"The Awakening, continued..."

September 9, 2008
By Markita Underwood, Pelham, AL

“Oh, dear God, Edna…why?” he cried as he embraced her cold, naked body, once full of life, close to his own. “Why?” he repeated, pressing her ice-cold lips against his cheek, wrapping his arms around her neck and back. He shuttered as he held her head in his hands, running his fingers through her hair, once golden and bright, but now dripping with saltwater and sand. The tears ran down his face as he thought of the last words he’d spoken to her, “Goodbye, because I love you.”

“But what happened to you?” he said, looking down at her pale face. He thought back to before he had found her lifeless body lying upon the shore. Robert had gone looking for her at the place they both loved, but Edna loved it more. She loved the way the waves ran onto the shore around her feet. She loved the way the ocean breeze felt against her face. She loved everything about it: the beach, the water, even those annoying little crabs that played in the sand.

When he had found Edna, it wasn’t what he expected. There she’d lain on her back, her body wet and pale. She had a peaceful look upon her face, as if she had been thinking of him just before she sank into that dark, blue oblivion we call the sea. Her arms were laid gracefully across her chest and stomach. Her body was perfectly placed upon the sand, as if someone had posed her corpse as to be painted into a beautiful portrait.

“If only I were…I could have…” He couldn’t finish his sentence. There were too many thoughts running through his mind. “I’ll never have the chance,” he thought to himself. But what did he mean by that? He would never have the chance to hug her again, to wake up each morning and have her lying right there beside him. He would never have the chance to look into her eyes and tell her again and again how much he loved her. There he sat on his knees, holding his true love’s corpse in his arms. “I’ll never let go,” he sobbed, drawing her body closer with each breath he took. Robert sat there crying, holding her face against his own, until the sun had gone down, and the reflection of the moon’s light, glistened upon the sea.

Robert sat in the second row from the front, dressed in all black. There was dead silence in the church, except for the minister, whom Robert had seemed to tune out. To the right of him were his mother and his brother, Victor. The both were much more emotional than he had realized. To the left sat Mademoiselle Reisz, who wore a black dress, stockings, and low heels. The only splash of color upon the woman was that same tacky, red flower that she had always worn in her hair. Her face was completely blank; not one tear dropped from her glassy, brown eyes. He was not surprised. He knew that it would take the Lord Himself for the woman to show any emotion, even upon these circumstances. Directly in front of him was Leonce Pontellier, Edna’s husband, along with their two boys. Leonce was sobbing “beyond recognition” while holding the hands of each of his children. Of course, the boys had no reaction to Edna’s passing away. They didn’t really understand when their father had told them that their “mother” was gone. Why would they? As Edna had said, she was no mother-woman; she’d never sacrifice herself for her children.

Robert was seated upon the bench perfectly still, as if he had been hit by some poisonous dart that had left him paralyzed. He stared at the wooden coffin where his true love had been put to rest. He didn’t want to look at her porcelain face, so his eyes wandered to the stained-glass ceiling of the little gothic church. That caused him even more pain. This was the exact same church, (not too far off the coast of Grande Isle), which he and Edna had visited not too long ago. “You can’t be gone,” he thought to himself as he continued to stare at the coffin. His eyes began to water, his face turned red, until he finally broke down. The tears ran down his face, which he tried to cover with his quivering palms, as he let out little whimpering noises. He didn’t want to hurt anymore, but what could he do? His love was gone; his one true love was gone. She was gone, dead, soon to be six feet under, and there was absolutely nothing that he could do to change it…

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!