Part 1, Chapters 4-6 Summary
Michael has to leave, but Frau Schmitz tells him to wait so that she can walk with him. She needs to change her clothes, so Michael waits in the hallway. The door to the kitchen is open a crack, so Michael watches Frau Schmitz get changed. Her slip veils her body, and she carefully rolls stockings up her legs. Michael cannot stop looking at her. Somehow, she senses him watching, and she glances at him. Michael cannot read any emotion behind her glance; he becomes incredibly embarrassed and bolts down the stairs into the street. He walks the familiar route through the neighborhood and is ashamed that he was not able to have more self control. Years later, Michael still does not really understand the reason for his intense attraction. He suspects that the way she moved with a disregard for the outside world caused his attraction, but he remains unsure.
One week later, Michael finds himself once again at Frau Schmitz’s door. His doctor has not yet cleared him to return to school, so his days are filled with fantasies. Friends stop by to visit less and less often, and Michael is only left with his intense imagination. He is ashamed when on some mornings he wakes to find that his pants are damp, yet he knows that he is not totally innocent of his nighttime dreams because in the daytime he actively fantasizes about being with Frau Schmitz. Michael cannot confide his desire to anyone for fear of being lectured with loving concern. Michael does not know how he finds the courage to return to Frau Schmitz’s apartment, but he reasons that not going would be more dangerous because he would be left with his fantasies.
Michael rings the bell, but Frau Schmitz is not home. Wanting to see her and determined to wait, Michael sits in front of the door. More than an hour passes before Frau Schmitz ascends the stairs wearing her street car conductor’s uniform from work. She does not look surprised or shocked to see Michael, only tired. She is...
(The entire section is 510 words.)