I straighten his tie and smooth down his collar. This would have earned me a hard slap for letting him leave the house less than perfect.
I should feel something…anything…but I don’t. All my emotions have dried up and blown away. Everyone around me thinks I am experiencing shock. Maybe I am. After all, I did recently kill my husband. So tell me, why don’t I feel relief or remorse? What is wrong with me that I don’t feel guilt?
Looking down at his handsome face, I almost expect to see his lips form their usual grimace but they remain slack and lifeless. My fingers stroke a wayward brown curl from his forehead. It has been years since his countenance held anything beyond an angry caste. His lips drawn in a grimace and blue eyes narrowed. Today he appears relaxed and at peace.
“Oh Margie! My heart breaks for you!” And here comes the drama. My deceased husband’s mother tugs me away from the side of his casket and into her tight embrace. In the twenty-two years I have been married to her son, she has never touched me, much less hugged me. “What will we do without him?” My mother-in-law laments as she drenches the neck and shoulder of my dress in tears and cheap mascara.
I haven’t a clue how to answer her. My jailer is gone. I never gave a thought to what I would do once I succeeded in my task. My only goal was freedom. Now I can live my life without fear, without the beatings, without the rapes. I rub my mother-in-law’s back. My show of love and comfort is as fictitious as hers.