The Bread, by Wofgang Borchert

Suddenly she woke up. It was 2:30 a.m. She wondered why she had awakened [war aufgewacht is the past perfect form of aufwachen aufwachen takes sein in the perfect/past perfect because there is a change in condition]. I see! Someone had bumped into a chair in the kitchen. She listened for more any more sounds from the kitchen. It was too quiet, and as she ran her hand over the bed next to her [there are two bends], she found it empty. This is what had made it so very quiet: his breathing was absent. She got up and groped her way through the dark apartment to the kitchen. In the kitchen they both encountered each other. The clock said 2:30 a.m. She saw something white sitting by [am Küchenschrank] the kitchen cupboard. She turned on the light. In their night shirts they stood facing each other--at night, at :2:30, in the kitchen.

The bread plate sat on the kitchen table. She saw that he had cut a slice of bread for himself. The knife was still lying next to the plate, and on the tablecloth were breadcrumbs. Each night before she went to bed she always cleaned off the tablecloth, every evening, but now crumbs were lying on it. And the knife was there. She felt like the coldness from the titles was slowly creeping into her, and she looked away from the plate.

"I thought something would be here", he said and looked around the kitchen.

"I also heard something", she replied, and at the same time she thought he really did look old at night in his night shirt. He really looked his age. 63. During the day he sometimes looked younger. She already looked old after all, he thought. In her night shirt she seemed quite old. But perhaps it is because of her hair? With women this is always the case at night. All at once it makes them seem old.

"You should have put on shoes! Barefoot like that on the cold foor--you'll catch a cold!"

She didn't look at him because she could not stand it that he lied, that he would lie after they had been married thirty nine years.

"I thought something would be here", he said once more and looked aimlessly from one corner to the other. "I heard something in here, so I thought something would be here."

"I also heard something, but it was probably nothing." She took the plate off the table and brushed the crumbs from the table cloth.

"No, it was probably nothing", he echoed uncertainly.

She came to his aid. "Come along, it was probably from outside. Come along to bed. You'll catch a cold from the cold tiles."

He looked at the window. "Yes, it must have been something outside. I thought would be here."

She put her hand on the light switch. I must turn off the light now, she thought, otherwise, I'll feel compelled to clean the plate. I am not permitted to look at the plate. "Come on", she said, and turned the light out. "it was probably outside. The gutter always bangs against the wall in the wind. It was the gutter for sure. It always clatters in the wind."

They groped along the dark corridor to the bedroom. Their bare feet plopped on the floor.

"It's the wind", he said. "It has been windy the entire night. It was probably the gutter."

"Yes, I thought it was something in the kichen. It was probably the gutter." He said this as if he were already half asleep.

But she noticed how ungenuine his voice sounded when he lied.

"It is cold", she said and yawned easily. "I am crawling under the covers. Good night."

"Night", he answered and added: "Yes, it is already quite brish."

Then is became quiet. After several minutes she heard him quietly and cautiously chewing. She intentionally beathed deeply and evenly so that he wouldn't notice she was still awake. But he chewed so smoothly that it slowly put her to sleep.

When he came home the next evening, she shoved four slices of bread at [toward] him. But he had always only been able to eat three.

"You can surely eat four", she said and went away from the light.

"It doesn't agree with me. You eat one more. I can't handle it."

She saw how he he bent way over the plate. He didn't look up. At this moment she felt sorry for him.

"You can't get away with just eating two slices, anyway", he said looking at his plate.

"Yes, in the evening the bread doesn't agree with me. Eat. Eat."

Only later did she take a seat at the lighted table.