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Breath, Eyes, Memory

Edwidge Danticat

Section Four: Chapters 34–35

Section Four: Chapters 32–33

Section Four: Chapters 34–35, page 2

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Chapter 34

Sophie returns to her therapist, Rena, to discuss her fears for Martine. Sophie worries that Martine is falling apart. She tells Rena that Martine has begun to hear voices, that the fetus speaks and says hurtful things to her, and that the nightmares are coming back. Rena suggests that Martine have an exorcism, but Sophie knows that her mother is terrified of anything that will make her fears more real. Rena asks about Marc, whom she calls Martine's "lover." When Sophie recoils at the term, Rena suggests that neither Sophie nor Martine can truly face Martine's sexuality. Sophie explains that Marc would probably not want Martine to have the baby if he knew what it was doing to her, but that he is probably oblivious from the way Martine carries on. Sophie doubts Marc knows the circumstances of Sophie's birth.

On the way home, stopping to mediate at Davina's house, Sophie notices Buki's balloon slowly deflating in a tree above the back yard.

Chapter 35

Sophie returns home to an answering machine message from Marc, asking Sophie to call him about Martine. Sophie and Joseph sit by the phone all night, alternately dialing and waiting.

At six in the morning, Marc calls back, sobbing. Martine is dead. Marc had found her in the bathroom in the middle of the night in a pool of blood, still breathing. She had stabbed herself in the stomach seventeen times with an old rusty knife. She died in the ambulance, after telling him in Creole that she could not carry the baby.

Sophie packs a suitcase and prepares to go to New York. Joseph wants to go with her, but Sophie insists that he stay with Brigitte. Joseph drives her to the bus station and holds her until the bus is ready to leave.

Arriving in Brooklyn, Sophie is surprised to find the house empty except for Marc, who sits her down to explain how things will proceed. Marc has used what influence he can to make the proceedings easy. He has been cleared beyond all doubt, has arranged for Martine's body to be shipped to Dame Marie, and has sent word to Grandmè Ifé by telegram. Sophie is furious at his audacity. That night, Marc stays in the living room while Sophie stays curled in a fetal position in her mother's bed, fighting back the thought that she is responsible for Martine's death.

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