In Paris (Bunin)

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In Paris
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A lonely, middle-aged man in Paris forms a relationship with a younger woman who works at a Russian restaurant. After his sudden death, she is left alone and heartbroken.

A man in his forties, who appeared younger due to his upright posture and fresh face, lived in Paris. He had previously rented a farm in Provence and had been abandoned by his wife in Constantinople, leaving him with a constant wound in his soul.

Nikolai Platonych — narrator; middle-aged man with reddish hair turning silver; tall, thin, and upright; wears a long waterproof coat; has a dry sadness in his eyes; experienced and concise in speech.

One day, he visited a small Russian eating house near Rue Passy, where he met a woman named Olga Alexandrovna, who worked there.

Olga Alexandrovna — young woman with black hair and eyes; works at a Russian restaurant; wears an embroidered white apron and a black dress; has white, noble hands; polite and indifferent.

You know, there are so few happy encounters on earth…

They quickly became acquainted and started seeing each other outside of the restaurant. One evening, they went to a cinema and later had dinner at Café Coupole. They shared their past experiences and the man revealed that his wife had left him for a wealthy young Greek.

Yes, you must be very lonely.

After dinner, they went to the man's apartment and Olga decided to move in with him. He convinced her to open a safe in her name at Crédit Lyonnais and deposit all his earnings there.

On the third day of Easter, the man died suddenly in a Metro carriage. Olga, now in mourning, returned home from the cemetery and began tidying the apartment. She found his old summer greatcoat in the cupboard and broke down in tears, begging for mercy.