Disclaimer: I don't own Les Miserables. Or Spring Awakening. I just heard the song "Whispering" and it reminded me of Fantine. Hence, this fic.
Here the ghosts in the moonlight.
Sorrow doing a new dance
Through their bones, through their skin
I lie on my bed, crying like a flood, tears drenching my calico pillowcase. I have been crying like this for an hour. I don't think I'll ever be able to stop.
Favourite, Dahlia, and Zephine have all told me that men leaving is nothing to cry about. That I must move on. As the letter we received at the restaurant told me, I should "mourn him swiftly, replace him rapidly." I seem to be the only one who realizes that it won't be that simple. They tell me he was just a man. They are wrong. Felix Tholomyes was no ordinary man. He was my first, my only, and my true love. I was a little girl before I met him, when he took my hand I instantly became a woman. The way his eyes smiled at me whenever he looked my way, the way his legs walked beside mine, the tickle of his moustache on my lips as we kissed, the silky feeling of his fingers roaming through my blonde hair, our nights spent alone together under the moonlight- none of these things can ever be replaced. I thought we would spend our lives as one. Sadly, it was not to be; I saw him as one sent by God to live his life with me as my lover, he saw me as an expendable mistress, one he could abandon with no regrets as soon as his family called him home. I wish that this were all a nightmare, but the truth is plain to see: I will never see him again. I will have to be content with envisioning him here with me whenever the moon glows in the night sky. Now all I will see is shadow of our love affair, two ghosts dancing in the moonlight, as my entire body, my skin and bone, ache for his return. The return that will never be.
To the souls in the fool's night.
Fumbling mutely with their rude hands.
And there's heartache without end.
I can still hear him now, inside my head. Telling me that I am his life. Telling me that I am his passion. Telling me, in short, that he loves me. Only me. Fantine. La Blonde. As he had many times before, when we kissed, when we danced, when we walked together. When I gave myself over to him. I gave myself to that man as I would have to a husband, if I had ever had one. If I ever do have one. I always thought he would be that husband. I thought he was going to marry me. I thought we were going to spend our lives together. I thought we would live together, raise our children, delight in our grandchildren, watch each other sprout wrinkles and turn grey and finally die as one, with nothing separating us and standing in the way of this union. That one night he promised me all that as we lay in the darkness. I was fool enough to believe him. Now, he is gone. Worse, I am with child. I am only nineteen years old! I do not know how to raise a child, a defenseless little human being, on my own. Besides which, my child will never know its father. It will be scorned by all society because it was not born in wedlock. There will be nothing I can do to prevent this from happening. My heart clenches in pain as I cry a fresh torrent of tears thinking about the heartache our poor, innocent baby will have to endure.
See the father bent in grief.
The mother dressed in mourning.
I never knew my parents. It's just as well, they probably would be very disappointed in their little Fantine for bringing such shame upon herself and any family she may have. They would grieve over my mistake, maybe cast me out. They would be ashamed to have me in their lives. I'm ashamed myself; just to be myself in this situation. If I could cast myself out, I would. But I cannot. And try as I might, I can't bring myself to want to be rid of the baby either.
And the neighbors grumble.
The preacher issues warnings.
I will try, of course, to hide my pregnancy. Sadly, try as I may to conceal it, it will not be long before the whole town knows my little secret. I can hear them now, the old women, gossiping about me. Saying things about Fantine the slut, the tramp, the tart, the fille de joie, the whore, the harlot. Throwing stones at me as I pass by. Emptying chamber pots on my head as I walk under their window. I can see the little boys throwing snowballs at me and yelling personal remarks, making up rude songs about me and singing them at the top of their lungs at all hours of the day. Mothers appear in my mind, telling their children to beware of me, warning their daughters to take a lesson from my behavior. The priest will be sure to mention in his sermons how I have done wrong, how my scandalous actions have incurred God's wrath, how my child and I will one day be burning in the fiery pits of Hell. I will never be accepted. My child will never be accepted. Our situation is hopeless.
Little Miss didn't do right.
Went and ruined all the true plans.
Such a shame. Such a sin.
I am a failure. I am an abomination. In one night I have completely destroyed the remainder of my life. I have failed to follow the social mores, in which I would have been married a virgin to a man who had never roved about with dozens of girls, and all my children would have been legitimate. I would have been respectable, and would have gossiped about girls like me with the local women, instead of being gossiped about. It is truly shameful and sinful what I have done to myself. To my child. To my future.
Home alone on a school night.
Harvest moon over the blue land.
Summer longing on the wind.
How had this even happened anyway? This sudden change in my fortunes? A harvest moon had hung over Paris as the summer season waned fast. I sat alone in my little room in the tenement across from the factory in which I work. Felix had come to my door, looking for me, wanting to console me after a hard day's work. I was too tired and happy to see him to refuse, and so I let him in.
Had a sweetheart on his knees.
So faithful and adoring.
And he touched me. And I let him love me.
So let that be my story.
I brought him into my apartment and he set me on his lap and began kissing me. I felt the burn of his kisses with rapture and I returned them with equal, if not greater passion. He pulled down the sleeve of my dress and kissed my shoulder, which set my heart ablaze. So began the night in which our child was conceived. Now he is gone, and no matter how hard I try to delude myself to the contrary, I can never have him back. He is gone to his old home, probably to another girl. Another grisette, perhaps, who will find herself someday in my exact situation. He is never going to come back and marry me, I must accept that. I have made my own bed, and now I must lie in it. I am now a different woman. And if people begin to call me a whore, well then, I must accept that.
For the hope, for the new life.
Something beautiful, a new chance.
Here it's whispering, there again.
I now must learn to be a mother to this child. And learn I will. Even more than that. I will love and cherish it just as much as if I had been married to its father when it was conceived. This baby is my hope. With it, I have a new chance to redeem myself. If I cannot be a good girl, at least I can be a good mother. Once I can stop my endless tears, I will begin again. Begin anew. And hopefully, things will come to what is best. Hopefully, my child will see me through.