The meaning of life for Albert for three months is the patient’s many hours waiting for his beloved Anna. They agreed that every day, from three to seven o’clock, he would wait for her, and he patiently waits, every time for hours, and often – in vain. Anna does not dare to leave home if her husband lingers. Excruciating expectations undermine the strength and efficiency of Albert: he is unable to read the newspaper, or even write a letter. The third day, as he had not seen her; Unbearable hours of waiting lead Albert into a half-mad state of despair. He rushes around the room, losing his mind from anguish. Albert and Anna live in an atmosphere of anxious and fervid tenderness, in constant fear that they may inadvertently betray themselves. He likes that their relationship is surrounded by a profound mystery, but the more painful it is to experience such days as this. He is tormented with fear,
Albert goes to Anna’s house and sees that all the lights are extinguished and only a ray of light is coming from her window. How do you know what’s wrong with her? He comes up with the saving idea that, in the case of her illness, he can, through the messenger, go about her health, and the messenger does not need to know who commissioned him. So he learns that Anna is seriously ill with typhoid fever and her illness is very dangerous. Albert suffers unbearably at the thought that Anna can die now, and he can not see her before he dies. But he does not dare to rush up to his beloved, even now, afraid to harm her... and the publicity of their novel. Heartbroken, half-forgotten, Albert wanders around the beloved’s house, not daring to go to her to say goodbye.
It’s been a week since their last date. Early in the morning, Albert runs to Anna’s house, and the servant reports that Anna died half an hour ago. Now Anna’s agonizing hours of waiting seem to him to be the happiest in life. And again the hero lacks the courage to enter the rooms, and he returns an hour later, hoping to mix with the crowd and remain unnoticed. On the stairs, he encounters unfamiliar grieving people, and they only thank him for his visit and attention.
Finally he passes into the bedroom to the deceased. At the sight of her sharp pain compresses his heart, he is ready to scream, fall with sobbing to his knees, kiss her hands… But then Albert notices that he is not alone in the room. Someone else, grief-stricken, kneels by the bed, holding the hand of the deceased. And it seems impossible for Alberto to burst into sobs in the presence of this man. He goes to the door, turns around, and he smells a contemptuous smile on Anna’s lips. Smiling reproaches him for standing as a stranger to the deathbed of his beloved woman and does not dare tell anyone that she belonged to him and only he has the right to kiss her hands. But he does not dare to betray himself. The power of shame draws him away from Anna’s house, for he realizes that he does not dare to mourn her, like others, that a dead beloved has driven him away because he denied it.