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My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

Author:Elena Ferrante [Ferrante, Elena]
Language: eng
Format: epub, mobi
Tags: Historical, (¯`'•.¸//(*_*)\\¸.•'´¯)
ISBN: 9781609450786
Publisher: Europa Editions
Published: 2011-12-01T00:00:00+00:00


23.

As I said, many things about that night escaped me. But above all, overwhelmed by the atmosphere of celebration and danger, by the swirl of males whose bodies gave off a heat hotter than the fires in the sky, I neglected Lila. And yet it was then that her first inner change took place.

I didn’t realize, as I said, what had happened to her, the action was difficult to perceive. But I was aware of the consequences almost immediately. She became lazier. Two days later, I got up early, even though I didn’t have school, to go with her to open the shop and help her do the cleaning, but she didn’t appear. She arrived late, sullen, and we walked through the neighborhood avoiding the shoemaker’s shop.

“You’re not going to work?”

“No.”

“Why?”

“I don’t like it anymore.”

“And the new shoes?”

“They’re nowhere.”

“And so?”

It seemed to me that even she didn’t know what she wanted. The only definite thing was that she seemed very worried about her brother, much more than I had seen recently. And it was precisely as a result of that worry that she began to modify her speeches about wealth. There was always the pressure to become wealthy, there was no question about it, but the goal was no longer the same as in childhood: no treasure chests, no sparkle of coins and precious stones. Now it seemed that money, in her mind, had become a cement: it consolidated, reinforced, fixed this and that. Above all, it fixed Rino’s head. The pair of shoes that they had made together he now considered ready, and wanted to show them to Fernando. But Lila knew well (and according to her so did Rino) that the work was full of flaws, that their father would examine the shoes and throw them away. So she told him that they had to try and try again, that the route to the shoe factory was a difficult one; but he was unwilling to wait longer, he felt an urgent need to become like the Solaras, like Stefano, and Lila couldn’t make him see reason. Suddenly it seemed to me that wealth in itself no longer interested her. She no longer spoke of money with any excitement, it was just a means of keeping her brother out of trouble. But since it wasn’t around the corner, she wondered, with cruel eyes, what she had to come up with to soothe him.

Rino was in a frenzy. Fernando, for example, never reproached Lila for having stopped coming to the shop, in fact he let her understand that he was happy for her to stay home and help her mother. Her brother instead got furious and in early January I witnessed another ugly quarrel. Rino approached us with his head down, he blocked our path, he said to her, “Come to work right now.” Lila answered that she wouldn’t think of it. He then dragged her by the arm, she defied him with a nasty insult, Rino slapped her, shouted at her, “Then go home, go and help Mamma.



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