Night Angels by Weina Dai Randel EPUB & PDF – eBook Details Online
- Book Genre: Fiction , History
- ISBN #
- Edition Language: English
- Date of Publication: February 02, 2023
- File Format: PDF / EPUB
- PDF / EPUB File Size: 3 MB
When I met Lola for the first time, it wasn’t entirely my choice, for if it had
been up to me, I wouldn’t have taken a chance on her. But many things
were not up to me, such as the official dinners that lasted for five hours, or
the extravagant parties hosted by the royal Hapsburg family, or the dances
in the grand ballrooms overflowing with high-ranking officials in goldtrimmed uniforms and duchesses in diamond tiaras, or even Vienna.
It was late May, another long afternoon: the desultory rays of pale
sunlight writhed on the vast stretch of the Ringstrasse; a cloud of dust,
silent like shadows, descended on the rusty lampposts and islands of
Baroque buildings; nearby, a crust of cobwebs clung tightly to the swollen
buds of the lindens, branches bending low in a sudden shift of the wind.
In my conservative attire suitable for a diplomat’s wife—a silk jacket
over a blouse with a lace jabot, an ankle-length skirt, a pair of blue gloves,
and a wide-brimmed hat with a ribbon in the same shade of blue—I came to
the entrance to the Stadtpark. Near a bust of a stern composer with an
elusive name, I sat on a bench outside the park. Lola arrived a moment later,
took her seat, and introduced herself.
I did my best, nodding politely and listening patiently. She sounded all
right; her English was gently accented, and she was a Viennese, a student
from the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, or something
like that. She appeared eager to teach me German and assured me she’d
help me with some phrases that would be useful at official dinners where I
whiled away the hours by gazing at the crystals.
Lola was twenty years old, five years younger than me, if I
remembered correctly, but I never remembered things correctly. Her
appearance gave me the impression that she was younger, and maybe it had
something to do with her sense of fashion, which was minimal at best—her
green dirndl showed some signs of wear, and her double-breasted black
jacket was out of style. But she was striking in a raw, energetic, and genuine
way, with green eyes, plump cheeks, and smooth skin imbued with a sheen
of youth. An enviable young woman, not yet dented by the stress of
marriage, parenting, or other worldly shackles and shames.
Anyway, I had little to say to her—it was too windy, too dusty—and I
felt dizzy, my thoughts flying like discarded pamphlets, scattering in the
wind, and her voice, warm as it was, hazy like fog. I mumbled along,
nodding now and then, until a torrent of heat ran through me, and I wrung
the strap of my handbag, spinning the twines of uneasiness and regret—
those knotty German verbs and complicated consonants with sounds that
might as well come from someone with allergies. Learning German would
be a daunting task for me and likely fruitless, for if there was one thing I
knew well about myself, it was that I had little talent in foreign languages.
“Miss Lee?” she asked.
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