Monday, July 24, 2017

The Letter (short story)

 'My Love,

My hands can not hold a pen any more. The red knuckles are swollen like marbles and my fingers grow in the wrong directions.
Do you remember when we were still children with elastic muscles that we crossed our fingers, one over the other? That is how my hands look now. I am glad you can't see this, it would have upset you.
The pink and ring finger are the worst but my fore finger is the best of all and allows me to type a letter to you. It is a slow process as you will understand but you have all the time of the world to read it.

I am in a strange mood. I thought I got used to my solitary existence but strangely enough I didn't. My thoughts often wander off to the old days when we still lived together. Married as in 'happily ever after'.
Have we been happy? Yes. We were childhood lovers, we knew each other so very well, our marriage couldn't go wrong. How wrong we were but let not dwell on this right now.
I still remember our wedding day with all the love and laughters, all the expectations for the future; our future.
We did not have a great income but you were determined to climb the social ladder and I was more than willing to hold that ladder, to support you where ever I could. I promised to do so and I kept my promise. You asked me to support you and that is what I did...... till death did us part.

Do you remember how we loved to curl up on the sofa? Or in bed? We became great lovers and memories of our intimacy still cause that special warm feeling. Or our arms wrapped around each other, talking about our dreams. Your dreams were more demanding than mine. You wanted a family, a job with status and an appropriate  income, a bigger house, being a member of The Lions and the Golf club. And, not to forget, a perfect and elegant, good looking wife to impress your colleagues and friends to be.
My wish list was a family home, children, a house and a garden, hugs and love, a dog. Could I ever dream that the only wish we had in common was children....
Maybe the house too but mine was cosy and big enough for our family. Yours was to impress, pompous and in my humble opinion, horrible.
You were generous and  promised me on forehand a house keeper, a nanny and a gardener. Well, I thought it was generous but I learned otherwise.

You ticked almost all the boxes on your wish list, almost. The children box was never ticked. At first you blamed yourself but soon you blamed me, not openly, I did not even notice it in the beginning. I did not recognize the early signs of mental abuse. I have to admit that you were very, very good at that. I am not going to repeat all the details, you know exactly what you have done to me. But what you did not know was that you forced me to play my own game. I had to to survive, to stay close to me. And when I finally, after so many years, saw through you, I became even better in playing mental games than you.

You never found out did you, that I became the best actress ever and that I only acted like the manipulated wife you created. Created in your mind my love, not in real!
You hated your sudden hair loss, you were so proud of the dark curly hair you inherited from your mother. You had never been ill before so you hated the so called influenza that caused stomach and belly pains and vomiting. Not long after you recovered but within half a year it started all over again. The doctor said you were stressed. The demanding job, the long hours, a holiday would do you good. And it did. A year after, the same thing happened again but you felt worse than ever. Strong as you were, you recovered again. But my love, you were not smart enough to know it wasn't a influenza! And it was not due to stress! Not at all, but I played my game so very well that no one was surprised when you finally died. They spoke beautiful words at your grave. Your business partner mentioned he had never seen a man before who was so dedicated to his work.

And I? I played the grieving widow. And I played it very, very well. I almost believed my own grief, I almost felt the pain for your loss. I played it so well that people never noticed the joy in my heart. The joy about my freedom and most of all the joy because I won the game you started!

Photo: Forgotten Heritage

Did you notice the Crow who watched your funeral? He and I became very good friends. He knows my moods and when my mood is as dark as his deep purple and black feathers, he talks to me. His hoarsely voice causes great fear with people who don't know him but not with me. He waits for me to finish the letter and to take it to your grave. This will also be my goodbye to my feathered friend. I have done what I wanted to do. I have enjoyed my victory long enough and it is time to go.
All that will be left is the two cups with the residue of what ended our lives. They lay next to the type writer and your portrait, guarded by the Crow who will be faithful to me until his own death.
Goodbye my love......'

Word of thanks: the photo of @forgottenheritage (Instagram) inspired me to write this story and I was given permission to use the photo as an illustration for which I am very grateful. Thank you Matt!

Link: the beautiful book Forgotten Heritage by Matthew Emmett

Note: the story is pure fiction!A figment of my imagination!



  1. Anonymous9:54 pm

    That photo, en then the story......
    De composition, intriguing and breathless reading. My respect to you Helen!


  2. Both photo and story! Excellent! Edgar Allan Poe springs to mind......