Dark Avenues (Bunin)

From Wikisum
Disclaimer: This summary was generated by AI, so it may contain errors.
Dark Avenues
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: An old military man unexpectedly met his former lover, who was now a wealthy innkeeper. They reminisced about their past, revealing unresolved feelings and regrets.

On a cold autumn day, a military man arrived at a posting station in Tula, Russia. He was greeted by a woman who owned the place. The woman, Nadezhda, recognized the man, Nikolai Alexeyevich, and revealed that they had a romantic history together. They had not seen each other for about thirty years.

Nikolai Alexeyevich — old military man; stern, weary, regretful; has dark eyes, grey hair, and a thin, pale hand.
Nadezhda — innkeeper; attractive, plump, light on her feet; has dark hair, black brows, and dark down on her upper lip and cheeks.

Nadezhda confessed that she had loved Nikolai all her life, despite him abandoning her.

You probably remember how I loved you.

Nikolai, feeling guilty, admitted that he had never been happy in life. He had been in love with his wife, who was unfaithful to him, and his son turned out to be a disappointment. He also confessed that he had lost the dearest thing in his life when he abandoned Nadezhda.

I’ve never been happy in life, please don’t think that.

After their conversation, Nikolai left the posting station. On his way, he reflected on his past with Nadezhda and wondered what would have happened if he hadn't abandoned her. He concluded that it was better that he had left her, as he couldn't imagine her as his wife or the mother of his children.