I Loved You Anyway

By
Tears fall, one at a time
fingers fumble, and try to stop the flow
the silence is cold, and suddenly harsh.
Reality returns, and with it time speeds up.
The air is warm with the electricity of words said
Words not able to be taken back.
A hastened, "I'm sorry, I love her instead."
The slow, "Are you sure? You said you loved me."

Noise returns in incremental pieces.
A car around the corner, a bird outside the window.
The realization that the world was crying with her.
Rain began it's lazy descent
The curtains hung with their collected moisture.

Suddenly, with a breath of consciousness,
and a return to the normal, she grabbed her keys from the hook
and dashed for her car.
Turn the key.
Lights and wipers on.
Car in gear.
Thoughts came in fragments, pieces of greater actions.

Her head was protecting her heart from the pain...
Aimless wandering became a specific pattern.
The pattern she repeated every Tuesday night.
His house. The gas station on Third. Her mom's office.
The park. Then back to his house.

Her house grew large in her windshield.
The car in Park she sat and stared at the structure she knew so well.
This was it. This was ground zero.
Two hours ago she'd waited with bated breath.
A four word text.
"Can I come by?"

Now that it was dark she noticed her family moving silently.
Her mother laughed while standing at the stove.
Her father at the sink.
The dog was looking out the front door with a look of content.
All was well in this household. No broken hearts.
No fights late at night. No sadness.
Or so it appeared.

Hidden from the world was a different view.
The vodka bottles in the trash.
The pills in the cupboard by the bathtub.
The bruises and scrapes, so carefully concealed.
They looked like the poster family.
Father with a job at the bank.
Mother in a real-estate office.
Two older daughters in small colleges.
And a daughter who wore the wrong clothes.
Spoke the wrong way. And dated the wrong guys.

The world never saw the youngest Harper daughter.
No. Marissa was the black sheep. She was hidden away.
People would know about her now though.
Marissa would finally get noticed.

Blood fell. A drip at a time. This time the fingers didn't try to stop it.
The lights from cars flashed across her skin as they drove past.
This time no one stopped to help.
A pool of blood grew beneath her and trickled over the edge of the granite step.

When morning came it was too late.
Blood had congealed, and skin had turned a pale white.
Marissa had been noticed. The newspaper bore her picture.
This is what the Harper family really was like. A dead daughter.
Not just dead, but bloody and sordid.
The letter was short. It simply stated, "I loved you anyway."





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