By Meredith Castle
She laid against her husband, caressing his upper arms with her fingertips, listening to him snore softly. Tears lingered at the corner of her eyes, as she prayed silently.
She had heard that praying for someone was a form of love. So, she offered thanks for his life, his hard working nature, the stability he brought to their home. Underneath her prayer swirled a deep and painful need that caused the tears to trickle down.
They were not new tears, nor were they new prayers. The need was not new either. They had all been there even before their marriage. But as time rolled on, and the needs went unmet, the hollows in her heart grew deeper, more empty, more thirsty for just a simple touch, an acknowledgment that she was in the room, an embrace. Oh what she wouldn’t give to feel him touch her, not just physically, but with his presence.
He slept in the guest room, soundly. She lay awake in their room. Some nights, like tonight, she would slip in beside him, lie against him, scratch his back or caress his bottom. Less frequently, he would come into their bed, naked, a need for release pulsing. She gave him relief and he slipped away. She slipped into the bathroom, her reflection in the mirror showing her sobs. She felt all of her pathetic ugliness, her darkness. The blade found the familiar line.
In the shower, the tears flowed downward and mingled with the blood and water that dripped gently from her fingertips as she leaned against the tile wall, praying for relief.