‘Don’t blame the sinner.’ My glove clad finger traces the lines of the etching. Special words embedded deep in my soul. I turn my head away from the lashing rain and shake my windswept hair from my face. Looking down at the waves below, I squint to see through the descending darkness. An isolated and wild seascape – our special place. I can almost feel her soft skin under my fingers as I remember stroking her face. That tentative first kiss, unsure of the response it would elicit. Years of hidden emotions creeping to the surface. Was our love really a sin? Something so natural and beautiful, that filled our lives with happiness. How could that be so wrong?
We had kept it secret for a while, uncertain how people would react. I had wanted to tell everyone, but Chrissie was far more careful. It wasn’t long before people started talking, making up their own stories about us. It was our own private joke, mocking them – ‘Don’t blame the sinner!’ As if we could blame our ‘sinner’ selves for discovering the beauty of each other’s comfort. We would laugh the comments off, pretending to be content in our protective bubble. Chrissie, such a sensitive soul. I could tell the scars were running deep. Family was drifting away. Friendships were being lost. No-one wanted to be seen with ‘the lezzos’ for fear of recrimination. If they had just left us be.
Days and nights passed, Chrissie’s sad eyes looking more and more weary. First it was the drink. I would often find her passed out, hunched over the kitchen table. Then the tablets. As if a prescription from the Doctor would take all the pain away. Before long the arguments started. Hateful, resentful words would be exchanged. We were our only refuge from the unaccepting outside world. Yet here we were, driving our own wedge between us. Was this what they wanted? To see us pull ourselves apart. Two halves of loneliness and longing. Only together we could be whole. Now, I am destined to be just one half. As I clutch the urn close to my heart, I look down at that fateful etching. Who is the sinner now? Those who drove her to this!
As I lift the lid of the urn, ashes catching on the wind, I whisper, ‘Be at peace now my love.’
A fictional story inspired by the Speakeasy prompt #149.