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Fiction Romance

Until Monday morning

By C. Pitt

They took you away from me. Right there, at plain sight. They asked how I felt; Violated, vain, dazed, I let out.

 I am laying on unfamiliar ground, my body floating in the furthest of spaces. My heart feels heavy, so I check if it is still beating. Positive. My mind feels betrayed, invaded by an inevitable wave of authority. I knew the rules all along; they were unchanged since I was a little girl. “Calculated actions lead to a happy life”, my grandma used to say. I calculated them all my life. However just this once, I wanted to do something for myself. I did not calculate this risk.

As I glance into the blank space, I wonder if I am still dead or alive. I whisper sweet nothings, mostly to make sure I am still here. I planned our life together you know? We would run away from here, visit places only existing in the wildest of imaginations. I would feel so proud of you, spoiling you and bragging of your glorious existence in this miserable world. And I would be plainly happy, just for thriving and existing with you. I murmur one last whisper, right before heading back to the state of oblivion:

I will love you endlessly my precious angel.

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Time moves if you move along with it. It is a conscious choice, to live in the depths of your mind or to escape and take a walk once in a while. I spend most days living in the first dimension. I find it peaceful and uncomplicated there. All the mixed emotions and mood swings have been tiring me lately, making it harder to explain them to others. I tried discussing it with Bella but she mostly dismissed me, reiterating how gratitude and faith is all I will ever need. I guess she has always been content with her reality. Being true with one’s feelings was part of the culture after all. Or so they said. I decided to take a walk that day.

He wouldn’t be home until 7 so I had time to spare. The priority was to read the contract, make sure I understand it perfectly. I go home, grab a cup of coffee and rest my head in a comfortable position on the chaise longue. The contract rests tiredly on the coffee table, looking flashy and wrinkled. I made sure to include bookmarks on all the necessary parts, and highlighted several pages until they didn’t make sense anymore. A simple pile of papers carrying the future of a lifetime. A great paradox really.

I studied him really well. I learned to recognize his footsteps as he opened the red, front door and when he got up to grab dinner. Whenever he was in a good mood, he would pop me a kiss, hug me and hold me like the first years we were together. I knew exactly the time he would come home, unbutton his shirt, turn on the television and lay on the couch until he became one with it. I waited in bed for him in masqueraded trust, knowing that most nights I would grow tired and eventually fall asleep. As far as anybody was concerned, we were happy.

After the incident, his habits ceased. The first three months I brushed it off, pretended it was just in my imagination. He was a respected citizen in our hometown, always known for his honesty, his respect and his obedience by the law. Time after time, the change became much stronger, the truth so clear-cut it hurt. Blame and regret accompanied me for a long time, although he promised he wanted this as much as I did. I looked at the contract again. The deadline was clear. At this moment I realized time moves, with or without us.

He was finally here. Alarmed, I put the contract back to where I found it and turned on the tv to pretend I was watching it. A flowery scent entered the room. Her. I smiled at him, the smile of lies.

Hi honey, how was work?”, I exhaled forcibly, holding back tears.

Same old, just tired. You know me.”, he replied without a single hint of guilt, without turning to look at me, even if it was just a lying smile.

You know me. You know me. You know me. The words rang in my ear like an alarm. My intrusive thoughts were pushing to get out, yet I knew there was a price to pay. I kept quiet.

Of course, honey”, I said and sneaked the contract under my shirt so I could read it for a while longer. He did not have to know I was reading our marriage papers.

Friday morning arrived. Three days left for the big day. I wanted to go out and admire the sun rising. I don’t know how much longer I would be able to do that.

The sun looked as mesmerizing as it did every day. I always enjoyed watching the sunrise. It gave me hope and strength, knowing that they can never destroy something so beautiful. For one thing in this town, beautiful things were destroyed frequently.  

I sat at the porch and absorbed the warmth of the sun. I felt hugged and safe by the glorious sunrays, something I haven’t felt in a while. Almost instinctively, I started worrying about Monday. A court said to commence at 10:00 am. A loud promise for the world. An irrational contract. This city felt unreal. I never asked to be born here. I never wanted to spend my life deciphering rules, behaviours and feelings. I promise I will get out of here and when I do, I will take you with me. I just need a calculated plan.

Hesitant but confident, I visited Henry. The premises of his law firm stood tall and proud, almost intimidating. I guess we always choose an environment similar to our own disposition. I entered his office and prepared my long, convincing speech, though Henry was not convinced. He went all about how I have to take an oath and how it was therefore impossible for my plan to work. Alternatively, I could not be absent from the situation, since that would equate to a contempt of court. I kept my mouth shut, listening carefully to my lawyer, rules and regulations flying over my head as he explained them. In the midst of the paradoxical logic of this town, impossibility was non-existent.

