Mother, speaking above them, asked:

‘So Rick. Is your mother keeping well? It's been a while since she came over.'

‘She's fine, thank you, Mrs Arthur.'

As Rick spoke, the room became quiet. A tall woman behind me asked: ‘Did I hear you lived nearby, Rick?'

Rick's gaze moved across the faces to locate the speaker's.

‘Yes, ma'am. In fact, ours is the only house you can see if you step outside.' Then he did a small laugh and added: ‘Aside from this one, I mean.'

Everyone laughed loudly at his addition, and Josie, beside him, smiled nervously as if she'd made the remark herself. Another voice said:

‘A lot of clean air out here. Good place to grow up, I bet.'

‘It's just fine, thank you,' Rick said. ‘That is until you need a fast pizza delivery.'

Everyone laughed even more loudly, and this time Josie joined in, beaming happily.

‘Go ahead, Josie,' the Mother said. ‘Take Rick in. You should be hosting all your other guests too. Go on in now.'

The adults stood back, and Josie, still holding Rick's arm, led him towards the Open Plan. Neither of them looked at me, so I was unsure if I should follow. And then they were gone, the adults once more filling the hall, and I was left standing near the front door. A new voice nearby said:

‘Nice boy. Lives next door did he say? I couldn't hear.'

‘Rick's a neighbor, yes,' the Mother said. ‘He's been friends with Josie forever.'

‘That's wonderful.'

Then a large woman whose shape resembled the food blending machine said: ‘Seems so bright too. Such a shame a boy like that should have missed out.'

‘I wouldn't even have known,' another voice said. ‘He presents himself so well. Is that a British accent he has?'

‘What's important,' the food blending woman said, ‘is that this next generation learn how to be comfortable with every sort of person. That's what Peter always says.' Then as other voices murmured in agreement, she asked the Mother: ‘Did his folks just…decide not to go ahead? Lose their nerve?'

The Mother's kind smile vanished and everyone who'd heard seemed to stop talking. The food blending woman herself froze in horror. Then she reached out a hand towards the Mother.

‘Oh, Chrissie. What did I say? I didn't mean…'

‘It's okay,' the Mother said. ‘Please forget it.'

‘Oh, Chrissie, I'm so sorry. I'm so stupid sometimes. I only meant…'

‘It's our worst fear,' a firmer voice nearby said. ‘Every one of us here.'

‘It's okay,' the Mother said. ‘Let's leave it.'

‘Chrissie,' the food blending woman said, ‘I only meant a nice boy like that…'

‘Some of us were lucky, some of us weren't.' A black-skinned woman, saying this, stepped forward and touched the Mother's shoulder kindly.

‘But Josie's fine now, isn't she?' another voice asked. ‘She looks so much better.'

‘She has good days and bad,' the Mother said.

‘She's looking so much better.'

The food blending woman said: ‘She's going to be just fine, I know it. You were so courageous, after all you'd been through. Josie will be really grateful to you one day.'

‘Pam, come on.' The black-skinned woman reached forward and began to lead the food blending woman away. But the Mother, looking at the food blending woman, said quietly:

‘Do you suppose Sal would want to thank me?'

At this, the food blending woman burst into tears. ‘Look, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I'm so stupid, I just open my mouth and…' She sobbed, then continued loudly: ‘And now you all know it, know for certain I'm the world's greatest fool! It was just that nice boy, it seems so unfair…Chrissie, I'm so sorry.'

‘Look, really, please forget it.' The Mother, now making more effort, reached forward and held the food blending woman in a light hug. The food blending woman immediately returned the hug, and went on crying, her chin on the Mother's shoulder.

There was an awkward quiet, then the black-skinned woman said in a cheerful voice: ‘Well, they seem to be managing okay in there. No sounds yet of an all-out brawl.'

Everyone laughed loudly, and then the Mother said in a new voice:

‘Hey, what are we doing still out here? Let's go in the kitchen, please, everyone. Melania's been preparing more of those wonderful pastries from her homeland.'

A voice said in a pretend whisper: ‘I believe we're still out here…so we can eavesdrop!'

This brought another big laugh, and the Mother was smiling once more.

‘If they need us,' she said, ‘we'll hear about it. Please, go on through.'

As the adults started to move into the kitchen, I could hear more clearly the voices from the Open Plan, but couldn't make out any words. An adult passed near me saying: ‘Our Jenny got quite upset after that last meeting. We spent the whole weekend explaining to her how she'd misinterpreted everything.'

