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Scarlett steps outside to take a breather while all the family members wait for her to tell them what to do. She decides that she needs to put off the details until "tomorrow" and begins to walk the five blocks toward home. As she walks, the sensation of walking into a mist comes over her, and she recalls her dream. Suddenly she realizes that Rhett is the one in the mist whom she can never quite reach. She runs all the way home, intending to tell Rhett that he is the one she loves rather than Ashley.
The concept of the "mist" gives the story a supernatural element of Gothic romance. It is only by acknowledging the supernatural that this aspect of the story is believable. Perhaps the identity of the person in the mist is not so much Rhett as it is Scarlett's fully developed understanding of herself. In spite of what she says of herself, I believe she really did love Ashley at one time, but that as elements of the old world died within her, that love died also. He was part of another lifetime, which is over.
Even as her passion for Ashley was waning, it was developing for Rhett although Scarlett didn't pause in her busy life long enough to put her feelings for Rhett into words. Additionally, the two have never been able to get their vibes in sync. When Rhett most loved her, she was hateful and sarcastic. When she tried to be loving or gentle toward him, he was either drunk, angry, or too busy holding a grudge over some previous insult. Neither of them have ever looked at each other with clear vision at the same time.