I remember it like it was yesterday. The jury looked on as you crumpled to the floor. Your
eyes were the ocean, hands a tambourine. You could see their faces, agape and pitiful. And
me. Your own wife. I just sat there, staring. Like I was afraid. Like you weren’t my husband.
But, at that time, I was afraid. At that time, you weren't my husband.
My eyes flickered open and arms broadly stretched, incidentally hitting the four grey walls
that confined me. I looked up to see everyone in a line, gnarling their teeth like lions in a
cage. It was horrible. I was so out of it. I just jumped up, my arms scrambling around the
room to search for my briefcase; the brown one with the scuffed corners. And all that time,
they were just staring at me, like I was a fish out of water. Smirking and whispering and
staring. I started calling for you, wondering why you wouldn’t answer. ‘What have I done
wrong now?’ It took me ten minutes to realise where I was. Ten whole minutes. I’ve never
been so humiliated.
Anyway, how are you? How’s Daisy and Ben? Do you think they remember me?
I love you, Richard
I had a daydream about the car ride the other day. It was emotional, to say the least. Do you
remember the weather? The clouds cried more than me. I remember analysing your face as
your jaw clenched whenever the clouds let out any supernatural grumble. I feel like that was
the first day I ever really saw you. I’m so used to the Richard whose ocean eyes were cloudy,
whose hands were always clenched and bruised. I’m not sure what was different. Maybe
because it was the last day you’d ever be able to appreciate nature again. Or maybe
because you’d never see me again. All I know is that the conversation we had was indelible.
I won’t ever forget the way your face lit up and your eyes scrunched. How your leg stopped
being so restless and you seemed so relaxed, so at ease. I miss that.
Ben and Daisy miss you. I miss you. I’m seeing you in two weeks! Make sure you don’t forget
Someone got hurt. A lot. His head was stained the colour of your ring. And then I couldn’t
stop thinking about you. I keep reading your letters, and in everyone you say you’re scared,
afraid, that I never was your husband. You think I did it, don’t you? You’re not handling the
pressure at home. They’re liars, everyone is lying. I have been nothing but truthful. I didn’t
do it. I need you to believe me because no one else does. Friend or wife, I love you. Say it
back. I’ll see you next week.
I love you, Richard
My family aren’t handling it well. No one is handling it well. I’ve been dragged into this
shameful ditch and I’m still trying to clamber out of it. So sorry if I seem distant. Sorry if I
seem like I’m having a hard time. I imagine that your situation is more important, more
significant, but mine is dire too. My husband is in prison. That will not take me a week to get
You didn’t come.
Richard. I’m sorry. I mentioned in my last letter that I was nowhere near the right mindset
to see you. I didn’t tell you because I didn’t know what you were going to do to me. Send
another angry letter? Send someone to get me? Hurt me? I haven’t seen you in two months,
and I’m still not sure if I can. My breath quickens when I think of you, and my fingernails dig
into my skin when I see another letter. I don’t think it’s supposed to be like that.
I’m not sure if two weeks were long enough for you. I’ve been swimming in this pool of
emotion for fourteen days, trying to think of what to say. As I look at the four walls
surrounding me, besmeared with a sense of neglect and melancholy, I think of you. I painted
you to fit our status quo, and I’m sorry. Every time I look out of my frowzy window, I see
people who deserve to be here, yet they’re being compared to me. I feel as if there’s
nowhere I can go but down, even though I’ve reached my lowest point. The floor is scruffy,
and the ceiling has streaks of green and brown snaking around it. I don’t fit in here, Yasmin. I
need you to take me home. It feels like God flicked a switched and now my life is
“To love and to cherish, till death do us part”. That’s what I said to you. And I don’t think
either of us are dead yet. I’m sorry for being a negligent wife - for never taking your
emotions into account. I sent you some Windex and antibacterial wipes, hopefully you get
them before I come. I was looking at our wedding photos the other day and an
overwhelming wave of depression just crashed over me. I never knew how incapable I was
without you, and now that I know, I’m never going through it again. I hired a better lawyer,
Oliver McBrady. It made a bit of a dent in our income, but I think it’s worth it. I really think
you can get out now, Richard. Just stay strong for me. I’ll see you on Thursday.
I love you,
“Hey, hi. How are you?”
“I’m good, a little shaken up, but good. You?”
“Oh, yeah, I’m doing fine. I’m still trying to wrap my head around this whole situation. I’m
up all night trying to think of ways to leave.”
“Leave? Richard, I spent two-grand on a lawyer. I don’t think you need to plan your escape
“So how are the kids?”
“They’re fine. I don’t think they really notice you’re gone,”
“Yasmin, I’m sorry. You know with the balance between work and --“
“Did you do it?”
“Did you hurt him? Did you kill him?”
“No one is here. I won’t look at you differently. I’ll still be your wife,”
“What did you do that night? You never came home,”
“I really don’t think you have to be concerned with what I was doing that night. Or any
nights for that matter,”
“I shouldn’t be concerned? Richard, you’re my husband. I’ve got a right to know where you
“Well it’s not like I knew where you were. All those nights where you had late meetings. I
never asked, I just went along and nodded. And look where that got us. A broken
relationship and two children that aren’t even mine. So, no. You really shouldn’t be
“Don’t change the subject. I told you in the end, didn’t I? Richard, look at me, did you kill
“I don’t know,”
“I’m sorry, what?”
“I don’t know. I think I did. I knew what you were doing with him, all those secret trips to
the hotel down the road. It’s like you weren’t even trying to hide it. You thought I wouldn’t
make such a big deal out of it. You thought I’d be fine and we could continue being the
happy married couple down the road. Why weren’t you fine with that? What was wrong
“No. Let me finish. I stormed out and went to that pub round the corner. Everyone kept
staring as I drank drink after drink but I really didn’t care. I left the pub and I remember
stumbling to every hotel near us and knocking on every door until I found him. You didn’t
even try, Yasmin. It was only 15 minutes away. Why didn’t you try?
The next thing I remember, I’m in the back of the police car with red hands and a bruised
“I’m so sorry. I didn’t think you’d confess. You killed the only man who ever loved me. I’m
“Yasmin? Who are those? Did you bring them? Did you bring the police? I was just joking. I
was just telling you what you wanted to hear,”
“Richard Lawrence. You are under arrest for murder. Your trial is in fifteen minutes and
you’ll be expected to face a life sentence in prison, in the likely event you are found guilty.”
This is the last letter I can send before I live in solitary confinement for fifteen years. I’ll miss
our letters. I’ll miss you. I’m sorry you felt you had to turn me in. I hope you live a nice life
with someone better, more caring. At least I have our ‘love’ letters.
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