Just one sentence
but so many lies
Were you ever happy? Really? Inside? Or only on the outside, only when people were watching? That was all that mattered after all, the way it looked, the way we looked. What others saw was a thousand times more important than what we were living.
You made a choice, and you choose ... not me. You choose anger and hatred and resentment and lies. You made so many choices, but you didn't chose me.
I don't even know what to call you anymore.
I saw you ... July 2000. Only the back of your head, as you stood alongside your husband, alongside your son. Trying so hard to be relaxed, to be at ease, to be the wife, to be the mother. To be the one holding everything together. To be strong, to be brave, to stand by your man.
But to stand by him, you had to step
away from me.
So you did.
Before that ... two or maybe three years earlier, when I was still playing the game, still pretending. When the paper version of my life told that terror came from the slaps, the shakes, the punches, the shouting, the choking. The bruises of deepest purple. The red finger marks. The cracked ribs. The lip, split open; the eye, swollen shut. The dislocated shoulder.
That wasn't where the terror came from.
But you knew. You asked me, and I pretended not to understand. You asked me again, and I could not find the words. I looked up at you, and you promised he would leave. Months later, I realised that by
not making a choice, you had
made a choice
So I left.
Seventeen years under roofs other than yours
And now the mother is me
You live with fear
but I live