Hello dear readers! I have been reading GWTW's last chapter and I thought: What really happened at the end of our favorite novel? It seems to me that our beloved writer was always deliberately ambiguous towards Melly's fate. What I mean is was she dead by the end of the novel or we left her seriously ill when Scarlett left her house to go and find Rhett? What we know for sure is that she looked extremely ill when Scarlett visited her in her bedroom, that India and Aunt Pitty were crying when they saw her and that Scarlett and Rhett felt that Melly was saying goodbye during their last conversation. And that's all! We never saw Dr. Mead for example giving Ashley the bad news and Scarlett left the room without speaking with the doctor. What happened there when Ashley entered the room we simply can't know for sure.
You are going to say that Mrs Mitchell told us that Melly died. But she also told us that Rhett left for ever and he is never going to come back.
What I simply say is that if we can respectfully disagree with our beloved writer in regard to the "I don't give a damn" issue why can't we question Melly's fate too?
That's why I think we still have a right to hope that a miracle is possible. So this is not a what-if story, is what i think could have happened after gwtw ending!
Is what people say true, that lovers come and go but true friendship, just like land, as Gerald would say, lasts forever?Lets find out!
Unfortunately, I still own nothing! Everything belongs to Estate!
As always, read enjoy and review please! I am breathlessly waiting for your opinion!
He said "I don't give a damn" and he walked out of her life. Scarlett just wanted to cry, she wanted to start crying and never stop, until all the pain left. But she couldn't do it now. She didn't want to cry alone, abandoned by anyone, she couldn't bear it. She wanted to go back to Tara to lick her wounds, to find at last some peace. But she couldn't leave just yet, she had to stand by Melanie during her last moments, to show her at last her gratitude, how much her friendship meant to her, as long as she had the chance.
If only Dr Meade would give her more hope but he was adamant. Melly would be dead until tomorrow.
If only she had a second chance with her, she would change everything, she would be a true friend to her, but she knew her hopes were in vain.
She had left Melly's side just to come home and tell Rhett how much she loved him, to correct the mess she had created with their lives. Her attempt was in ruins around her. She forbade herself to think about that now.
Tomorrow, she though, when I shall have the strength to handle it.
She stood up, she rised her chin, in the old familiar way of her father and she left her home for Melly's little house.
She found the doctor at the had buried his face in his hands.
Oh dear God Scarlett thought, She is gone
"What happened Dr. Meade?" she asked with a trembling voice.
"Nothing new" he answered, extremely tired. "She is a young woman, she wants to live but there is no strength left in her body. She is asking only for you" Scarlett stormed into the house and went straight into Melly's bedroom without a second glimpse to Ashley who was sitting at the living room with Aunt Pitty and India.
Scarlett didn't left Melly's side for three whole days. Melanie didn't have contact with the enviroment, she was delirious, she was mumbling about her baby and Beau and she was asking for Scarlett and Ashley.
The morning of the fourth day the doctor seemed to be slightly more optimistic. Her temperature was lower and she was sleeping peacefully. He said that, maybe, there was a chance of survival.
Scarlett let herself relax for the first time she had received Rhett's awful telegram about Melanie's condition.
India, whose opinion about Scarlett was utterly changed when she saw her devotion these last days, begged her to go home and have some rest.
"You would not be helpful to Melly if you collapse too. I promise you I won't leave her side."
When she returned a few hours later she found Melly fully awake and serene. Her voice could barely be heard and she was extremely pale but she was deffinatelly alive. Of course that didn't mean that Scarlett reduced her efforts. She spent with her the majority of the day, she was the only person who could persuade her eat some soup and she was reading to her her favorite books just to help her pass the time.
This wasn't beneficial only for Melanie but also for Scarlett. She always had somethig to do, and she was always among people who always consider part of her family, although typically, they were just her first'shusbands family.
She couldn't stand anymore the loneliness that fell heavilly around her since the day Bonnie died, when Rhett wasn't interested in maintaining his social status any more. But now Scarlett, without realising at the moment was again a proud member of Atlanta's old guard and every friend of Melanie, which practically meant, every woman in Atlanta had no doubts about her true love towards Melly. And her friends were instantly their friends too.
Only when Melanie was sleeping and Scarlett found a quite moment she let herself cry, for all the mistakes she made. With Charles, with Frank and mostly with Rhett.
What was she going to do with him? The mere idea of divorcing her took her breath away! She couldn't loose him forever, she couldn't even imagine a life without him, without his teasing, his laughter even his barbs. She was missing everything that it was him. For the time being she had found a quite plausible excuse for his absence. She told everybody and of course Melanie and her children that Rhett had gone to Charleston to help his mother with some affair and that he had to go to an extended trip to Europe too, in order to regulate his business there which he had neglected since the unfortunate events of the previous year.
Nobody seemed to question her, but she knew she couldn't continue with the same lie forever. The only think that kept her going was his promise that he would come back soon, to keep the gossip down. She wondered how soon this 'soon' was but she was sure that it wasn't soon enough.
Two weeks later, Melly's condition didn't seem to improve significantly. She barely spoke, she couldn't walk on her own and she ate nothing but broth. Dr Meade who examined her concluded that there was nothing wrong with her physically. Her body was cured but her wounds were deeper. He was afraid of a nervous breakdown and he recommended a change of scenery, away from Atlanta and her home where everything reminded her constantly the baby she lost.
