There were promises made, solemn vows taken on holy ground before God and man. Pledges to honor in good times and bad, through sickness and health, through prosperity and misfortune.
No one stood up, no one said these two should not be bound together for life. It was meant to be. Their union, blessed and sacrosanct, would last until the end of time, or until the end of their days. It was said often enough, it had to be true.
That they had only known each other for a scant few months, had only seen each other in person a handful of times, wasn’t judged. Many arranged marriages didn’t offer as much familiarity as that. Years later their marriage broker would apologize to their youngest child, haunted by the train wreck their lives became.
The other women never apologized. It would be generous to say they didn’t know they were encroaching on a hallowed marriage, or even the hollow marriage it became at the end.
Jagged and ugly fissures cracked the surface, deep and infected. There would be no miraculous healing. No laying on of hands could raise the love that was once between them. Still they were expected, commanded, to remain together. It wasn’t the death of their love that could release them, only their own physical demise.
Atrophied and gangrenous, they struggled on, putting forward a false front to the world. Madness threatened, anger festered, until they would rather be damned apart, than in hell together.
The accusations began immediately. She should have tried harder. There was something she was lacking that made him do the things he did, she should have held her family together… sinner, whore.
She made promises. It didn’t matter that he broke his vows, that he transgressed. She was a child of the church, and knew her obligations. She would not be forgiven.
For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Dara challenged me with “‘We don’t get angry because the glass is broken, we get angry because we thought the glass would never break.’ — Robina Courtin (Buddhist nun)” and I challenged Cedar with “‘Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.”‘Babatunde Olatunji “