by Anton Chekhov
Version by Jean-Claude Van Itallie
Act IV: Irina
Read by Emma Rye
As of tomorrow night I’ll never have to hear “The Maiden’s Prayer” again, and I won’t have see Protopopov. Protopopov is there again, in the sitting room… It’s been so painful living here without Olya. She’s headmistress, living at the high school, busy all day. And I’m alone, bored. I have nothing to do. I hate my room. But if it’s my fate I can’t go to Moscow, then I can’t — that’s that. I yield. It’s my fate. There’s nothing I can do about it. We all depend on the will of God. The Baron proposed. I thought about it, and said yes. He’s an excellent man. It’s amazing how good he is. And suddenly, now, it’s as if I had wings. I’m happier, I feel lighter, and I want to work again — work. But something happened yesterday, something mysterious. I feel something’s hanging over me, and I don’t know what it is.