William asks me again to run away with him.
A pain from deep inside my chest forms a shell around my heart. Why can’t it be so simple?
“If I could run away, my love,” I whisper back, “I would have a long time ago.”
But I cannot.
His brown pools for eyes implore me, questioning me why.
“William, I could not leave. I have set my word, and that is what I must do.”
He laughed. A little too loudly.
“Oh, and you call this keeping your word?”
He pushes me away forcefully. Swings his feet over the side of my bed. Our bed. Henry’s and my bed.
Of course he is right. This is not really keeping my word.
But Mutti will never know about this.
She’s a whole world away, and as far as she knows, I am happily married to the man whom she insisted I leave home to be with.
“You gave him your word,” she said.
After months of his absence, while I waited in my parents’ home for him to send for me, I decided I was not interested in keeping her. I took her off every day – though she would cry for me, so I put her back on. I would tell her she had no power over me and that she could not make me marry Henry. She said nothing, but sparkled back at me. I knew she was winning, but I had no idea that Mutti would actually put her foot down.
Of all the blasted things to insist for me!
And I had thought of the two, it would be my father who would be most stubborn. But he was not. He hardly acknowledged my predicament.
In fact, even in the face of my admission, in the face of me asking his forgiveness for accepting the ring, he laughed. I still can not process the disdain he had for such a childish decision. I wonder if he now misses me.
Mutti, I’m certain, misses me. We were close, even for mother and daughter. And Lily. Yes, Lily misses me, and I’m guessing she frets for not knowing where to find me. Of course, Lily frets over every little thing. I hope she is alright after her miscarriage.
I still don’t know exactly why my mother did not allow me to send back the ring. She repeated to me over and over, “You gave your word!” and I suppose that must be enough for her. Though it clearly isn’t enough for me, yet knowing that it would break my sweet mother’s heart for me to go back on it, I stay.