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WALLPAPER 7/9

There are things in that wallpaper that nobody knows but me.

Behind that outside pattern, the dim shapes get clearer every day. It is always the same shape. It is like a youth stooping down and moving about behind that pattern. I don't like it. I begin to think Charlotte and I should leave this house. It is so hard to talk with Charlotte about my feelings, because she is so busy, and because she loves me so much.

The moonlight. The moon shines in all around just as the sun does. I hate to see it sometimes, it moves so slowly, and always comes in by one window or another. I kept still and watched the moonlight on that undulating wallpaper.

The faint figure behind seemed to shake the pattern, as if he wanted to get out. I got up quietly and went to feel if the paper did move. It was not moving but still I could see that it seemed to move.

The next morning I told Charlotte that I wanted to leave.
She said, “Our lease will be up in three weeks. The repairs are not done at home, and I cannot possibly leave the hospital just now. You really are better, whether you can see it or not. I am a doctor, and I can tell. You are gaining color, your appetite is better.”

“So we can’t leave?” I asked gloomily.

“How can I? It is only three weeks more. Really, honey, you are better!”

“Better in body perhaps.” I said, and stopped. She looked at me with such a stern, reproachful face that I could not say another word.

“Please, for my sake as well as for your own, say that you will never for one instant let that idea enter your mind! You already overreact to fantasy situations. You should trust me as your doctor and mother.”

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