The story opens up by Kate Chopin informing the reader of Louise Mallard's, the main character, heart condition. Her sister, Josephine, as well as her husband's friend, Richard, are at Louise's house to break the news to her that her husband passed away in a train accident. Although she wept upon hearing the news, she dealt with the tragedy better than most wives would have in this situation. Louise stormed up to her room alone, sat down and absorbed her surroundings. Louise is actually happy about her husband's death because she now has the ability to live freely. She had been living vicariously through her husband, but since he was now dead, she could finally live for herself. Louise leaves her room to walk back downstairs and as she is descending down the steps, the front door opens and her husband is standing there. Despite efforts from her Richard to block Louise's view from the door, she sees her husband and has a heart attack and dies. Mr. Mallard had no idea that he was thought to have been dead.