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Monroe: Once upon a time…
Once upon a time, I awoke to my boys shaking me, whining that they were hungry. Now, I wake to the bitter taste of pills and wine. Not too long ago, I awoke to my hero – my husband. Even if he was not in bed, the indentation in his pillow, his scent, the whispers of his name painting the walls, were enough to remind me of his presence. Now, I wake to nightmares of what he did to my boys – the people at the clinic …
Many days I didn’t exist to him, and he seemed to have befriended the memories of lives which had slipped through his hands. Those friends, those memories, urged him to spend hours in the basement with his rifles. Yet still, I knew he would always at some point in the night, roll over and throw his arm across my waist. Sure, people talked about being with someone, and their true colors beginning to show. But what about being with someone – a goodhearted person, who had been destroyed only because he had always dreamed of being a hero?
As he changed, there were times when, despite living together for so many years, we were strangers. Never would I forget the night five years ago, when Carter had gone to visit his brother. I had unknowingly pulled up beside him at a stoplight after Christmas shopping. And when I looked at the car next to me, his eyes glowered back at me, pouring such hatred into my vehicle that I could only look away. We had not spoken in weeks, except when it was necessary or involved the boys; in that moment, he looked as if it was all coming to a head.
Once the light turned green, I hesitated, then glided into the intersection. Carter sat watching us pass, cars honking at him. The sound of the horns was like some off-key orchestra. Like a disoriented wasp, he sped up, crossed into our lane and rode my bumper. I remembered wondering if it was funny to him. But how could he be so stupid? Holiday traffic was no time to joke that way, especially with our sons in my car.
For several miles, he had driven so close to me that I watched his car in the rear view mirror almost more than I watched the road ahead of me. The car shook as we hit a small pothole, and I thought I saw him smiling a sinister smile. Our boys turned around and waved at him – all except Karter, who stared at me as if he knew something was wrong. Of course, something was wrong. Something within told me, warned me, to take the boys to spend the night with their great-grandparents. And I did.
I arrived home that night, and the same voice which told me to take my boys to stay with their great-grandparents, told me to lock the doors as soon as I made it inside – I didn’t listen. Like Shards of Glass (Amazon)