This Is What We Came For
(continued from Let Her Stay (pt6/8))
Slowly. Step by step. Savouring each breath, feeling the sun on her skin, a stray breeze raising the tips of her hair and caressing her cheek like a lover. She walked with all the love she could muster, arms swaying. At ease with herself. At peace with the world.
A screech of brakes outside the gardens and an image flashed into her mind. What was the name of those monkeys? The ones that took the beatings from bullies. That didn’t fight back but instead waited. Five minutes, an hour, a day – it didn’t matter. Sooner or later, they would lash out at weaker relative of the bully – right in front of them.
Macaque monkeys. That’s it. They know their stuff.
Revenge isn’t something evil. It’s built into nature. It’s the way creatures organise their society.
Today she was to be such a creature.
She headed for the thickest part of the crowd. Just one more body in a crowd pushing to get a better view. As she broke into the clear space around the still moving mass of blue uniforms, her husband’s face appeared in a gap between legs.
Bloodied, beaten, and yet still defiant. His grin broadened as he spotted her and he relaxed so suddenly that those holding him stumbled. And they noticed her.
Like a many-headed mythical beast, turning to meet a challenge, the pack turned to her. She felt their eyes. As she strolled closer, hands in pockets, she felt and smelt their fear.
A hush. Closer now – daring them to respond. Daring them to stop her. As if on a signal, they parted. She was surprised, and yet pleased. To touch him just one more time. Maybe to hold him.
She crouched. Stretched out a single arm. Touched his face.
“I love you, Husband.”
“I love you, Wife.”
He nodded slightly, love flowing and joining. A trifling Eden – but enough for them both.
Her finger. A slow release of pressure and she knew only light.
(continues in Let Her Stay (pt8/8))