Chapter 56 – Possessiveness (1)
Even though, Karenin saw everything, he thought that this kind of thing should not be paid special attention. In his understanding before his own marriage, marriage was the union of two decent people; if they could live a lifetime without quarreling, occasionally having a cup of tea and some conversation, it was the most satisfactory state.
As for his wife’s social life, Karenin believed that, like his own indispensable contacts, they were decent and should not be subject to suspicion and excessive attention. He meant to look at his wife’s every move with his eyes with that possessiveness. Maybe his actions were not as erratic, but Karenin knew that every gaze he paid to his wife did have that kind of thought. The result was that people didn’t notice the difference in the high-ranking Russian official from the outside, and even his wife did not immediately notice it.
After the tea party was over, Anna noticed her husband’s subtle emotions in the carriage.
“Alexei, is everything okay? You seem to be a little upset.” Anna said hesitantly.
Although she was always the one who talked more often between the two of them, but now, Karenin’s silence was indeed noticeable along with the small wrinkle that had gradually formed between his brows.
Karenin looked at her for a while in deep thought, and finally answered.
“I am indeed troubled by one thing, but I think I can solve it.”
“All right then.”
She didn’t know why, but she felt a little sad. Of course, she knew that Karenin could solve a lot of things on his own, but it was still a bit disappointing.
After Anna noticed his restlessness, Karenin focused more on his wife, rather than being entangled with his own thoughts. It was not difficult to understand Anna’s emotions, she almost never hid anything from him, so he was somewhat accustomed to such exposed emotions. Unlike her, Karenin did not like to tell others about his thoughts, which would easily expose his weaknesses. But he saw the effect of his own on the emotions of his wife, and his instincts told him that it was best to tell her.
Karenin liked to judge before he spoke; determine what effect words will have after they are said, and then make decisions on how to deal with it. However, this time he didn’t. He hadn’t thought about this vague irrational feeling, so he could only explain it as ‘marriage’ in the end. It wasn’t completely rational, but it brought him some comfort.
“In fact, what bothers me is something that happened at the party.” Karenin said calmly.
He knew that so far, he had only been thinking about why he had such emotions, rather than seriously investigating the young man for his excessive want of his wife’s attention.
“What happened?” Anna moved closer to him and asked with an encouraging smile.
“Patsy’s cousin, Mr. Vronsky seemed to pay special attention to you.”
This time, Karenin did not use ambiguous words like ‘admiration’, cutting directly to the chase with a hint of treacherousness in his voice. Anna, was not stupid, but she always believed in her husband. She would never guess this kind of cleverness, because her focus fell on the essence of the matter.
She perceived the matter with the feelings of a woman, and came to the conclusion that her lovely husband was a bit jealous. She felt joyful. If she didn’t love someone like Karenin, but someone else, she would have wanted to tease him. But because she loved Karenin, she just put the palm of her hand on his hand and held it gently.
“May be. But does it really matter how much attention is paid to me? If I was born ugly, I am afraid that no one would look at me.”
Anna fully understood how attraction worked. This was not to say that she had any acrimonious thoughts. Even she herself was more patient with people who were pleasing to the eye. It was human nature. But whether it be a teenager like Vronsky, or other people in this circle, most people’s eyes really only saw this hue.
Although she never asked him this question, she just believed that Karenin was not such a person. After solving the problem that he cared about, Anna finally inquired.
“What about you, dear Alexei, you too agreed to my proposal so quickly. Is it because of my appearance?”
“I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t part of the reason, Anna. Although I didn’t know you very well at the time, I still can’t fully explain the reasons that prompted me to agree to your proposal, but as I told you, it’s not just because of appearance. I don’t like to wonder about possibilities. But right now, I want to say that if someone else made this proposal to me that day, I think I would have said yes, because it was the most logical, correct and decent.”
“Oh, maybe logical, but not correct or decent.” Anna smiled, closing the gap between them and gently touching his nose with hers. She kissed the corner of his mouth.
“That is true.” Karenin replied in a low voice, caressing his wife’s jaw and kissing her fully.