Antigone (Bunin)

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Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A student visiting his wealthy relatives falls for their nurse, leading to a passionate affair. However, their relationship is discovered, forcing the nurse to leave abruptly.

A student embarked on his annual summer visit to his wealthy aunt and uncle's estate. His uncle, a former general, was now wheelchair-bound.

The General — student's uncle; plump, pale, blue-eyed; wheelchair-bound; jovial, hypochondriac.

The student was greeted by his aunt and a beautiful nurse, Katerina Nikolayevna, who cared for his uncle.

The General's Wife — student's aunt; large, drooping face, nose like an anchor; soft, dark hand; flaccid body.
Katerina Nikolayevna (Antigone) — nurse for the student's uncle; tall, stately beauty with big grey eyes; modest, cordial, impassive.

The student was immediately attracted to Katerina and fantasized about pursuing a relationship with her.

“Such women really do exist! And what would you give for the love of such a woman! And how with such beauty can you possibly be pushing old men and women around in wheelchairs!”

One day, during a storm, the student and Katerina found themselves alone in the library. They shared a passionate moment, after which Katerina left abruptly. The next morning, the student woke up in Katerina's bed. Their secret was discovered by Maria Ilyinishna, the aunt's old maidservant, who saw the student's shoes in Katerina's room.

Katerina decided to leave the estate, using the excuse of a family emergency. She left a note for the student, revealing that their affair had been discovered.

“All’s lost, I’m leaving. The old woman saw your shoes beside the bed. Remember me kindly.”

The student was left heartbroken as he watched Katerina leave the estate.