I look down on the city, a maze of lights in motion muted by the rain. Behind me, people who mean well murmur platitudes no one believes.
“We’re so sorry.”
“He was a good man.”
“Everything’s going to be okay.”
speaking to soothe themselves, for all that they claim to be here for
me. Lies cannot mend what has been shattered. Untruth wraps around me
like my widow’s weeds, tight, strangling. Comforting.
“At least he left her enough to live well.” That whispered where I should not be able to hear.
did not leave willingly. Every last breath was a struggle to survive,
to return to the world we’d built together, this castle on the hill. No
matter that it’s a penthouse apartment, it is every inch a fortress,
impenetrable – or so he’d thought.
Display cases are filled with
mementos from our travels, each one a small torture of memory. The art
on the walls creates a study in restraint. Everyone remarked on my keen
eye for décor, but it was all Sidney’s doing. He never did like to take
credit for his work.
Nor did he wish to be given credit for what
grew inside me, but it was all his, and I was not giving it up. He
should have realized that before attempting to kill me. Not even Sidney
could unmake what he’d made of me.
I suck the last bit of dried blood from the crevice of my fingernail and turn to accept condolences.