I wonder what my life would be like if I said no.
when he asked me to marry him with that diamond ring and the promise of a lifetime of security.
how ideal everything sounded to the young 24 year old I was.
I never made much mistakes in life, or so I thought.
until now, using what little breath I have left smoking this last cigarette,
did I really get to evaluate all the mistakes I’ve made that once seemed so right.
funny how many pieces of a puzzle you can put together in the amount of time a cigarette burns to its tip.
my mother always told me that love cannot feed a starving mouth.
finding a well-off man who can love and support you is more important than a man you love who can offer you nothing back but his affections,
which may also soon fade.
but if the rich man ends up not loving you, you’ll at least end up with enough money for the next half of your life.
I’ve always done what my mother advised,
because the older generations been through it all and knew what was best, right?
40 years of marriage to money with everything a woman ever needed.
my husband did his duty as I faithfully did mine.
and now laying here alone in this cold magnificent house as i feel the decades of years my body has lived finally wearing down,
i think of him; the only man i ever loved.
passed away with grandchildren the same age as mine, Ive seen him twice after I left him and our one room apartment.
first at the airport as I came back from a trip with my husband. He was unloading our luggage when our eyes briefly met.
no words were exchanged.
I looked at his frame fade away through the rear-view mirror of the car and that was the last time we were alive.
and then he was there
laying so peacefully with all the handsome features I once traced and memorized, but on a lifeless face.
He had a faint smile on that lovely cold face, like he knew.
knew everything I’ve wanted to say but never told him.
I closed my eyes as I imagined laying in that queen bed
smoking this cigarette next to him, staring at our paint-peeled ceilings.
how he dumped the quarters out of our water jar piggy-bank and ran after the ice cream truck to get the popsicle that I could not find for 40 years.
I can almost feel the heat of his body radiating into mine as our hands touched, sharing that ice cream.
my mother always said smoking would kill me.
she was right.
she was also wrong. I’ve never been more alive.
actually how it works
Why is it always the person who cares less in a relationship always the one with the upperhand and the one who cares more is always the one who gets hurt more