My Only Escape--Catherine Barkley's Monologue

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a monologue I wrote/performed for a project based on the book, "A Farewell to Arms" by Ernest Hemingway. If you haven't read it I suggest you have, it takes place through the eyes of Catherine Barkley, a British nurse who falls in love with Frederic Henry, and American ambulance driver. The book is based on Ernest Hemingway's real experiences in World War I. **Note: Major spoilers.**

Submitted: August 04, 2012

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Submitted: August 04, 2012



My Only Escape—Catherine Barkley’s Monologue

So much time It has been since I have had peace with Henry . After so long, we finally have a baby coming, I don’t know what it is, but I know that he or she will be the perfect child from a love that will never fade. [break] I remember when I met Henry, the year was around 1915, we met in Britain at a hospital he and I were stationed at during that time. I was in a love relationship with Rinaldi... and all through the war I was a nurse. He was young, tall, handsome, he was a Lieutenant from America, America I couldn’t believe it! I had never met anyone from America before! So much joy and excitement! His name was Frederic Henry, he was and is an ambulance driver. How I dreaded this war more than anything.

Feelings in that time were… odd. All men cared for were lusty, sex filled relationships. A new girl each town that they were in. And the drinking, so much of it. Men drank wine like water. They drank away their worries, their sorrows, it was the only way a man or anyone could escape from the war. [break] Henry and I began as friends, because neither of us wanted love He just wanted a fling, as did I. Love is like a game of chess, if you play your pieces right, you will take down the king; but chess wasn’t the game we were playing at all. We only wanted to escape. Not much time passed before my relationship with Rinaldi began to fade from the picture. I couldn’t help it, my attention had shifted to Henry. One day, Henry asked if I had ever loved anyone else, I answered no. I didn’t lie, I simply told him what he wanted to hear. If relationships are to last… Lies are to be told. [break] During our whole relationship I was grieving the loss of my fiancé, he had passed away in the line of duty… How I miss him… I was going to cut my hair before we got married, but after he passed away… I couldn’t I just couldn’t. It held and still holds  so many memories of he and I together, and our relationship. I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything. [break] Sadly our fun was short lived. While he was away from me he had gotten hurt, and I had received news that he had been transferred to Milan to have surgery. This was the first time we were apart… How I missed him so much. I wondered every day if I would ever see him again.

I was transferred to Italy shortly after Henry, when I was unexpectedly transferred to the same hospital as him and when I saw him lying there on his bed, my heart skipped a beat! At last, I got a chance to see my love! While he was at the hospital, I wasn’t his designated nurse however I couldn’t ignore Henry, so I would sneak to see him. [break] From there our relationship grew, to maybe even love? One night, I told him, “You’re my religion. You’re all I got.”  That was my way of saying that I loved him and never wanted to let him go. Another night I told him about my fear, I told him that “I am afraid of the rain, because sometimes I see me dead in it.” It’s not a chilling fear… It’s just… I always have had this feeling that one day… something will happen, and I will die, whether it be in the rain, or near rain, I just see myself dead in it. [break] A night a little later on, we made love. I finally felt it. I felt love. Real love. The love I thought I would never get back when I lost my fiancé, but now it was returned. I have grown to accept, that I love him. I love Henry. [break] Our love was no longer a game of playfulness. It was real. True genuine love. The strongest love that you read about in fairytales and stories. Something that will last a lifetime. Now here we are, I haven’t seen Henry for quite some time after he had his surgery. So our plans are not complete, but when we get them and plan our future, our lives together last forever more.

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