Last Updated April 20, 2023.
Edna is unable to work during cloudy and dark conditions, as she requires sunlight to motivate her. If it is raining, she either spends time with friends or remains at home alone, feeling like her life is slipping away.
She starts to visit the racetrack regularly and on one occasion, Mrs. Highcamp and Alcee Arobin invite her to join them. She gambles with a large amount of money and is successful, which makes her feel exhilarated.
After dining at the Highcamps, Alcee gives Edna a ride back home and she agrees to accompany him to the races once more. Once Alcee departs, Edna experiences hunger, restlessness, and anticipation. She desires some thrilling event to occur and wishes she had asked Alcee to stay longer for a conversation.
Alcee invites Edna to the races a few days later and they attend together without any other company. Edna experiences a similar sense of excitement as before and Alcee is skilled at fostering an intimate atmosphere between them. After the race, Alcee stays for dinner and they spend time together by the fire. Alcee shows Edna a scar on his wrist and she touches his hand as she looks at it. However, suddenly Edna becomes disturbed, and walks away in an agitated state.
Alcee returns to her side, and she experiences a sudden, intense feeling of sensuality as she gazes at him. He notices her reaction and feels more confident as he takes her hand while bidding her goodnight.
Although Alcee inquires about her willingness to attend the races again, she declines and urges him to depart, declaring her dislike for him. However, both of them are aware that she is lying to cover her true feelings. Alcee kisses her hand, and she clarifies that her enthusiasm from the racetrack might have misled him, hoping that she hadn't given him the wrong impression. Alcee apologizes and eventually departs.
Following Alcee's departure, Edna gazes at the spot where he had kissed her hand. She experiences a sense of infidelity and ponders about Robert's opinion on the matter-- not her husband's. Although Edna realizes that she does not have any genuine feelings for Alcee, his touch and mere presence seem to have a powerful effect on her, almost like a drug.