Books and Movies Reviews

Alternative Ending to Passing by Nella Larsen

Scurrying of muffled feet, shouts of commands in the far distance, coughs here and there, and moans of pain reached the room. The boys fidgeted in discomfort in the sterile environment. Despite how many times they came, they still felt the discomfort. Was it discomfort from seeing all the sick bodies or was it Irene’s body that lay on the white bed, frozen, without any sign of movement? Irene’s once olive cheeks were now so pale that it would have faded into the bleached pillow if her burnt auburn hair didn’t surround her cold face. Brian sat hunched over the bed, head in his hands.

Not even a drop of tear was on his eyes; he couldn’t make it come out even if he tried. He was dried out. There was neither tear nor life in him. In spite of Ted and Junior’s pleads, he refused to move. He didn’t eat, drink, or sleep. The boys lost a mother to an endless slumber and a father to denial and stubbornness on that unfortunate day. Today marked the 365th day since the accident. It was a day so gloomy that even the heavens cried. Mist had set over the city. Irene worried that the foul weather would ruin her small soir©e as she hurried out the door in a last attempt to gather all the forgotten items.

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As she turned on the engine, she remembered the morning newspaper. Clare, a friend from her childhood, was mentioned in the obituary section A twitch. Brian sprung up in surprise and hurriedly told his boys to go get a nurse. He beamed with joy at the ray of hope that Irene might come back to him. Back to him and the boys. The nurses ran in and measured her pulse but they got nothing. Zero. Her blood had finally, completely stopped flowing through her veins. Brian refused. No. NO. She can’t be gone; she can’t be dead before me. What am suppose to do now? I can’t do it. No.

Brian’s darker hands grasped Irene’s pale hands in desperation. Maybe the warmth from him could transfer to her, bringing her back to life. The doctors had said she would come back to life, away from her dream state and back to reality, to him. Everything faded in front of Brian’s eyes. He heard the nurses call for the reverend but he didn’t care anymore. Nothing mattered to him. The reverend said a final pray in Irene’s name. As he walked out the door, he mumbled under his breath, ‘Death by misadventure.

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