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The Matter Of Wife And Debt


the matter of wife and debt

18 October 1886

The young widow enters the cemetery. The curious gazes of the keepers follow her: a woman so young and beautiful, dressed in mourning and without even a flower between her fingers … But no one opens their mouth as she passes: it is not out of respect, people in such a large cemetery pass so much, but for the determined air that girl has. It seems that she can make room in the crowd with a single glance, her beauty, and her presence, is almost frightening and generate a silent aura around her. They follow the sway of her long black dress and the reflections of her raven hair down the great central avenue, wondering who the mysterious lady is; perhaps some noble, some daughter or wife of a rich dignitary?

In her heart, Lydia knows she is none of this. After all, she has always known that the difference between a commoner like her and any young noble was only her place of origin: the moment she began to behave like one of them, they immediately made room for her. This dowry often came in handy even now, when she didn’t want to be disturbed: in the quiet silence of prayers to the dead, in front of the forgotten marble ossuaries, and in the most hidden alleys, the young woman hides and runs away, running as if she had some kind of monster at his heels.

Only after several meters, she finally takes a breath: her chest tight in the corset of the dress strenuously tries to widen, while she leans heavily, with her whole body, on the majestic statue of an angel who wakes up, extending an arm to heaven. She takes a breath, her cheeks turn pink again and closes her eyes and when she opens them again, almost harsh words thunder on her lips. <This whole charade was really necessary, wasn’t it?> She Looks tired.

<You know, my love … We couldn’t have done it otherwise> A persuasive, warm, light voice reaches her, resting on her shoulders like a warm shawl; with it, a generous embrace reaches her, to which she indulges.

<I don’t think I can last long without you in that empty bed> she admits, bending her face and placing it on his chest, eyes closed as if she were regaining strength.

<it is only for the time necessary to organize things in America, then once we get there we will have a new life of our own> his voice continues to lull her, there are two kind green eyes watching over her.

<It will be better, I’m tired of covering your brother’s debts … you have to promise me that when we get there you will let him live his life> she sighs lightly, shaking her pale hands on him as if inviting him to make the right choice.

<I promise you> he replies, then remains silent to enjoy the moment. The cemetery may not be the most romantic place, but she would be able to give many things for these moments of freedom if only to continue to hold her in his arms like this for a while longer.


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