My husband wanted to move. He wanted a larger house, with wooden floorboards, stairs, a tipped roof, and wide green lawn. He said, 'We need the room,'. (We don't.)
He said, 'The air is fresher out here,'. (It's not.) He said, 'You'll have a garden to grow lavender and mint. You've always wanted a garden, haven't you, my dear?' (I haven't.
) But he laughed and charmed me, like he does everyone (and everything),
dipped his chin to murmur secrets to me in front of the rest of the women in the room (those pretty women with plump cheeks and sweet voices) -- to make *me* smile and feel special. Chosen.
He said, ‘You’re beautiful, Emily.’ (I’m not.)
But it worked.
My husband wanted to move. He wanted a freshly outfitted retiring room that smelled of bourbon and cherry tobacco, and a soft sable coat. He said, 'You'll have such pretty frocks now.
You've always wanted to be the lady of your own estate.' (I didn't.)
He chose a large house with wooden floorboards, stairs, a tipped roof, and wide green lawn. There was a cemetery next to it.
He laughed at my pinched face, kissed my hand, and joked, ‘At least the neighbors will be quiet!’
He waited for months before they took me, grey fingers curling under the beautiful wooden doors, scrabbling at my new dress. They smelled like lavender, mint and bloated wet flesh.
I screamed and pleaded to a god that did not hear me while my husband, my handsome husband who could charm anyone (and anything) pretended to sleep. But I saw him smile.
My husband wanted to move.