After all my nightmares and melancholic worrying,
To finally get it out, to finally say aloud what I feared
Even thinking about, and to see her not recoil--
Yes, she stood up, looking down at me for a bit,
But mostly out of shock, not horror at me, but horror
At him. I'd had his voice in my head, convincing me
That the guilt was shared between us, until she said
I had been under his protection, pointed out that I
Had no way to get out of the predicament he put me
Into. I don't know if I shall ever have more tears to cry
After these solemn, terrible three days. But she pulls
My head to rest against her shoulder, the one place
I never thought I'd be again, and she says, "You do know
That I'd have gotten you out of this scrape, don't you?
Whether you'd said yes to me or not?" "Would you?"
Her eyes show shock again, perhaps at my lack of faith.
She tosses his letter away, growling, "Grubby little
Wretch." Now it is my turn to be shocked. How little
Over the years I could ever have thought of anyone
Dismissing him like that, with three words. She kisses
My face, muttering, "And in a dog collar." I remind her,
"He'll still be coming for this position at the church,
A ruse to get near me." She pulls me in again and rocks
Me. "Shh. You have nothing more to fear from him."