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You're Free, Louise

My head is spinning with these unfamiliar emotions I am feeling after the tragic accident of my husband. How can I be feeling this way? I should be bereaved, even brokenhearted, with the overwhelming feeling of pain a normal wife would have. But I can’t get this thought out of my head, asking, “Am I free? Can I finally be free?”. Lost in my thoughts and mind, I can hardly hear someone banging on the door. “Louise, open the door! I beg you; open the door. You will make yourself ill. What are you doing Louise? For heaven's sake, open the door!” My sister Josephine keeps yelling, worried I’m so grief-stricken I'll grow sick and die. ”Go away. I am not making myself ill,” I yell back. After a while of trying to push down these emotions no woman should feel, especially about their husband, I open my door and start walking down the stairs to Josephine.

When I descend to the bottom of the stairs, I see my maids and the help standing beside Richard, the one who broke the horrible news. ”Louise, I’m so sorry for the tragedies that have hit us all at such an unexpected time.” said Richard. “Louise, do you need to lie down? Allow me go get the doctor - you look pale.” What I don't have the heart or the right to say as a women is that I'm not pale because my husband just died leaving me a widow. I’m pale because I feel this relief over my body - the kind you feel when you’ve just been given the freedom I’ve always dreamed of. Terrified with the realization of my feelings, I turn pale with guilt. Why would I be relieved over my husband dying in a tragic accident? I can’t feel this way. I am a woman. A husband is supposed to be my lifeline, someone I lean on, someone who takes care of me. But all I can think of is “...I’m free”.

Blocking these thoughts out of my mind, I tell Josephine I’m fine and just want some alone time. I go to the garden behind my house and start looking at the beautiful flowers in bloom. Mr. Mallard, my husband, always hated that I spent more time out here. But now that he’s gone, I can sit out here all day without anyone telling me what I’m doing is wrong. I can sleep late, take my time on cleaning the house, and cook without time restraints. I'm no longer a shadow in my husband's grand life. With these thoughts crossing my mind, I finally understand why I feel this way. I can stop drowning in guilt over it. I've always wanted to be on my own, and now I have it.

With this realization, I walk back in the house and look around. I slowly start taking everything down that my husband loved but I always hated. I couldn't hear Josephine or Richard anymore, assuming they left me alone like I wanted. A huge smile makes its way to my face as I twirl around the middle of the kitchen, screaming at the top of my lungs.

I plan on living a long life, one of joy and happiness that everyone dreams of. I slowly come to a stop and whisper into the air...

“You’re free, Louise. You’re finally free."

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