Once to Begin, Twice to Bind, and Third Time’s The Charm…
“I’ll stay with you. Ten minutes for every question you answer truthfully.”
“Why? So you can act outraged again and run away?”
“Run away?” Mary’s heart was running so fast in her chest her ribs actually ached.
“I’m not running away. And I’ve a right to be upset with what you’ve told me.”
His eyebrows contracted faintly but he continued to stare at her blankly. She walked forward and grabbed the box from his hands. She knew it was his surprise at the action more than anything that had him letting loose.
“These are mine. You meant them for me. You might want to lie to yourself they were meant for you, but the lying to me stops today. Now,” Mary finished firmly. She ignored the slightly outraged, stunned look on his face and marched towards the door.
“You want to know the truth, Mary?” She turned back around at the marked anger in his voice. He had only rarely been angry with her. They had fought like cats and dogs that last year they were together but he had always fought with a detached sort of disdain and condescension, only rarely with anger. He stood up slowly, his eyes burning, nostrils flaring.
“Well, here’s the truth, Mary, and don’t go crying because it’s not what you wanted to hear. I’m as sick of that as you are of the lies. The truth is I didn’t want to retire. Not the first time, not this last time, not ever. I moved mountains to try and be with you and Tommy and it didn’t work. Then I asked you what would work and did that, and all it’s done is put all of us at risk, and you’re still playing games. Tormenting me.”
“Yes, Goddamn it! Dates, conditions, games. Here’s some more truth, Mary. I hate being retired. I hate relying on Carlo and the fucking cops and I hate being good. I miss the rush of making money, being in charge, breaking the law. Is that enough truth for you? When will it be enough sacrifices for you? When are you going to sacrifice something for me?” Mary thought maybe it was the trembling from her emotions but it took her several seconds to really grasp he’d said that. She continued to stand there for a full minute. How could he be so clueless?
“Sacrifice? Are you serious? I sacrificed my entire life to be your mistress. The first four years of our child’s life were spent living a lie. I sacrificed the joy of a family unit, I raised our son alone.” “By choice.”
“I have been alone because I couldn’t risk anyone finding out who his father really was! I sacrificed my young and pretty years on the RUN! I sacrificed finding love and having a real family, having more children. Now I’m a dumpy middle aged woman with a grown man for a son. I just sold the home I worked myself to the bone to earn to move here! I sacrificed everything!”