‘Klara. You're still here.'

The Mother was standing before me.

‘Yes.'

‘Why aren't you in there? With Josie?'

‘But…she didn't take me in.'

‘Go on. She needs you with her. And the other kids want to meet you.'

‘Yes, of course. Then excuse me.'

The Sun, noticing there were so many children in the one place, was pouring in his nourishment through the wide windows of the Open Plan. Its network of sofas, soft rectangles, low tables, plant pots, photograph books, had taken me a long time to master, yet now it had been so transformed it might have been a new room. There were young people everywhere and their bags, jackets, oblongs were all over the floor and surfaces. What was more, the room's space had become divided into twenty-four boxes – arranged in two tiers – all the way to the rear wall. Because of this partitioning, it was hard to gain an overall view of what was before me, but I gradually made sense of things. Josie was near the middle of the room talking with three guest girls. Their heads were almost touching, and because of how they were standing, the upper parts of their faces, including all their eyes, had been placed in a box on the higher tier, while all their mouths and chins had been squeezed into a lower box. The majority of the children were on their feet, some moving between boxes. Over at the rear wall, three boys were seated on the modular sofa, and even though they were sitting apart, their heads had been placed together inside a single box, while the outstretched leg of the boy nearest the window extended not only across the neighboring box, but right into the one beyond. There was an unpleasant tint on the three boxes containing the boys on the sofa – a sickly yellow – and an anxiety passed through my mind. Then other people moved across my view of them, and I began to attend instead to the voices around me.

Although someone had said as I'd come in, ‘Oh, here's the new AF, she's cute!' almost all the voices I now heard were discussing Rick. Josie must only recently have been standing beside him, but her conversation with the guest girls had caused her to turn her back to him, and he was now by himself, not conversing with anyone.

‘He's a friend of Josie. Lives nearby,' a girl was saying behind me.

‘We should be nice to him,' another girl said. ‘It must be weird for him, being here with us.'

‘Why'd Josie ask him? He must feel so weird.'

‘How about we offer him something. Make him feel welcome.'

The girl – who was thin and had unusually long arms – picked up a metal dish filled with chocolates and went towards Rick. I also moved further into the room, and heard her say to him:

‘Excuse me. Would you care for a bonbon?'

Rick had been watching Josie talking to the three guest girls, but now turned to the long-armed girl.

‘Go ahead,' she said, raising the dish higher. ‘They're good.'

‘Thank you very much.' He looked into the dish and chose a chocolate wrapped in shiny green paper.

Though the voices continued all around the room, I realized that suddenly everyone – including Josie and her guest girls – was now watching Rick.

‘We're all so pleased you came,' the long-armed girl said. ‘Josie's neighbor, right?'

‘That's right. I live next door.'

‘Next door? That's a good one! Only your house and this one, that's all there is for miles!'

The three girls Josie had been talking to now joined the long-armed girl, all the time smiling at Rick. Josie herself though remained where she was, her eyes watching anxiously.

‘I suppose so.' Rick laughed quickly. ‘But that still makes me next door.'

‘Sure does! Bet you like being out here. Must be peaceful.'

‘Peaceful is correct. It's all quite perfect until you want to go to the movies.'

I knew Rick hoped everyone listening would laugh as the adults had done about the pizza deliveries. But the four girls just continued to look at him in a kindly way.

‘So you don't watch movies on your DS?' one of them asked eventually.

‘I do sometimes. But I like going to a real movie theater. Big screen, ice cream. My mother and I enjoy that. Trouble is it's such a long way to go.'

‘We have a movie theater end of our block,' the long-armed girl said. ‘But we rarely go.'

‘Hey! He likes movies!'

‘Missy, please? Sorry, you have to excuse my sister. So you enjoy movies. Help you relax, right?'

‘I bet you like action movies,' said the girl called Missy.

Rick looked at her. Then he smiled and said: ‘Those can be fun. But Mum and I like the old movies. Everything was so different then. If you watch those movies, you can see the way restaurants were once. The clothes people wore.'

‘But you must like action, right?' said the long-armed girl. ‘Car chases and stuff.'

‘Hey,' another girl said behind me. ‘He's saying he goes to the movies with his mom. That's kinda cute.'

‘Doesn't your mom like you to go with your friends?'

