Dear Nora, words from your husband

The weeks after you left, I started writing you letters every day. I have a pile of them, aging with dust.

I don’t know what you want, what kind of wonderful thing you expect. It must not be enough to say that I miss you, that you are more than my little-something-endearing but thoughtless-name.

The children asked about you every day for three years. These past years, they’ve been preoccupied growing up. They consume my time; it’s a wonder I get anything done at the bank. Oh, you should see how fast they’re growing—hair length, clothing size, even the length of their smiles. They’re growing into a faint reminder of you.

I think of you when I hear them burst into laughter, how you filled the room with that reckless energy of yours. I can still remember the first nights of our marriage, chasing after you and catching you by the waist. Like our last night together, before you felt obliged to leave us behind. I can still hear myself in that brief, violent rage, how horrific I came across.

Dr. Rank died the very next morning. It was like everyone was mourning for you, too. I’m still mourning. I can’t figure out why it’s a good thing to be rid of a woman like you. It’s what everyone says… they can’t possibly know you.

I have learned nothing about laws, except that I must have broken one making out of you a collector’s antique doll on display. My trophy wife, mine, mine. I was suffocating you without trying.

I wish you the best in whatever company you’re keeping these days. I hope that you can finally breathe. There is not now or has ever been a time for our marriage. I fear we may not live to see that wonderful thing happen in our lifetime, whatever it may be.

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