I sat in the front row, black veil over my face. The cedar box containing the remnants of fifty-three years of marriage sat in front of me. I had thought about this day often and wondered how I would feel. It’s like I always knew he’d go first.
The epitome of propriety, I dressed in black. No one knew my undergarments were red. He kept his secrets; this would be mine. I bowed my head as well-meaning mourners offered their condolences. “God rest his soul,” I shook my head and muttered to each one; the words sounding hollow even to my own ears.
I always wondered how I’d feel when his lies were silenced. Now I knew. Mostly, I felt relieved. Dare I admit, happy. I satisfied my vow before God. His ways turned my heart bitter, but I stayed until the glorious day death parted us and unshackled my soul.
The preacher read his blessing and I heard choked sobs behind me. I doubted the words of a pious man would be enough to spare him his destiny. I dabbed my eyes with a tissue and balled it up in my fist to hide the fact it remained dry.
His mistress then spoke of her admiration for my husband’s character and his 23 years in Congress. Her red-rimmed eyes and strained voice betrayed feelings deeper than admiration. I shed my tears long ago. Let her cry for him now.
I stole a glance at my watch. Soon, the curtain would fall on my final performance as the loving, obedient wife.
Forty-eight minutes until my first tango lesson.
HOLLOW (adjective): lacking in real value, sincerity, or substance : false,meaningless <hollow promises> <a victory over a weakling is hollow and without triumph — Ernest Beaglehole>
If you’d like to write your own response to the challenge, check out Trifecta’s site by clicking on the tricycle picture for complete instructions.