‘It's not like that exactly. It's just…it's something my mother and I like to do.'

‘Did you go and see Gold Standard?'

‘No way his mom would like that!'

Josie now stepped forward in front of Rick.

‘Come on, Rick.' Her voice had anger in it. ‘Tell them what you like to watch. That's all they're asking. What do you like to watch?'

Several more guests had by now gathered around Rick, partially blocking my view of him. But I could see at this moment something change within him.

‘You know what?' He spoke not to Josie, but to all the others. ‘I like movies in which horrible things happen. Insects coming out of people's mouths, things of that nature.'

‘Really?'

‘May I just ask,' Rick said, ‘why all this curiosity about what kind of movies I like?'


Part Two - 02 (1)

‘Come on! What are you doing?' Then she grasped the doorframe and leaned out at an angle. ¿Qué estás haciendo?' Luego se agarró al marco de la puerta y se asomó en ángulo. ‘Hurry up! '¡Apresúrate! Everyone's already here!' ¡Todos ya están aquí!'

Rick appeared in the doorway, and Josie, taking his arm, drew him into the hall. Rick apareció en la puerta y Josie, tomándolo del brazo, lo condujo al pasillo.

He was dressed as he'd been on the grass mound, in normal jeans and sweater, but the adults seemed immediately to notice him. Estaba vestido como lo había estado en el montículo de hierba, con jeans y suéter normales, pero los adultos parecieron notarlo de inmediato. Their voices didn't actually stop, but the volume fell. Sus voces en realidad no se detuvieron, pero el volumen bajó. Then the Mother came through the crowd. Entonces la Madre apareció entre la multitud.

‘Rick, hello! '¡Rick, hola! Welcome! ¡Bienvenidos! Come on in.' She placed a hand behind him, ushering him towards the guest adults. Venga.' Ella colocó una mano detrás de él, llevándolo hacia los invitados adultos. ‘Everyone, this is Rick. 'Todos, este es Rick. Our good friend and neighbor. Nuestro buen amigo y vecino. Some of you already know him.' Algunos de ustedes ya lo conocen.

‘How are you, Rick?' a woman nearby said. ¿Cómo estás, Rick? dijo una mujer cercana. ‘Great you could make it.' 'Genial, podrías hacerlo'. — Здорово, что ты смог.

Then the adults began to greet Rick all at once, calling out kind things, but I noticed a strange caution in their voices. Entonces los adultos comenzaron a saludar a Rick todos a la vez, gritando cosas amables, pero noté una extraña cautela en sus voces. The Mother, speaking above them, asked: La Madre, hablando por encima de ellos, preguntó:

‘So Rick. Así que Rick. Is your mother keeping well? ¿Tu madre se mantiene bien? It's been a while since she came over.' Ha pasado un tiempo desde que vino.

‘She's fine, thank you, Mrs Arthur.' Está bien, gracias, señora Arthur.

As Rick spoke, the room became quiet. Mientras Rick hablaba, la habitación quedó en silencio. A tall woman behind me asked: ‘Did I hear you lived nearby, Rick?' Una mujer alta detrás de mí preguntó: '¿Escuché que vivías cerca, Rick?'

Rick's gaze moved across the faces to locate the speaker's. La mirada de Rick se movió a través de las caras para localizar la del hablante.

‘Yes, ma'am. 'Sí, señora. In fact, ours is the only house you can see if you step outside.' Then he did a small laugh and added: ‘Aside from this one, I mean.' De hecho, la nuestra es la única casa que puedes ver si sales. Luego se rió un poco y agregó: 'Aparte de este, quiero decir'. На самом деле, наш единственный дом, который можно увидеть, выйдя на улицу. Затем он усмехнулся и добавил: «Я имею в виду, кроме этого».

Everyone laughed loudly at his addition, and Josie, beside him, smiled nervously as if she'd made the remark herself. Todos se rieron a carcajadas por su adición, y Josie, a su lado, sonrió nerviosamente como si ella misma hubiera hecho el comentario. Another voice said: Otra voz dijo:

‘A lot of clean air out here. Aquí hay mucho aire limpio. Good place to grow up, I bet.' Buen lugar para crecer, apuesto.

‘It's just fine, thank you,' Rick said. "Está bien, gracias", dijo Rick. ‘That is until you need a fast pizza delivery.' 'Eso es hasta que necesites una entrega rápida de pizza'.

