Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Year of Constant Mourning

Tomorrow Jude Melville Kingston Kennedy will have been dead for a year. I pour another large glass of wine and rejoice at the thought of it.
One more night and the mourning will be over and I can stop wearing the awful black wardrobe that has dominated my life for the last twelve months.
Black does not suit my skin at all. I look like some kind of pale manikin, a ghost of my former self. I know many that could carry it off, adjusting their make-up and falling into role as if they had been born to it. Not me. I am planning to burn the whole miserable lot and have a party that I will remember until I am old and grey. This shindig will be for a select few, confined to those who know, and those who understand what I have been through in the last year. When I think about it, there are not very many.
At first, all my friends had gathered around and supported my grief stricken soul. Solid and reliable like so many sturdy fence posts. They held me up when I threatened to fall and listened to the constant repetition of chained events that had led to the awful point of it all. I was boring to the extreme and I was not at all surprised when their kind words and gestures petered off leaving me in the limbo of my misery. At this point, I succumbed to the little yellow helpers. The doctor had doled the out without even looking me in my red-rimmed eyes. He knew my story.
I left the world for one that I could make my own and one where black didn’t come into it. I fled to the land of no emotion where I stayed until I was no longer welcome.
‘Don’t worry about it’ the steadfast Molly had said ‘you know who your friends are when the time comes.
She was right. I did now know who my truest and dearest friends were. None had disappointed. They were my valiant heroes. Rescuing me from abject misery and saving from the greatest horror of my own imagination. The calls in the night had been taken with sleepy concern and the shouts in the day had been quietened with a ready hug that spoke volumes to my floundering soul. I am lucky.
Lesser acquaintances avoided me in the street, unable to put together the few words that I would have heard. Part of me was glad of their sudden interest in a shop window but the other half wanted to scream ‘Look at me! Look me in the eye. The words don’t matter’ and they didn’t. Anything would have done. But who am I? I am in no place to judge. How would I react if placed in the same position? This is all new to everyone.
And did he deserve to die? Oh yes. There is no doubt about that. The bastard broke the law, a number of times. There was no argument in the court. The defence counsel nodded knowingly and escaped through the back door, leaving me to my womanly hysterics and the flash bulbs that told the world that he was the first to keep the prisons free of live inmates.

They will be there again come the dawn. Waiting like craven vultures to catch death’s guinea pigs - for we were both punished. I have lived this death for a year. A year of constant mourning in a year of inconstant death.
Jude, my love, will be home tomorrow and death will have been overcome...for now.

3 comments:

skint writer said...

lovely writing Minx, not quite sure if I get it fully tho'

Susan Abraham said...

A thoroughly good read for me.
I like the swift sharp turn at the end.

Debi said...

Ditto Skint - on both bits.

And one niggle ... 'wearing the awful black wardrobe' didn't invoke the image in my head you intended ...

But I always love your short stories (as well as the long one of course!)