He is a child. Stubborn and blind. He chases a dream, curious and grinning, and leaves her behind. Marius. Marius. Sweet crucifier. If she still had wings, he’d pick them out from her body, greedy fingers and sweet smiles, “Come, come, butterfly. I want to see how you look inside.”
And yet, she’d show him, open herself up and offer it all. Isn’t love a droll thing!
“You are drunk,” Azelma accuses, looking around the bare room for a glint of a bottle. “Are you hiding it from me, Eponine?”
Eponine laughs. She is drunk, yes. Drunk in sorrows. Sweet boy next door; gives her five francs and takes leave to rip her heart out. “It’s finished now,” she tells her sister, and lets her believe what she will. “Long finished,” she murmurs, but this time to herself, to the wall separating their room from his. “It never started. Not really.”
But one day more, give her one day, and she’ll patch her feathers together and be golden inside.
One day more, every day.
Somehow, she thinks, so disappointed, that day never seems to come.
He is her friend now.
“You have news, Eponine?”
She has words, unsaid words, but none he’d want to hear. She has beauty, as much as his dream does. Used to have it. Years ago, years and years, even though he won’t believe her. If she still had her thick long hair, her rosy cheeks, the pretty new dresses Mother used to buy for her.... Sweet torture, to have such imaginings.
She is no friend of his. Doesn’t want to be. But she has a promise coming – “Anything,” she said, and he accepted. Marius. Sweet Marius. So innocent still, willing and trusting in exchange for good news. If she still had some innocence of her own, she’d let go of him
She does not.
You see, she is greedy herself.
He is hers.
For this moment. For this second. For she’s dead so that he’ll live, and he is alive. He is.
Her love, her child, her valiant hero with big dreams and no eyes. How surprised he looks, that she is bleeding in his name. How much care you required, she’d like to tell him. How much effort you were. How will you ever be happy without me to guard your back?
She gives him his news, then. Because he's brought her to ground at last, robbed her the last of her wind - or perhaps she gave it to him. No matter. Doesn't matter anymore. Because he is hers and the one leaving will be her.
She is greedy to the end.
He understands, a little. Maybe he even accepts. He is angry, he is desperate, he is still chasing butterflies in this nightmare. But he understands, at last, even if only a little.
Marius, sweet clueless boy. He gives her, her anything: a kiss for when she’s gone.
Her love. Her child. (Her runaway dream.)
If she still had one day more …
”You know, Monsieur. When we were little, your dream played with my discarded doll….”
…but she does not.