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* this is an imagined epilogue to the short story "Hills Like White Elephants" by Ernest Hemingway

but I did

Mother?

Yes, Daniel?

Can we talk about my father? You said we could when I was ready ... I think I am now.

She put her book down and looked across at him.

Seventeen already ... handsome and strong ... just like his father was.

It was time. Time he knew her story. And why he'd never known his father.

 

He was someone I met when I was travelling around Europe. I was young then - not much older than you are now.

We became lovers, inseparable, and we travelled together for nearly 6 months.

They were good times ... happy times.

Then why didn't you stay together ... get married?

We were too young to even think of marriage ... well, I was ... but I did believe that we would stay together for many years.

 

What made you leave him?

I didn't.

I had to go into hospital ... in Madrid ... just a fever, but they kept me in for two nights because I'd already started to have morning sickness.

He took me there ... but never came back.

I looked for him for many days ... but he'd gone ... and I never heard from him again.

 

I remind you of him ... I look like him, don't I?

Yes, you do ... very much.

 

Did he know you were pregnant?

Yes, he did ... and he told me he was pleased and excited about it.

 

But ... he didn't really care?

No ... he didn't.

 

But I did.