It is one thing to live the American dream, it is another to become an American dynasty. There are white picket fences in patches of green, and then there are strings of pearls in acres of land. In a world where blood runs red, only a few are stained with blue cells. Pierce me with a needle, pull it out, and see drops of crimson fall. Then, drive a few miles up the coast, past the stretch of matching saltbox houses, all the way till the house on the cliff. Find the man who lives there, stab him in the gut, and watch the cobalt run dry. The man and I might not be made of the same atoms, but they seeped into one another when we said our vows.
It is not right to do what we did. A girl from the shore tying the knot to a man on the hill. It is not acceptable, I admit it. But, how can anyone stop what the heart wants? When I saw his face in the “Forbes 30 Under 30” list, my heart had decided that he was the one for me. It was not a matter for the mind, else I would resolved such sentiments. A woman must have balance etched into her limbic system. My limbic system, a mass of nerves cluttering my brain, never gets tangled. Then, tell me why, they all decided to pin the blame on me? A middle class divorcee is always the deranged one. Not me, though, not me. I am the exception. The years of Madam Renault’s etiquette lessons have absorbed into me, making the ideal woman. Still, just because I was the one who found him, they decided I had done it.
It is a moment that simply cannot be relived. Finding one’s own husband shrivelled up in the left wing of the Holiday House, nothing more than a cockroach that has been smashed into the wall. It felt as if my own heart had been wrenched out leaving a void in its place. Now, is that something a murderer would feel? When I was forced to see him, a deafening yell escaped my body. That is the only wrong I did, allowed myself to temporarily detach from the manners that had been drilled into my skull. Then, once I had let all out, I drowned him in my tears ad I latched myself onto him. For hours, my clothes were soaked in his excrements, as I clung on to him and begged him to stay with me. I know, I behaved as if I was mad there for a second, but it was a matter of the heart. There is no instructor that can teach a woman how to behave when her husband dies. After I had lapsed into this temporary fit, I dragged myself out of it so I could prop him up at his desk. We both watched the waves crash against the rocks together, just as we always had. He might have not have been my first husband, but he was the only man I had ever loved.
It is true that moments of trauma cause the world to go black. No one remembers the red or the blue in a time where darkness reigns. I carried the coffin alongside his family, the people who had never wanted us to get married. They could no longer see what separated all of us from another when the thread that tied us together was gone. Now, we all simply wanted to come together to bring him justice. The knife, the knife, the knife, we all mourned for it together. For if we found the person that had driven the dagger into him then he could finally rest in peace. When my love cannot get his sleep, neither can I. I roam the halls of the mansion alone at night, drifting through the empty passages in my silk robe, waiting for him to come home. I know it is silly to do, that he will never return, but I must keep myself from losing my mind. The men in uniform ask me questions all day long, but at least it keeps me busy. When I answer all the questions in my usual calm and composed fashion, they begin screaming at me to give them more. I was the only person that was seen at the scene of crime, they say. I am tempted to ask them if they noticed the moon or the stars, but I refrain from this uncouth banter. I must still behave as I am his wife, and then, they will finally understand that I did not commit the crime.
It is time to move on. The past is in the past and there is no bringing it back. There are frames of us together in every corner, but I have started to clear them out. I still wear black, that is enough, I tell myself. Our house on Watch Hill is still a ghost town, not even the maids have been called back to clean. It is better if I wear rubber gloves and disinfect it all, I was his wife, and I must always clean up after him. He was not the typical man, leaving traces of beer cans and plastic wrappers behind him. No, no, he was an absolute darling, who carried his champagne flutes and cigar cuttings all the way to the garbage disposal in the kitchen. But, now that he has left a mess behind, it is my turn to scrub the soiled carpets. As his marks wear off, I cannot help but shed tears for him. He was all mine and now what do I have left? The property in the Hamptons, the yacht in the water, and the Holiday House. All of them lie empty without him. I did not think it would be like this, that it would feel so lonely without him by my side. I try to erase his existence so I can keep my sanity intact. I must get through this, sign all the documents, and start my own life. But, in the locked drawer of the desk, it calls my name. It beckons to me, inviting me to play once more, one last time. In a trance, I repeat the same actions that I did that night. Get the keys from under the mattress, drag the drawer straight open, and there it is. The knife with his initials engraved on the back covered in my fingerprints. The silver blade gleams in the sun, asking me to dance one last time, and I accept.