Thanking him, I stepped out the door, as confused as when I entered it. Oh how I wish you wouldn’t cheat on me. I wish I could predict this all along. My world was collapsing all because of you, and the stupid flower perfume and the late nights and the lying smile. How could you do this to me. To us.

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Sunday morning, I decided to talk to him, communicate about our relationship and dreaded tomorrows. Under normal circumstances, I knew he would find an excuse to avoid it. Besides, he had other priorities now.

We sat on the porch, I on the sunrise spot, him a bit further away. He refused to look me in the eyes, knowing I was aware of the whole situation. The sun was playing hide and seek, refusing to expose itself. We sat there in silence for a while, thinking how to turn thoughts into words, lies into truths. The last few months was when I realized I could never be certain for anything anymore. The sun peaked out of its hole, hitting me straight in the eyes. Alas, everything would be revealed in one way or another.

With a heavy heart, I decide to concentrate on tomorrow.

I know everything Frank. I do. I want neither your apology nor your amends. I just want to get this done and over with. However, you made this way too difficult. I can’t lie and I can’t hide, unlike what you have been doing for the past three months. I have to give an answer tomorrow and all I feel about you is disgust.”.

He looked at me with puppy eyes, unsure if this was a manipulative tactic or a remorseful reaction. No words coming out his mouth, he simply stared at me, grabbing my hands and my belly. At some point, he talked.

“I promise baby, I will make things right. I made a huge mistake; I am aware of that and I am truly sorry. But maybe, just maybe, this baby will bring us together. It will be like old times, you and me together, sailing through life. What do you say?”

Nothing. I had nothing to say. All my feelings had evaporated a long time ago. The house was not warm anymore. I got cold at nights, sleeping alone, fearful of the idea of the other woman. Now I carried the burden on my shoulders. Not the husband, no; the burden was always on the wife. “The feelings must be of positive nature”. I was fighting a battle nobody could ever comprehend. I look at him one last time. Then I get up from my seat, secure my belly with my hands and head upstairs to sleep in the hopes that I could sleep forever. 

Time was no friend of mine; court day arrived faster than expected.

Obediently, I enter the rooms of despair.

I turn and look at the jury, the judge, the crowd.

My heart, mind and body are not in sync.

 I fear I may crash.  

All rise”, the Honourable Judge calls.

We obey.

The Jury looks at me questionably. My husband too. Neither of the two know me.

The State vs Laceton, Case 325/475 of April 26 2021, concerning Article 14, on conceiving during the course of marriage, insofar as they apply to the defendants, Mrs Alexandra Laceton and Mr Frank Laceton.

The Court calls upon defendant Mrs Alexandra Laceton to state her argument, insofar as her position is concerned, under Article 14 of the Marriage Act 1958. The defendant is called upon to submit her argument in front of the Honourable Judge and the jury.

Article 14 reads as follows:

 “1. If, at any time during the course of marriage, the spouses decide to conceive, the wife is obliged to confess, in front of the Honourable Judge and the jury, her genuine and unequivocal feelings about the husband at least three months before labour, and before 00:00 of the said date. In addition to the above, the wife must be aware that:

i.              The feelings must be of positive nature;

ii.             The feelings must be disclosed in all honesty.

 2. If such disclosure proves to be deceitful or in the absence of such disclosure, the pregnancy shall be terminated.”

I heard but didn’t listen. I knew it all too well, read it too many times.

I took the oath. I got on the stand, facing my future and my end.

A room of men dictating my future, intruding my feelings as if they were invited guests.

I touch my heart and my mouth begins to speak words that will never go away. I cannot play the liar anymore.

 I am sorry baby.

 I am sorry for everything. 

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They took you away from me. Right there, at plain sight. They asked how I felt; Violated, vain, dazed, I let out.

 I am laying on unfamiliar ground, my body floating in the furthest of spaces. My heart feels heavy, so I check if it is still beating. Positive. My mind feels betrayed, invaded by an inevitable wave of authority. I knew the rules all along; they were unchanged since I was a little girl. “Calculated actions lead to a happy life”, my grandma used to say. I calculated them all my life. However just this once, I wanted to do something for myself. I did not calculate this risk.

As I glance into the blank space, I wonder if I am still dead or alive. I whisper sweet nothings, mostly to make sure I am still here. I planned our life together you know? We would run away from here, visit places only existing in the wildest of imaginations. I would feel so proud of you, spoiling you and bragging of your glorious existence in this miserable world. And I would be plainly happy, just for thriving and existing with you. I murmur one last whisper, right before heading back to the state of oblivion:

I will love you endlessly my precious angel.

November 16, 2022 09:15

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2 comments

Russell Mickler
18:49 Nov 20, 2022

Really good! In particular, “a smile of lies” … the seething contempt is just juicy! Surreal overall, with a dash of courtroom drama :) I liked the narrator's voice…

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Corina P
14:50 Nov 21, 2022

Thank you so much, appreciate it :)

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