Christmas Eve (Maupassant)

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Christmas Eve
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A man brought a beautiful, pregnant woman home for Christmas Eve, only for her to give birth in his apartment, leaving him with unexpected responsibilities and a newfound aversion to the holiday.

Two years ago, on a freezing Christmas Eve, a man named Henri Templier decided to celebrate the holiday by inviting a beautiful, plump woman to his home for a lavish supper. He found a young woman on the streets of Paris who fit his description and brought her back to his apartment.

Henri Templier — narrator; prefers plump women; generous, easily distracted.
The Woman — young, beautiful, and pregnant; dark-haired with large black eyes; initially sad, later infatuated with Henri.

The woman seemed to be in low spirits, but after drinking some champagne, she began to laugh and enjoy herself.

Christmas Eve! Oh! no, I shall never celebrate that again!

As they prepared to go to bed, the woman suddenly cried out in pain, clutching her stomach. Henri realized that she was in labor and quickly called for help. Neighbors from all around the building rushed into his apartment, and a baby girl was born. A doctor was called, and he informed Henri that the woman was in a dangerous state due to giving birth immediately after supper.

It is a girl.

Henri felt responsible for the woman and her child, so he allowed her to stay in his apartment for six weeks while she recovered. He also arranged for the baby to be taken care of by a family in Poissy, costing him fifty francs a month. However, as the woman recovered, she fell madly in love with Henri, much to his dismay. He eventually had to kick her out of his apartment, but she continued to stalk him and declare her love for him.

This unfortunate series of events led Henri to swear off celebrating Christmas Eve ever again.