The Rain of Spain is Falling on Her Neck

A candle flickers in my room. A dying candle, a hurting candle. A candle that shows my life. A dying life, a hurting life.

He was right, you know. He was right about Freddy. Not three years in and the Professor's predictions are true. Not quite an heiress from New York. No, this time he's off with some Milan 'lady'. Perhaps the Professor has far better sense than I about people; despite the fact he ignores the majority of them (and with good reason). Freddy sent me a letter. Told me in a letter he was leaving me for a Milan goddess. And he left me with not a single memento of him. He must have known he would leave for good. Not a button or sock of his remained in that little flower shop. Well, he left me one thing, but that one thing isn't even entirely his.

I press a hand to my belly. No, he left me a gift alright. A little gift I won't see for a few more months. What would Professor 'Enry 'Iggins 'ave to say about that?

The flickering candle in my room goes out. No, not my room. Professor 'Enry 'Iggins' guest room. I can feel my life flickering, going out in smoke like that candle. With my last steps, I stride across the street. Though I'm sure it's an illusion of my starving mind, I feel as if I am at the ball on that long ago night. My feet float across the stones, my head is held high despite the weight of the hair and the jewelry. I haven't the strength but I somehow bring my shoulders back. My belly stretches out, my baby twitching within. I feel the guilt in dying and taking this baby with me. Perhaps God will be merciful and give this baby another, better life.

I step onto the Professor's stoop. Though there is a bell, I do not ring it. I will not give him the satisfaction of once again seeing me at my lowest. Him, with no feelin' 'eart in 'im. In my scratchy voice, I let out that practiced melodious,

"How do you do?" And my time is done. I fall forward, rolling onto my side at the last second. My child's last moments need not be ones of pain. My own last moments are full of relief. I shall be free of this shell. I will be dead! And then I am.

When Mrs. Pearce opened the door the next morning, she screamed at the sight of the young woman. Filth obscured the woman's face, though when Mrs. Pearce wiped it away, she gasped. Eliza Eynsford-Hill lay dead on the doorstep. She ran back into the house, finally finding Henry brooding in his study.

"Professor Higgins," she said, "Come to the door, sir. You must see something." For the first time in his life, Henry Higgins did exactly as he was told. Perhaps it was the fear in Mrs. Pearce's tone, or the tears in her eyes. When his gaze lit upon Eliza's body, tears gathered. When they followed down to her swollen belly, the tears fell. Though it was a move not befitting the old bachelor, he sank to his knees and pulled her body to his. He buried his head in her neck and let his tears wash away the filth. With a shaking hand, he pressed his fingertips to her bluing lips. Soft sweet lips he had known only in dreams that came too late. He whispered to her corpse,

"You stupid, foolish girl. Why didn't you ring the damn bell? I'd grown accustomed to you, my baggage, my hellcat, my glorious songbird."