Everyone laughed even more loudly, and this time Josie joined in, beaming happily. Todos se rieron aún más fuerte, y esta vez Josie se unió a ellos, sonriendo alegremente.

‘Go ahead, Josie,' the Mother said. —Adelante, Josie —dijo la Madre. ‘Take Rick in. Lleva a Rick adentro. You should be hosting all your other guests too. Deberías hospedar a todos tus otros invitados también. Go on in now.' Entra ahora.

The adults stood back, and Josie, still holding Rick's arm, led him towards the Open Plan. Los adultos retrocedieron y Josie, aún sosteniendo a Rick por el brazo, lo condujo hacia el Open Plan. Neither of them looked at me, so I was unsure if I should follow. Ninguno de ellos me miró, así que no estaba seguro de si debía seguirlos. And then they were gone, the adults once more filling the hall, and I was left standing near the front door. Y luego se fueron, los adultos una vez más llenaron el pasillo, y me quedé de pie cerca de la puerta principal. A new voice nearby said: Una nueva voz cercana dijo:

‘Nice boy. 'Buen chico. Lives next door did he say? ¿Vive al lado, dijo? I couldn't hear.' No podía oír.

‘Rick's a neighbor, yes,' the Mother said. —Rick es vecino, sí —dijo la Madre. ‘He's been friends with Josie forever.' Ha sido amigo de Josie desde siempre.

‘That's wonderful.' 'Eso es maravilloso.'

Then a large woman whose shape resembled the food blending machine said: ‘Seems so bright too. Luego, una mujer grande cuya forma se parecía a la máquina mezcladora de alimentos dijo: 'También parece tan brillante. Such a shame a boy like that should have missed out.' Es una pena que un chico así se lo haya perdido. Какая жалость, что такой мальчик мог упустить шанс.

‘I wouldn't even have known,' another voice said. —Ni siquiera lo habría sabido —dijo otra voz. — Я бы даже не знал, — сказал другой голос. ‘He presents himself so well. 'Él se presenta tan bien. Is that a British accent he has?' ¿Es ese el acento británico que tiene?

‘What's important,' the food blending woman said, ‘is that this next generation learn how to be comfortable with every sort of person. 'Lo importante', dijo la mujer mezcladora de alimentos, 'es que esta próxima generación aprenda a sentirse cómoda con todo tipo de personas. That's what Peter always says.' Then as other voices murmured in agreement, she asked the Mother: ‘Did his folks just…decide not to go ahead? Eso es lo que siempre dice Peter. Luego, mientras otras voces murmuraban de acuerdo, le preguntó a la Madre: '¿Sus padres simplemente... decidieron no seguir adelante? Так всегда говорит Питер. Затем, когда другие голоса зашептались в знак согласия, она спросила Мать: «Неужели его предки только что… решили не идти вперед? Lose their nerve?' ¿Perder los nervios? Потеряли самообладание?

The Mother's kind smile vanished and everyone who'd heard seemed to stop talking. La amable sonrisa de la Madre se desvaneció y todos los que la habían oído parecieron dejar de hablar. The food blending woman herself froze in horror. La misma mujer licuadora de alimentos se congeló de horror. Then she reached out a hand towards the Mother. Luego extendió una mano hacia la Madre.

‘Oh, Chrissie. 'Oh, Chrissie. What did I say? ¿Qué dije? I didn't mean…' No quise decir…'

‘It's okay,' the Mother said. 'Está bien,' dijo la Madre. ‘Please forget it.' 'Por favor olvídalo.'

‘Oh, Chrissie, I'm so sorry. Oh, Chrissie, lo siento mucho. I'm so stupid sometimes. Soy tan estúpido a veces. I only meant…' Solo quise decir…'

‘It's our worst fear,' a firmer voice nearby said. —Es nuestro peor miedo —dijo una voz más firme cerca—. ‘Every one of us here.' Cada uno de nosotros aquí.

‘It's okay,' the Mother said. 'Está bien,' dijo la Madre. ‘Let's leave it.' 'Dejemoslo.'

‘Chrissie,' the food blending woman said, ‘I only meant a nice boy like that…' 'Chrissie', dijo la mujer mezcladora de alimentos, 'solo me refiero a un chico agradable como ese...'

