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|The Awakening||Kate Chopin|
|Page 2 of 3||
"How do you do, Arobin?" said Robert, rising from the obscurity.
"Oh! Lebrun. To be sure! I heard yesterday you were back. How did they treat you down in Mexique?"
"But not well enough to keep you there. Stunning girls, though, in Mexico. I thought I should never get away from Vera Cruz when I was down there a couple of years ago."
"Did they embroider slippers and tobacco pouches and hat-bands and things for you?" asked Edna.
"Oh! my! no! I didn't get so deep in their regard. I fear they made more impression on me than I made on them."
"You were less fortunate than Robert, then."
"I am always less fortunate than Robert. Has he been imparting tender confidences?"
"I've been imposing myself long enough," said Robert, rising, and shaking hands with Edna. "Please convey my regards to Mr. Pontellier when you write."
He shook hands with Arobin and went away.
"Fine fellow, that Lebrun," said Arobin when Robert had gone. "I never heard you speak of him."
"I knew him last summer at Grand Isle," she replied. "Here is that photograph of yours. Don't you want it?"
"What do I want with it? Throw it away." She threw it back on the table.
"I'm not going to Mrs. Merriman's," she said. "If you see her, tell her so. But perhaps I had better write. I think I shall write now, and say that I am sorry her child is sick, and tell her not to count on me."
"It would be a good scheme," acquiesced Arobin. "I don't blame you; stupid lot!"
Edna opened the blotter, and having procured paper and pen, began to write the note. Arobin lit a cigar and read the evening paper, which he had in his pocket.
"What is the date?" she asked. He told her.
"Will you mail this for me when you go out?"
"Certainly." He read to her little bits out of the newspaper, while she straightened things on the table.
"What do you want to do?" he asked, throwing aside the paper. "Do you want to go out for a walk or a drive or anything? It would be a fine night to drive."
"No; I don't want to do anything but just be quiet. You go away and amuse yourself. Don't stay."
"I'll go away if I must; but I shan't amuse myself. You know that I only live when I am near you."
He stood up to bid her good night.
"Is that one of the things you always say to women?"
"I have said it before, but I don't think I ever came so near meaning it," he answered with a smile. There were no warm lights in her eyes; only a dreamy, absent look.
"Good night. I adore you. Sleep well," he said, and he kissed her hand and went away.
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