Dear Tom

In response to a prompt – “The Letter I Never Wrote”. Thanks to scribophile.com for the idea.

 

Dear Tom,

I feel as though you have a right to know this, even though much of me is screaming to say nothing, as it will do no good. But how can we start our life together, joined as one with all our family and friends as witnesses, if not in a spirit of honesty and openness? Can a marriage built on a lie be anything other than a falsehood itself, a deception of ourselves and others?

You weren’t my first love.

That fact alone might be explained away as a little white lie, what-you-don’t-know-can’t-hurt-you. An old flame, a childhood fling – these things could be forgotten or, at the very least, forgiven.

But it’s worse than that: my first lover was your brother, Bill.

During those first few months after we met, before you and I committed to each other, there was a time of uncertainty for me. For you as well, I think, though I now believe you were just working up the courage to approach me.

Bill always was the bolder one, wasn’t he?

And so, while you dillied, we dallied in the sunshine. I can’t say I regret it. He was a kind lover and, when you finally got off your backside and I decided that you were the one for me, he accepted rejection with good grace. To be honest, I think he found it a relief to be rid of me.

So now you know.

Except that you don’t, for this is the letter I will never write. I’m afraid of how you might react, and I don’t want to run the risk of losing you.

There are some things you really don’t need to know, after all.

Your loving wife,

Martha

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