‘Some of us were lucky, some of us weren't.' A black-skinned woman, saying this, stepped forward and touched the Mother's shoulder kindly. "Algunos de nosotros tuvimos suerte, otros no". Una mujer de piel negra, diciendo esto, se adelantó y tocó amablemente el hombro de la Madre.

‘But Josie's fine now, isn't she?' another voice asked. 'Pero Josie está bien ahora, ¿no es así?' preguntó otra voz. — Но теперь с Джози все в порядке, не так ли? — спросил другой голос. ‘She looks so much better.' Se ve mucho mejor.

‘She has good days and bad,' the Mother said. 'Ella tiene días buenos y malos,' dijo la Madre.

‘She's looking so much better.' Se ve mucho mejor.

The food blending woman said: ‘She's going to be just fine, I know it. La licuadora de alimentos dijo: 'Ella va a estar bien, lo sé'. Женщина, занимающаяся смешиванием пищевых продуктов, сказала: «С ней все будет в порядке, я знаю». You were so courageous, after all you'd been through. Fuiste tan valiente, después de todo lo que habías pasado. Ты был таким смелым, после всего, через что тебе пришлось пройти. Josie will be really grateful to you one day.' Josie te estará muy agradecida algún día.

‘Pam, come on.' The black-skinned woman reached forward and began to lead the food blending woman away. Pam, vamos. La mujer de piel negra se adelantó y comenzó a alejar a la mujer que licuaba la comida. — Пэм, давай. Чернокожая женщина потянулась вперед и начала уводить женщину, смешавшую еду. But the Mother, looking at the food blending woman, said quietly: Pero la Madre, mirando a la batidora, dijo en voz baja:

‘Do you suppose Sal would want to thank me?' ¿Crees que Sal querría darme las gracias? — Как ты думаешь, Сэл захочет меня поблагодарить?

At this, the food blending woman burst into tears. Ante esto, la licuadora de alimentos se echó a llorar. ‘Look, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. 'Mira, lo siento, lo siento. I'm so stupid, I just open my mouth and…' She sobbed, then continued loudly: ‘And now you all know it, know for certain I'm the world's greatest fool! Soy tan estúpida, solo abro la boca y…' Ella sollozó, luego continuó en voz alta: '¡Y ahora todos ustedes lo saben, saben con certeza que soy la mayor tonta del mundo! It was just that nice boy, it seems so unfair…Chrissie, I'm so sorry.' Era solo ese buen chico, parece tan injusto... Chrissie, lo siento mucho. Это был просто тот милый мальчик, это кажется таким несправедливым… Крисси, мне так жаль».

‘Look, really, please forget it.' The Mother, now making more effort, reached forward and held the food blending woman in a light hug. 'Mira, de verdad, por favor, olvídalo'. La Madre, ahora haciendo más esfuerzo, se inclinó hacia adelante y sostuvo a la mujer licuadora de alimentos en un ligero abrazo. The food blending woman immediately returned the hug, and went on crying, her chin on the Mother's shoulder. La licuadora le devolvió el abrazo de inmediato y siguió llorando, con la barbilla apoyada en el hombro de la Madre.

There was an awkward quiet, then the black-skinned woman said in a cheerful voice: ‘Well, they seem to be managing okay in there. Hubo un silencio incómodo, luego la mujer de piel negra dijo con voz alegre: 'Bueno, parece que se las están arreglando bien allí. No sounds yet of an all-out brawl.' Aún no hay sonidos de una pelea total. 全面的な乱闘の音はまだありません。」 Пока не слышно тотальной драки.

Everyone laughed loudly, and then the Mother said in a new voice: Todos rieron a carcajadas, y luego la Madre dijo con una nueva voz:

‘Hey, what are we doing still out here? 'Oye, ¿qué estamos haciendo todavía aquí? Let's go in the kitchen, please, everyone. Vamos a la cocina, por favor, todos. Melania's been preparing more of those wonderful pastries from her homeland.' Melania ha estado preparando más de esos maravillosos pasteles de su tierra natal.

A voice said in a pretend whisper: ‘I believe we're still out here…so we can eavesdrop!' Una voz dijo en un susurro fingido: 'Creo que todavía estamos aquí... ¡así que podemos escuchar a escondidas!' ささやきのふりをして声がした。「私たちはまだここにいると思います…盗聴できるように!」

This brought another big laugh, and the Mother was smiling once more. Esto provocó otra gran carcajada, y la Madre sonrió una vez más.

