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Breath, Eyes, Memory

Edwidge Danticat

Section Four: Chapters 28–29

Section Three: Chapters 24–27

Section Four: Chapters 28–29, page 2

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Summary

Chapter 28

The ride to the airport is rocky and silent. As the van slows in city traffic, Martine begins to gasp and point at every place that she and Atie visited in their youth. The airport is bustling and crowded. Despite the rigors of the journey, Brigitte remains sleepy and quiet.

On the flight, Martine looks sick. She explains to Sophie that Haiti makes her physically ill, and that she will return there only to be buried. In turn, Sophie tells her mother about her own bulimia, periods of not eating followed by bingeing and purging. Martine, who considers food precious, does not understand this waste. During Martine's first year in America, she gained sixty pounds, simply because she could not believe there was so much food.

Sophie spends the night at Martine's before returning to Providence. The house is as red as she remembered it; even the new couch was bought in red velvet. Martine's answering machine is full of love from Marc. Going upstairs, Sophie finds that her old room is nearly bare. Her clothes and posters are gone and the bed no longer creaks. Martine comes in and apologizes for having burnt Sophie's clothes after she left in a fit of rage, and Sophie finds that she can understand.

For dinner, Martine makes spaghetti, explaining that in Sophie's absence she stopped cooking Haitian food because it all reminded Martine of Sophie. Martine admits that she did not think Sophie would stay away, but expected her to come back after several months, humiliated. Now, she would like Joseph and Sophie to come to dinner with her and Marc. After dinner, Martine apologizes and leaves on a quick errand.

Alone in her mother's house, Sophie calls Joseph. He is very upset, but loves her and Brigitte dearly and is relieved to hear her voice. He has been frantically looking for her, and wants her to trust him, to come home to him, and to let him help her. Shortly after Sophie hangs up, Martine returns from seeing Marc, explaining that she had to tell him something, but does not say what.

Chapter 29

The next morning, Martine makes an elaborate breakfast, hoping good food will cure Sophie's bulimia. Sophie protests that it is not that simple, but eats as instructed, feeling guilty afterward.

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