The telephone ringing awakes her, half sleep, half alert she answers:
- Hi, this is Barbara
- Is this Mrs. Roberts?
- Yes! Who is asking?
- I’m afraid I have sad news ma’am…
On her way to the morgue she keeps repeating to herself that her husband can’t be dead, that he did not commit suicide… How could he do something like that! How could he betray her that way! She was really distressed; her father was rubbing her back while gazing at her with great concern as she didn’t show any visible reaction… Her face looking like stone made, hiding very well the storm rising underneath.
Seeing the body brought her back to reality, slapping her with the brutal comprehension that he was gone… that he was not coming back. Suddenly she was overtaken by an uncontrollable rage and she started beating the body, crying in despair while asking a thousand times: “Why? Why? Why, did you have to do it? Why?”
Barbara read his “goodbye” letter hundreds of times, until her mother took it away, afraid of what her daughter could do next. She didn’t need it anymore, the words were implanted in her memory forever:
Dying is the only way out!
Tom was buried with genuine sorrow, by his family, colleagues, friends and others but none from Barbara. She could not forgive him for living a deceiving life and for pulling her into it. She ought to have had much more than sympathy from the man she loved. She also sacrificed her dreams for their future together; she carried his children with honor and always put Tom first…. “And for what?” she says to herself with a bitter smile and a heartbroken tear running down her face. “Why did he never share his dreams with me? Why I couldn’t be part of them? Wasn’t I more than a housewife and the woman to relieve his physical needs? Was I the killer of his dreams? Was it all I was? How could he blame me for his “unhappy life”!"
She is the one to deal with the aftermath of his suicide and to answer their children’s questions. She can’t tell them that their daddy killed himself because he considered his family a burden and the cause of his miserable life. With resolution she says to herself: “There is no way I’m going to allow him to destroy our life like this. He will not take us down with him! We are goanna get out of this mess, we’re goanna make it! We lost him but we will not loose the lesson…”
Bitterness, anger and fear dominate her emotions right now, but they will ease as time pass by and as part of the normal cleaning process. The day will come for her to mourn her husband’s death with tenderness and understanding.
“Why? Why did he have to do it?” She keeps asking herself, aware that the only person who can answer that is not longer there and is not coming back…
© 2009 Gabriela Abalo – Author
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