I wake to the sound of her crying. I open my eyes and she is sitting on the bedside, gently crying, her soft sobs filling the late night quiet of the room.
I move my hand to touch her, as still as possible, but she knows, somehow, and she moves away before I can reach her. And she is gone, hurriedly scurrying away, and her tears echo tenderly down the hall until the sound is muffled by distance and walls.
I climb from bed, and it is an effort, it is something I have to force myself to do, to follow her, to look for her. I find the lights all on in the house, the lamps glaring to force back the dark. She has always been afraid of the dark.
She scampers from room to room. I can hear her delicate bare feet padding away from me. Hear her crying. She will not let me talk to her. She will not let me try to reason. Only when I’m sleeping will she sit next to me. And she can’t help but cry.
It is an every night occurrence. She cries. I wake. She flees. I could say I’m sorry, shout it so the boards and nails of the house would tremble and hear and know that I was remorseful, regretful. Ashamed. I could shout, I could beg forgiveness, but what absolution could the dead offer? Could she tell me, through tears, that she forgave me?
Is it in death that all the truths are revealed? I fear so. But she knew long before she drew the razor down her arm. She knew my indiscretions, my infidelities. She left no note, but I know it was me that drove her to her end.
I was not the best husband. I was cold. I was uncaring. “A styrofoam lover with the emotions of concrete.” I don’t know for sure if that was me, but she could have married so much better, she should have found someone who treated her like a person.
It is awful to say, horrible to confess, that I most likely stayed with her to break her heart and destroy her dreams. To let her know she was nothing. She could have had any man, but once she settled for me, I was fearful of losing her. I had to convince her she was below nothing, that she was lucky someone at least wanted her around if for nothing more than to belittle and ridicule, and I was so successful in my endeavors. Before she let the blood run from her veins, had it firmly planted in her head that there was nothing for her in this life.
She loved me, that is the sad part, that is the cold hard fact that rips at my soul. She loved me. How she found out about my affairs, I don’t know. I’m sure, somehow, she just knew. She knew every time why I came home late, she knew when I wasn’t in meetings, or business dinners, or conferences. Woman’s intuition. She knew. She knew.
She ended it all because she could not fathom a life without me, even though I was nothing to die for. But I had told her there was no one else willing, or capable, or tolerable enough, to be her companion; she would be alone, live alone, die alone.
Why did she think I would leave her? Maybe my afterhours dalliances had become too frequent. I was spending too much time away from home.
This was not a home. It was her prison. It was my torture chamber, my vault of horror. A home is filled with love. I had no love. I had possession. I had debasement. She had love, but out of fear and desperation. My fear has been realized: Loneliness.
So she comes to me now to let me know that I have broken her heart every day I have known her. Be she alive or dead, every day I break her heart.
In the middle of the night, she comes to me. In the middle of the day, she cries. I feel the air shudder, I hear the walls whisper.
I could say I’m sorry, but what good are words? What good are these words that I have written here? Words will not bring her back, will not let her know that I cry too, that I wish I could turn back the hands of time and make it all right, that I regret every time I make her cry even now. Words can not let her know that finally, at long last, I feel, I feel, words will not…words are useless.
Whoever should read this, please know that I love her. I know that now. I always have. And she will know it too.
To whom it may concern: I am happy to join her.