One fateful night, she snapped. She grabbed a kitchen knife.
He looked like he was sleeping, but the warmth escaping his body soon gave way to unnatural cold. Her chapped lips kept moving, whispering words of reassurance. To whom, she could not tell. His body was much heavier than she had expected.
The morning after, she woke up and inhaled fully. The air tasted new and exciting – the first time in a long while.
But he would not let her be. She grew restless each night, as the blackness rolled over the valley. The darker the room, the louder the steps outside of her cottage. Or was it an animal, that found her garden an inviting banquet table of food? She swore something, someone was watching her from the shadows.
One stormy night, unable to take it any longer, she ventured to the cemetery. Her heart pounded in her chest as she stood before his neglected grave. Weeds worked their way into the cheap tombstone she commissioned after the dust settled. The words “Finis vitae sed non amoris” running alongside the edge of the tombstone barely visible.
She looked up at the wreath she wound from wildflowers, which, once bright and full of life, now hung limply from the stone cross. She stared at it, her vision narrowing, the dead tribute of her fake affection, her caring wife persona, the centre of her world.
And she could not help but think, “I used to be full of life too.”
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