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"The Awakening" by Kate Chopin - chapter 7 from Zeena's point of view written by exchange student in US

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Treść: I hate tiring people! And Ethan, my husband and Mattie, a hired girl and my cousin are the most tiring people on this planet. After my journey to Aunt Martha’s house I felt worse than usual. I thought that I would rest at home, but, such a fool I was! These two couldn’t leave me alone.
I went upstairs as fast as I could and left my stuff on the floor. I sat by the window, looking outside at all of these people and landscapes. But, unfortunately, it didn’t make me feel better.
“Complications” – the only word in my head. I couldn’t stop think about that. The Doctor’s opinion hit me so hard, that I got a headache. I woke up from my thoughts when Ethan entered our room. It was so obvious that I want to stay alone, but he didn’t see it.
“I called you for supper, Zeena. You didn’t answer, as usual.” – he said.
“I’m sorry, Ethan. I didn’t hear you. Thank you for saying that, but I don’t feel as if I could eat anything. Sorry.” – I looked at him with pain written on my face. And, thanks be to God, he finally noticed my bad condition.
“You look tired.”
“I had a really long ride. Besides my sickness is worse than you think, worse than I thought.”
He never listens to me. Never. He doesn’t trust me. When I told him, honestly and truly, that I’m sicker than he thinks, he didn’t believe me either.
“How do you know? Did this new doctor say that?”
I acquiesced. Silent filled out the room. He didn’t look at me, that’s for sure.
Ethan said coldly: “I hope he wasn’t right.”
I wanted to shout: “But he was!” Instead of that I just said: “An operation might be necessary.”
I could swear that he didn’t understand. Or, didn’t listen to me. I felt alone. Even my husband, a man who lived with me for these many years showed me ignorance and coldness.
“But, Zeena, what do you know about this doctor, anyway? Nobody ever told you this before.”
His words fell on me like a big stone. I already explained it to him a few days ago.
“Ethan, Doctor Buck is very known and popular in Bettsbridge. Lost of people in believe him. So do I.”
“That’s good. So…. What does he want you to do?”
I thought: “I told you, an operation!”, but I said: “He said that I need help at home. You’re always busy, so the only way is a hired girl.”
“A hired girl? Are you kidding me?”
It hurt me.
“Aunt Martha found somebody for me. The girl will come tomorrow. I really need her.”
“Woman, you should not make such important decisions without me!”
That was enough. I didn’t try to be nice anymore: “Hiring her was the only thing I really did by myself for years and you, of course, are unsatisfied. I can’t change the fact that I need help!”
“I can help you. And besides, did your doctor say how we will pay the wages to the hired girl?”
“Of course, he didn’t.”
“ ‘Of course, he didn’t.’?! What kind of answer is that. Is this sickness of your body or brain? Did you loose your mind?”
“Yes, Ethan! I lost my mind! Nursing your poor mother! And then being with you!”
It was the first time we really quarreled. A first scene with open anger between us. Silence filled the room one more time. But, I wasn’t sorry. I told the truth. He had to know after all of these years….
I think he felt a little bit ashamed. He blushed and turned to the shelf above the chimney. He sighed and said with sadness in his voice: “You will have to send back the hired girl. I don’t have enough money to pay her wages.”
Why he didn’t understand, that this could save me from death.
“But the doctor…”
“Your doctor will not pay a hired girl.”
“What about Adrew Hale’s money? He owns us fifty dollars for the lumber.”
“He hasn’t pay for three months.” – Ethan replied ignorantly.
I remember that a few days ago he promised me to fix it up – that he will go to Hale and take back Ethan’s money. That was his excuse a few days ago instead of taking me to the Flats. I didn’t say anything so as not to make us both angry.
“So we don’t have enough money for the hired girl?”
“No, I don’t.”
“And there’s no way to get some?”
And in that moment, out of the blue, I got an idea: “Ethan, wait! What about Mattie? She’s an adult, she can work. Besides, she is of an age to get married. She will not live with us forever.”
He laughed: “She can’t leave. She’s your relation.”
After that Mattie called from downstairs: “Ethan, Zeena! Supper has been ready for half an hour. Where are you? Do you want to eat cold food?”
I answered: “I’m not coming. I don’t feel very well.”
I swear after my words her voice was happier: “Ethan, how about you?”
“Wait a moment, I’ll be right there.” – he turned to me. – “Zeena, you can’t do this to her. She is your cousin and she needs help. It’s our opportunity.”
And he left. I murmured: “I also need help, Ethan. Why can’t you see that?”
I stayed upstairs. I was thinking for a long time and then listening to those two in the dining room. After that I went down and sat between them. I felt their eyes on me. It definitely didn’t help me – ‘help’, because I had to eat.
“Doctor Buck said that eating will give me strength, so I have to do this even when I don’t have any appetite.” – I explained. They didn’t answer.
I took some tea with milk and a pie. I really had trouble eating my dinner, especially when they started to talk to me. After my short supper I left them and went to the kitchen.
What I saw inside made me so angry, that for a moment I lost control of myself. It was my pickle-dish. My pickle-dish all broken to bits. The only thing in my house that has such importance for me. I had so many good memories about it!
When I finally regained control, I went back to the room and asked: “Who broke my pickle-dish?”
No answer. Both of them were looking at me like I was an idiot.
“I would like to know. Can you tell me what happened like normal, adult people?”
Mattie faced me with certainty in her eyes: “The cat did it. It’s not my or Ethan’s fault.”
“Oh, really. In fact, I remember leaving my pickle-dish in my china-closet. How did the cat get in there?”
Her sureness disappeared from her eyes. After a moment Ethan said: “There was a mouse, Zeena. A mouse in here last evening.”
I felt like that he didn’t tell me the entire true or he lied to me. The second one is even worse. I was angry and sad, so angry and sad, that I started to cry. Ethan seemed not to see it. Finally, Mattie told me, what was happened.
“Zeena, yes, there was a cat in the house and there was a mouse in the house. But I took the pickle-dish from your china closet! I just wanted to make the supper-table pretty.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. A pretty table! My pickle-dish, the only thing in my house which made me happy was destroyed because of pretty table! And nobody said: “I’m sorry.” or “Don’t cry, Zeena.”.
I was so upset that I don’t remember what I said. My words fell from me like water. Maybe I hurt somebody, but I don’t mind.
Why people can’t see, that I’m still a human even if I’m sickly?

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⇒Dodano: 2008-12-12 11:22:53
⇒Czytano: 17679
Autor: majka100100

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