‘If they need us,' she said, ‘we'll hear about it. 'Si nos necesitan', dijo, 'nos enteraremos. Please, go on through.' Por favor, continúe.

As the adults started to move into the kitchen, I could hear more clearly the voices from the Open Plan, but couldn't make out any words. Cuando los adultos comenzaron a moverse hacia la cocina, pude escuchar más claramente las voces del Open Plan, pero no pude distinguir ninguna palabra. An adult passed near me saying: ‘Our Jenny got quite upset after that last meeting. Un adulto pasó cerca de mí diciendo: 'Nuestra Jenny se molestó bastante después de esa última reunión. We spent the whole weekend explaining to her how she'd misinterpreted everything.' Pasamos todo el fin de semana explicándole cómo había malinterpretado todo.

‘Klara. 'Klara. You're still here.' Todavía estás aquí.

The Mother was standing before me. La Madre estaba de pie frente a mí.

‘Yes.' 'Sí.'

‘Why aren't you in there? '¿Por qué no estás ahí? With Josie?' ¿Con Josie?

‘But…she didn't take me in.' 'Pero… ella no me acogió.'

‘Go on. 'Continuar. She needs you with her. Ella te necesita con ella. And the other kids want to meet you.' Y los otros niños quieren conocerte.

‘Yes, of course. 'Sí, por supuesto. Then excuse me.' Entonces disculpe.

The Sun, noticing there were so many children in the one place, was pouring in his nourishment through the wide windows of the Open Plan. El Sol, al notar que había tantos niños en un solo lugar, derramaba su alimento a través de las amplias ventanas del Open Plan. Солнце, заметив, что в одном месте так много детей, изливал свою пищу через широкие окна Открытого Плана. Its network of sofas, soft rectangles, low tables, plant pots, photograph books, had taken me a long time to master, yet now it had been so transformed it might have been a new room. Su red de sofás, rectángulos suaves, mesas bajas, macetas, libros de fotografías, me había llevado mucho tiempo dominar, pero ahora se había transformado tanto que podría haber sido una nueva habitación. There were young people everywhere and their bags, jackets, oblongs were all over the floor and surfaces. Había gente joven por todas partes y sus bolsos, chaquetas, oblongos estaban por todo el piso y las superficies. What was more, the room's space had become divided into twenty-four boxes – arranged in two tiers – all the way to the rear wall. Además, el espacio de la habitación se había dividido en veinticuatro cajas, dispuestas en dos niveles, hasta la pared trasera. Более того, пространство комнаты было разделено на двадцать четыре ящика, расположенных в два яруса, вплоть до задней стены. Because of this partitioning, it was hard to gain an overall view of what was before me, but I gradually made sense of things. Debido a esta partición, fue difícil obtener una visión general de lo que tenía delante, pero poco a poco le di sentido a las cosas. Из-за этого разбиения мне было трудно получить общее представление о том, что было передо мной, но постепенно я стал во всем разбираться. Josie was near the middle of the room talking with three guest girls. Josie estaba cerca del centro de la habitación hablando con tres invitadas. Their heads were almost touching, and because of how they were standing, the upper parts of their faces, including all their eyes, had been placed in a box on the higher tier, while all their mouths and chins had been squeezed into a lower box. Sus cabezas casi se tocaban, y debido a la forma en que estaban parados, la parte superior de sus rostros, incluidos todos sus ojos, se habían colocado en una caja en el nivel superior, mientras que todas sus bocas y barbillas estaban comprimidas en una caja inferior. . Их головы почти соприкасались, и из-за того, как они стояли, верхняя часть их лиц, включая все глаза, была помещена в коробку на верхнем ярусе, в то время как все их рты и подбородки были втиснуты в нижнюю коробку. . The majority of the children were on their feet, some moving between boxes. La mayoría de los niños estaban de pie, algunos moviéndose entre cajas. Over at the rear wall, three boys were seated on the modular sofa, and even though they were sitting apart, their heads had been placed together inside a single box, while the outstretched leg of the boy nearest the window extended not only across the neighboring box, but right into the one beyond. En la pared trasera, tres niños estaban sentados en el sofá modular, y aunque estaban sentados separados, sus cabezas habían sido colocadas juntas dentro de una sola caja, mientras que la pierna extendida del niño más cercano a la ventana se extendía no solo a través de la vecina. caja, pero justo en el que está más allá. There was an unpleasant tint on the three boxes containing the boys on the sofa – a sickly yellow – and an anxiety passed through my mind. Había un tinte desagradable en las tres cajas que contenían a los niños en el sofá, un amarillo enfermizo, y una ansiedad pasó por mi mente. Then other people moved across my view of them, and I began to attend instead to the voices around me. Luego, otras personas se cruzaron en mi campo de visión y, en cambio, comencé a prestar atención a las voces que me rodeaban.

