The Snob…Something After That

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The start of the story is on the link given, i have just given it an ending which made me feel better about the characters- (http://www.risd.k12.nm.us/assessment_evaluation/ImprovSBAscores/SBA%20Reading/The%20Snob3.pdf)

“Do you want to go to the parlor you like so much? We can have tea with cupcakes of your choice” John said to mask how truly wretched he felt. Grace peeked from underneath her hat and shyly answered, “I would like that.”

As they sat in the parlor, drinking tea and talking about everything but what had happened some hours ago, Grace clutched his hand and looked deeply in his eyes. With a quivering voice she requested, “John let’s agree never to disagree. It does a thing to my nerves. I realize the argument brought us closer than we were before, but I wish we wouldn’t talk like that to each other. It is very unpleasant.”

Taken in by her speech and soulful eyes, John ardently replied, “I wish I had never been so stupid Grace. I swear on my life that I shall never lash out on you again. I feel ashamed and wretched to have been so unpleasant to you when the fault was all in my head.”

Seeing him troubled Grace felt that she should comfort him and tell him that everything would be fine. But she knew not of the matter that troubled him so.

“Oh Grace, how do I even begin to tell you what I have done. It is unspeakable and it horrifies me to have done something so bad. You see, I belong to a plain and simple family. My father and mother wear shabby clothes that have been worn for too long. They do not possess the fine qualities your parents do. I love them just s much as every son loves his parents, but there is no denying that they could use some mannerisms. I know I sound like a snob and that makes me feel even worse. I love them fiercely and would never want them to change in any way. But today, when I saw my father in the same room as you, I panicked, I felt constricted. I did not know if you would want to meet him. And it made me feel agitated to not know what to do and I cannot afford to lose you.”

Grace had turned from happy to somber. Almost violently, she withdrew her hand and looked the other side. “How could you think of something that awful? I have wanted to meet your parents ever since you met mine! If you would never give me a chance to meet them, how ever will I know if I like them or not! I would never leave you John. I care for you, passionately. But this behavior of yours makes me question my decision to spend time with you!”

“Oh Grace please forgive me! I wish you would meet them right now! Please do not be disappointed in me! I shall do as you please. Do you want to meet my parents? We could do that.”

Startled at how odd this day had been, but thrilled to know that she would finally meet his parents, Grace agreed to accompany him to his house where he knew his family would be right now.

The house of the Harcourts was a quaint one. Although the paint seemed to be chipped from certain places and it was clear that the house needed some repairing, Grace thought it had a certain charm to it. Grace marveled at the fact that John had never before asked her to come here and in a way she was glad that John had embarrassed himself since now she got to meet his parents.

The door creaked open as they entered the house. They heard a voice along with some hustle and bustle.

“John? Is that you dearie? Be an angel and fetch me some needles from the top shelf in the cabinet!”

John apologetically looked towards Grace, only to find her silently laughing. He nervously smiled, still wondering if she had been put off by anything yet.

“John! Why haven’t…..” the voice trailed off as an old woman stood before them, slightly surprised. Her grey dress seemed faded and loose strands escaped her bun. “Why hello! Come in dear. Do introduce yourself to me. I am John’s mother you see.

James! James, look who’s here!”

John’s heartbeat quickened, he felt his face starting to flush and he couldn’t meet his father’s eyes as he descended the stairs. As he chanced a sight of him, he saw that his father was regarding him with cool blue eyes and a grave expression. He could not imagine the hurt he had caused him. After all, to be ignored by one’s own son when you are so proud of him, is nothing short of humiliation of the highest level.

“Hello sir, I am Grace. It is a pleasure to meet you” Grace said cheerily, trying to diffuse the stuffy atmosphere that had been created when his father had come in the room. James looked at Grace, and his eyes seemed to melt into a softer tone. He kindly looked at her, and said “it is nice to meet you too. You look lovely dear. Lovely indeed.”

And that is how they got to talking- Grace, his mother, and his father. They talked, they laughed, and they ate together until it was time for her to go. It was clear that she liked them as much as they liked her. As John watched them talk to each other in happy spirits, he would later go to his father and beg his forgiveness, and although what he did was heartbreaking for his father, he would try to forgive him.

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The Necklace…And Some More

 

 

 

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Whenever I read The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant (if you have not read the story, here is the link- http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/Neck.shtml) , I am left with disappointment. He leaves us at the point where the reader craves for more, wants to know what Madame Loisel did. Here is something I conjured from my imagination.

Mme. Lionel’s eyes widened as Mme. Forrestier revealed the truth about the necklace. Her movements halted. Every thought she had in mind flew away. She stepped back, turned and fled away from Mme. Forrestier, who was left confused and pitying. She ran till she was near her house. Her steps were hasty, her fingers fiddling with the lock for a while till she entered her small house. She looked around as if she saw the room for the first time. As the realization of everything she had lost for nothing finally dawned upon her, she burst crying and crumpled right there on the floor.

“Matilda? Is that you? How are you home already? Oh dear what happened? Why are you crying? Did something happen to you in the market? Tell me love.” Loisel said as he sat down near her and tried to soothe her. It seemed that it was a day of realizations for Mme. Loisel because for the first time she realized how hard her husband had to work to fulfill her whims and fancies and then to suffer and pay for her faults. She started crying harder thinking of how she had never really reciprocated the love her husband had for her, only because she was too vain to think of everything she did not have.

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“Oh my love, I am grieving!” she said as she buried herself in his arms and sniffled.

“Grieving? What happened dear? Tell me. I will help you if I can. Tell me! What is that matter, love?”

“Oh nothing much dear. Did you know I love you? I love everything you have done for me. And I am terribly sorry for I have never appreciated everything around me. Please forgive me love! Please do!” as she sobbed and sobbed.

Loisel let out a relieved chuckle. “My love, I love you too. It was high time you said it to me, for I have waited for you to say it for too long. Come on. Stand up. I will help you set the table. Come love.”

It was as if what Mme. Forrestier had said had become irrelevant and the burden she had felt, of being wrongly married in a wrong house had lessened. Although she still believed that they deserved a better life, she decided that she was content and happy.

It had been many days since that eventful Sunday. Mme. Loisel smiled as she thought of the promise her husband had made the previous night. He had promised to accompany her to the nearby park for a small picnic. there was a slight bounce in her step as she went to open the door since someone had knocked. Her smile faltered as she saw Mme. Forrestier standing at her doorstep. Courtesy made her allow Mme. Forrestier to enter her house.

“Why are you here Jeanne?” Mme. Loisel said, wringing her wrists nervously. She thought of the cobweb that dominated one obscure corner, and the worn carpet and the barely there furniture. Mme. Forrestier’s step faltered, and she nervously smiled at Mme. Loisel. “Matilda I have come to apologize for everything that life has punished you with because of a necklace that meant nothing more than a flippant piece of jewelry. I cannot repay you the years that have gone wasted, I cannot repay with the necklace because it is now dear to me for it is something that you almost gifted me. But I have a lot of money. Since M. Forrestier died, I have been alone and I have not had a dear friend like you. I want to give you back everything you had to pay for the necklace, and I want my dear friend back. So, I have ordered seventy thousand pounds to be deposited into your husband’s account. I sincerely am sorry, but I am selfish. And I want my friend back.”

Mme. Loisel stood silent for a minute. “I am sorry for not being there for you, and for your loss. I will always be there for you.”