While it is true I did not accept his proposal, that did not prove that I did not love him.
I was raised by an independent woman raised by an independent woman raised by a survivor of war and famine and things that may or may not have been true but which were definitely coursing through my veins when he asked why I did not want to be his wife.
“It’s not that I don’t care,” I lied to his face.
“Okay,” he accepted.
While it is true that I did not carry his child, that did not confirm his assumption that I was barren.
I was fueled by fear and loathing and memories of blood and bone and the whispers of women who were not careful with their words and the pictures in my mind were not worth one thousand words but one hundred words were enough.
“Just one more year,” I lied to his back.
“Okay,” he complied.
While it is true I did not want to grow old with him, that did not substantiate the rumors surrounding his death.
I was aging and raging and forgetful of the words that enticed me to stay through the acceptances and compliance and finally the rejection and sullen tolerance and who’s to say he did not just pack his bags and leave.
“I didn’t mean for you to suffer,” I lied to his memory.
Or maybe that was true.
Laurie Marshall is a freelance writer and artist living in northwest Arkansas | Reader Fractured Literary | Words: Retreat West, ParagraphPlanet.com, JMWW, eMerge Magazine, Two Sisters Writing & Publishing | Art: From Whispers to Roars and Beyond Words Literary Magazine | @LaurieMMarshall