I wanted to rewrite the ending starting on page 116 of the book Passing because I just felt a little unfulfilled by the unanswered questions that the end of the book left. I just really wanted a clarifying scene where Irene found everything out, and in the end, DID kill Clare. I also wanted to add a few dramatic elements to it just to make things exciting!

*apologies for the front picture it took me so long to do this*

*John Bellow comes into the room of the party still shouting racial slurs and is looking for his wife*

*Clare and Irene hear him and immediately flee into the adjoining room before John can spot either of them (no one sees the two of them go into the room together)*

*Clare and Irene are alone in the bedroom and Irene confronts Clare about sleeping with her husband*

    “Why is he here Clare?”

     “I wrote him a letter to say I wanted a divorce and that I was taking our daughter with me, and that if he wishes to see her he may do so under my supervision. He never responded. Oh no, I’m so sorry ‘rene, he must have had someone follow me.”

       “I honestly do not know why you would marry such a dreadful man in the first place”

       “I just wanted to be connected with what I have been missing out on for my entire life. I wanted to be intertwined with my roots and my culture. I’ve missed so many things ‘rene. I wanted to be disconnected from John and for Margery to have the childhood I never got to have. I just wanted my family back”

       “You mean, you wanted my family” Irene said with a lump in her throat.

       “Whatever do you mean ‘rene? I wanted us to be close friends again and for our kids to grow up together.”

       “No, you wanted my life, and to have my husband!! How could you ever do such a thing, especially considering everything that I have done for you?”

Clare immediately turned pale, then red, and then she buried her head into her cupped hands and began to sob uncontrollably. Lifting her head slowly she managed to get out:

       “Oh ‘rene, it was never supposed to happen like this…”

She moved her hands down from her face, and started to rub her stomach in a circular motion and mouthed, “I’m so sorry.”

Her broken friendship was no longer on her mind. She knew her marriage had suffered irreparable damage. Her children even escaped her mind for a few seconds. All Irene felt now was white hot rage.

She wanted to strangle the hollow strange figure she saw standing in front of her now. She paced around the room while Clare was still sobbing and incoherently apologizing over and over again.

Irene wished that she would just shut up. She frantically looked around the room only to find an open window right behind the red velvet chair that Clare was sitting in earlier, Clare was now on the floor still sobbing, clutching her stomach for dear life.

Irene could feel the cells in her body turning and twisting, all begging to be moved. She stormed across the room and grabbed Clare by the hair on her head and yanked her towards the window. She demanded that Clare get on her feet. Clare, confused and still thinking she could attain redemption from Irene, stood up and looked at Irene and muttered ‘I… am SO sorry…” Irene made sure those were the last words that Clare Kendry said as she pushed her out of the window and watched her hit the pavement with a blank face.

In a moment, she realized what she had done. She went through her head racking her brain on the other possible scenarios on how this could have all gone down. She started to cry hysterically, and then she ran out of the room and shouted “CLARE, IT’S CLARE SHE… SHE- OH GOODNESS… I CAME OUT OF THE BATHROOM AND SHE WAS ON TOP OF THE WINDOW SILL AND SHE—”

Everyone frantically ran into the bedroom and then ran down the stairs to see Clare’s body on the pavement outside. Irene watched Brian’s reaction the entire time. He was sobbing quietly and his face told her everything she needed to know.

That night at dinner, Brian asked Irene to go through, multiple times and in as much detail as possible, the events leading up to Clare’s apparent suicide. She excused the boys from the table and calmly turned to her husband.

She got up from the table and picked up the revolver in the kitchen drawer and pointed it at Brian, who was still sitting down.

       “Why the hell do you care so much?”

       Brian, in utter shock responded “wh-what the hell Irene?”

       “Don’t play dumb with me boy, I know about what was going on behind my back all this time. After I poured blood sweat and tears into building our family and sacrificing some of my happiness just so you and the boys could have everything you wanted… you think you could just, what? Get her pregnant and run away with her? Just leave us?!”

Unable to respond to her last question, Brian lifted his head and said half-heartedly between sobs, “Clare was pregnant?” “I can’t believe you took away the one thing that made me happy.”

Irene contemplated everything in her life that led up to her becoming a murderer, and she wished life were different. The pain was all consuming,  and she wanted to make Brian hurt the way she hurt. She shot him in the leg first. And when he cried out, she felt a little better, but he was still breathing and that infuriated her even more than the blood seeping through the cracks in the floor. She fiercely pointed the revolver at Brian’s head and shot him at point blank range in the forehead. 

Haley’s Final: A Rewritten Ending to Passing

One thought on “Haley’s Final: A Rewritten Ending to Passing

  • December 9, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    What. The. Hell. Talk about closure. Irene has become a double murderer! Love how you captured the calculation and coldness that characterizes her through so much of the book. Claire is pretty sympathetic here, I think.

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