Although someone had said as I'd come in, ‘Oh, here's the new AF, she's cute!' almost all the voices I now heard were discussing Rick. Aunque alguien había dicho cuando entré, '¡Oh, aquí está la nueva AF, es linda!' casi todas las voces que ahora escuchaba hablaban de Rick. Josie must only recently have been standing beside him, but her conversation with the guest girls had caused her to turn her back to him, and he was now by himself, not conversing with anyone. Josie debía haber estado de pie junto a él recientemente, pero su conversación con las invitadas había hecho que ella le diera la espalda, y ahora estaba solo, sin conversar con nadie.

‘He's a friend of Josie. Es amigo de Josie. Lives nearby,' a girl was saying behind me. Vive cerca', decía una chica detrás de mí.

‘We should be nice to him,' another girl said. 'Deberíamos ser amables con él', dijo otra chica. ‘It must be weird for him, being here with us.' 'Debe ser extraño para él, estar aquí con nosotros.'

‘Why'd Josie ask him? ¿Por qué le preguntó Josie? He must feel so weird.' Debe sentirse tan raro.

‘How about we offer him something. ¿Qué tal si le ofrecemos algo? Make him feel welcome.' Haz que se sienta bienvenido.

The girl – who was thin and had unusually long arms – picked up a metal dish filled with chocolates and went towards Rick. La chica, que era delgada y tenía brazos inusualmente largos, tomó un plato de metal lleno de chocolates y se acercó a Rick. I also moved further into the room, and heard her say to him: También me moví más adentro de la habitación y la escuché decirle:

‘Excuse me. 'Perdóneme. Would you care for a bonbon?' ¿Le gustaría un bombón? Не хочешь конфетку?

Rick had been watching Josie talking to the three guest girls, but now turned to the long-armed girl. Rick había estado observando a Josie hablando con las tres chicas invitadas, pero ahora se volvió hacia la chica de brazos largos.

‘Go ahead,' she said, raising the dish higher. 'Adelante,' dijo ella, levantando el plato más alto. ‘They're good.' 'Ellos son buenos.'

‘Thank you very much.' He looked into the dish and chose a chocolate wrapped in shiny green paper. 'Muchísimas gracias.' Miró en el plato y eligió un chocolate envuelto en papel verde brillante.

Though the voices continued all around the room, I realized that suddenly everyone – including Josie and her guest girls – was now watching Rick. Aunque las voces continuaron por toda la habitación, me di cuenta de que de repente todos, incluidas Josie y sus invitadas, ahora estaban mirando a Rick.

‘We're all so pleased you came,' the long-armed girl said. —Todos estamos muy contentos de que hayas venido —dijo la chica de brazos largos. ‘Josie's neighbor, right?' La vecina de Josie, ¿verdad?

‘That's right. 'Así es. I live next door.' Vivo al lado.'

‘Next door? That's a good one! ¡Esa es buena! Only your house and this one, that's all there is for miles!' Sólo tu casa y ésta, ¡eso es todo lo que hay en kilómetros!

The three girls Josie had been talking to now joined the long-armed girl, all the time smiling at Rick. Las tres chicas con las que Josie había estado hablando ahora se unieron a la chica de brazos largos, todo el tiempo sonriendo a Rick. Josie herself though remained where she was, her eyes watching anxiously. Sin embargo, la propia Josie permaneció donde estaba, con los ojos mirando ansiosamente.

‘I suppose so.' Rick laughed quickly. 'Supongo que sí.' Rick se rió rápidamente. ‘But that still makes me next door.' 'Pero eso todavía me convierte en la puerta de al lado.'

‘Sure does! '¡Seguro que lo hace! Bet you like being out here. Apuesto a que te gusta estar aquí. Must be peaceful.' Debe ser pacífico.

‘Peaceful is correct. 'Pacífico es correcto. It's all quite perfect until you want to go to the movies.' Todo es bastante perfecto hasta que quieres ir al cine.

