Madrid (Bunin)

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Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A man met a young prostitute on a cold night and took her to his room. They shared intimate moments, revealing their pasts and dreams, before parting ways in the morning.

Late one evening, a man was walking along Tverskoy Boulevard when he encountered a young woman named Polya. She was a prostitute, and after some negotiation, they agreed to spend the night together in his room at the Madrid rooms on Tverskaya.

The Man — narrator; kind, patient, and curious; clean-shaven, well-dressed.
Polya — young prostitute; small, snub-nosed, with broad cheekbones; timid, cheerful, and naive.

During their time together, Polya revealed that she lived with two other women, Mur and Anelya, who were also prostitutes. She also shared her past experiences with a card sharp who had been kind to her. The man, intrigued by Polya's innocence and naivety, decided to keep her with him until morning, despite the potential risk of police intervention.

After their intimate encounter, they shared a meal of apples and Madeira wine. The man promised to take Polya out for lunch the next day and to a film at the Eldorado in the evening.

“Tomorrow you and I will have lunch together…”

He also suggested the possibility of helping her find a job as a chambermaid, to which Polya responded enthusiastically.

“I’d bow down at your feet!”

Polya then shared her backstory, revealing that she had been orphaned and had come to Moscow to live with her cousin Mur, who had introduced her to prostitution. Despite the circumstances, Polya expressed gratitude towards Mur for providing her with a place to stay. The man, moved by Polya's story, reassured her before they both fell asleep.