As she looked down on his lifeless form she wondered how they could have gone their whole lives together without her knowing his secret. The pain of his omission was still fresh and she urged to lash out at him but instead struggled with the unjust reality that she would never be able to. Instead she stood over him allowing her tears to fall onto his black suit making soft pfft sounds. He looked changed by death, the same man but desolate. When she coupled that with her knew knowledge he really became an empty shell, someone she felt she had never known.
They had come for him, masked figures in the daylight. Startled she heeded his words and hid. She realized now that it wouldn’t have mattered because they had no interest in her and somehow knew of her ignorance. She posed no threat. This revelation brought an absurd rush of anger because in reality it had been that insignificance that saved her life, and in that sense she wondered if it was her secret life or his. Her life, she herself, had been cultivated so that she wouldn’t be seen or considered a threat by those from his outside life. In that world she served no purpose.
Regardless, everything about his abstruse existence had destroyed her. Her life, her understanding, her faith, her dreams all brought into question, all challenged, and all left in tatters. The authorities told her that there was nothing they could tell her about him. No persons of any consequence materialized to say goodbyes or bring enlightenment. He had been someone else whenever he left her side, but who? Why? She slid her hand into her pocket as the tangled thoughts and unanswered questions rolled through her head. The feel of the folded paper in her pocket offered a glimmer of hope.
An envelope was delivered to her earlier in the morning by a beautiful smiling woman. The woman seemed to size her up as she passed the manila envelope to her then without a word the woman bowed her head and turned away. She glided more then walked down the path away from the house. The scent of male aftershave lingered on the envelope and the page inside. Perhaps she should have felt fear, but she didn’t. After all she was unimportant. It was a strange message but to her it meant that someone out there knew him and wanted her to know it. All that was written on the single sheet of paper were 7 words. They were written in black ink by a male hand.
When double lives cross there are consequences.
By Shari Marshall – 2019