I knew Rick hoped everyone listening would laugh as the adults had done about the pizza deliveries. Sabía que Rick esperaba que todos los que escucharan se rieran como lo habían hecho los adultos sobre las entregas de pizza. But the four girls just continued to look at him in a kindly way. Pero las cuatro chicas continuaron mirándolo con amabilidad.

‘So you don't watch movies on your DS?' one of them asked eventually. '¿Así que no ves películas en tu DS?' uno de ellos preguntó finalmente.

‘I do sometimes. 'Lo hago a veces. But I like going to a real movie theater. Pero me gusta ir a un cine de verdad. Big screen, ice cream. Pantalla grande, helado. My mother and I enjoy that. Mi madre y yo disfrutamos eso. Trouble is it's such a long way to go.' El problema es que es un largo camino por recorrer.

‘We have a movie theater end of our block,' the long-armed girl said. "Tenemos un cine al final de nuestra cuadra", dijo la chica de brazos largos. ‘But we rarely go.' Pero rara vez vamos.

‘Hey! '¡Oye! He likes movies!' ¡Le gustan las películas!

‘Missy, please? 'Señorita, por favor? Sorry, you have to excuse my sister. Lo siento, tienes que disculpar a mi hermana. So you enjoy movies. Entonces disfrutas de las películas. Help you relax, right?' Te ayuda a relajarte, ¿verdad?

‘I bet you like action movies,' said the girl called Missy. 'Apuesto a que te gustan las películas de acción', dijo la chica llamada Missy.

Rick looked at her. Rick la miró. Then he smiled and said: ‘Those can be fun. Luego sonrió y dijo: 'Esos pueden ser divertidos. But Mum and I like the old movies. Pero a mamá ya mí nos gustan las películas antiguas. Everything was so different then. Todo era tan diferente entonces. If you watch those movies, you can see the way restaurants were once. Si miras esas películas, puedes ver cómo eran los restaurantes una vez. Если вы посмотрите эти фильмы, вы увидите, какими когда-то были рестораны. The clothes people wore.' La ropa que usaba la gente.

‘But you must like action, right?' said the long-armed girl. Pero te debe gustar la acción, ¿verdad? dijo la chica de brazos largos. ‘Car chases and stuff.' Persecuciones de coches y esas cosas.

‘Hey,' another girl said behind me. "Oye", dijo otra chica detrás de mí. ‘He's saying he goes to the movies with his mom. Dice que va al cine con su madre. That's kinda cute.' Eso es un poco lindo.

‘Doesn't your mom like you to go with your friends?' '¿A tu mamá no le gusta que vayas con tus amigos?'

‘It's not like that exactly. 'No es así exactamente. It's just…it's something my mother and I like to do.' Es solo que... es algo que a mi madre ya mí nos gusta hacer.

‘Did you go and see Gold Standard?' ¿Fuiste a ver Gold Standard?

‘No way his mom would like that!' '¡De ninguna manera a su mamá le gustaría eso!'

Josie now stepped forward in front of Rick. Josie ahora dio un paso adelante frente a Rick.

‘Come on, Rick.' Her voice had anger in it. Vamos, Rick. Su voz tenía ira en ella. ‘Tell them what you like to watch. Diles lo que te gusta ver. That's all they're asking. Eso es todo lo que están pidiendo. What do you like to watch?' ¿Que te gustaría ver?'

Several more guests had by now gathered around Rick, partially blocking my view of him. Varios invitados más se habían reunido alrededor de Rick, bloqueando parcialmente mi vista de él. But I could see at this moment something change within him. Pero pude ver en este momento que algo cambió dentro de él. Но я мог видеть, как в этот момент что-то изменилось внутри него.

‘You know what?' He spoke not to Josie, but to all the others. '¿Sabes que?' No se dirigió a Josie, sino a todos los demás. ‘I like movies in which horrible things happen. “Me gustan las películas en las que pasan cosas horribles. Insects coming out of people's mouths, things of that nature.' Insectos que salen de la boca de la gente, cosas de esa naturaleza.

‘Really?' '¿En realidad?'

‘May I just ask,' Rick said, ‘why all this curiosity about what kind of movies I like?' 'Puedo preguntar,' dijo Rick, '¿por qué toda esta curiosidad sobre qué tipo de películas me gustan?'