Scarlett proposed to take her to Tara. They would take the children of course and Ashley would visit whenever his work at the mill allowed him to.
The irony of the situation wasn't lost on Scarlett.
After Rhett's abandonment she found herself once again in a carriage with a sick woman, three little children and of course Prissy heading to Tara.
Her carriage was the best in Atlanta, Sherman's army wasn't behind her her anymore, but Scarlett, didn't feel any better than the first time she return to Tara to protect herself and organise her defence.
Actually she felt as if all the demons of hell were chasing after her.
Once at Tara, Scarlett and Melanie adjusted at their new life at the farm.
As the days passed Melly's health improved considerably and Scarlett's quarrels with her sister Sue Ellen strangely improved her mood.
As well as the sense of victory that followed, as Sue Ellen couldn't stop Scarlett from visiting Tara since she still owned one third of it.
The two friends used to spend the majority of the day at the big veranta, alone talking about whatever subject anyone could imagine, but more often with the company of their children.
Scarlett was so relieved seeing Wade and Ella so well again. Since Bonnie's accident they were so sad and extremly quite, she had the feeling that they were avoiding her and they barely looked her in the eyes.
But now that they spend so many hours together they seemed much more relaxed and Beau's company had brought laughter back at their family.
With sincere surprise, Scarlett realised that apart from her decision to become a better mother, she genuinely enjoyed her children's company.
Rhett was right, she thought, They are good children.
Truth be told, Wade was timid and shy, which always irritated her and as he grew older he looked more and more like his father, but he was so smart. He was the best student in his class and he definitely had a "head for numbers".
He took that from me, she proudly thought and she was already making plans about his studies and about how many things he would be able to do thanks to Rhett's money!
Ella on the other hand was a completly different case. As Scarlett had already realised she had a serious concentration problem, but she was a true artist. She had inherited her mother's graceful movement and she could become a wonderful dancer.
Under her mother's attention Ella's demeanour changed and she seemed happier and confident.
During the day there were so much to be done, so Scarlett avoided successfully to thinking about Rhett.
But the nights were a completely different case. Her torment began when she put her children to sleep. Wade kept telling her about all the things Will, Sue Ellen's husband teached him about Tara and how much he wanted to show them to his uncle Rhett once he returned home from his "business trip" and Ella every night just before closing her eyes kept asking her when "daddy" was coming.
She felt so guilty she had to tell all these lies to her own children and she silently cursed Rhett Butler and his irresponsibility towards them. Every night, when she lied down to her old bed at her childhood room she reflected her girlish dreams, the life before the war and how she managed to ruin everything and end up miserable and alone. But she also couldn't avoid thinking that despite her mistakes and even if he couldn't bear living with her for another minute he had to make a plausible excuse for the children, just to say goodbye, not abandoning them without a second thought. They were innocent, good children, and he was the only father they have ever known.
Curiously enough her anger helped her handle the pain.
A month after their arrival at Tara they received Rhett's first letter. It was sent initiatelly at their house in Atlanta, a few days after Rhett's departure but as it seemed the servants neglected to give it to Uncle Henry, so it arrived at Tara with a month' s delay.
Scarlett was furious and she made a mental notice to deal with her stuff as soon as she was back home. It was addressed only to the children without a single reference to his wife. He was talking about the places he was visiting at Europe and it was full of the funny stories Rhett usually told so nicely.
Scarlett had to read it out loud for Ella's sake who had just learned how to read but she wasn't capable of reading such a big letter just yet.
Wade wrote immidiatelly his response. He was inviting his uncle to Tara, truth be told, he told it more than in once in his letter, so he could show him all the things his uncle Will had told him about running a big plantation and about fishing.
Scarlett helped Ella with her response. The little girl insisted in finishing the letter by herself. She wrote: I love you Daddy with her big letters and went happily to play with Sue Ellen's daughter.
Scarlett of course didn't write a single word to him. If he wanted to ignore her, she wouldn't give him the satisfaction to see her begging for his attention.
But when everyone went to sleep that night, she took his letter with her at her room and put it under her pillow.
It wasn't a love letter, it wasn't even a letter for her, but it was his.
Strangely enough that night she slept peacefully after a long long time.
The following months more Rhett's letters arrived. It seemed that her husband wrote dutifully a letter to the children every month.
According to them he had left Charleston and he had visited London and Paris.
Still no reference to Scarlett.
Still no reference about returning home.
Melanie understood that something was very wrong at her sister's in law marriage. She was sure about that the moment she laid her eyes on her when she finally regained consciousness after her illness. Scarlett looked as if she was hiding something and she seemed desperate. Even more desperate than at those days after the war.
Melly had caught her several times crying alone in Atlanta, in her bedroom when she thought she was sleeping, but she looked a lot better since their arrival in Tara. She hadn't seen her cry until Rhett's first letter came.
It didn't escape her notice that every time a new letter came, Scarlett, after reading it to the children, without showing any emotion, she was hiding carefully in her pocket and when she thought no one was watching she escaped to a secluded place, a big oak tree beside the river where she used to sit with her father, she read it over and over again and she was sobbing.
Melly wanted to go beside her and comfort her, just as she had helped her, when she was in need, but she knew that Scarlett didn't want people seeing her in her moments of weakness. So she just waited for her to open up, to tell her willingly her secret and she just hoped that it wouldn't be too late.