The weight was unbearable. How could she handle it all? How could she do it? Was there even a way? Her eyes squeezed shut as she curled into a ball in the corner of her bedroom.

She had no choice. It was public. Last time something went wrong for him, he drank and drugged himself to death, she told herself. How could she have put him in a position to do that again?

But how could she put herself in such a position?

“He is weakening your will to serve God by placing himself in a position of importance almost more than Him.”

As much as it killed Julianni to think that over, she knew it was possible. She knew it could be true. Perhaps not intentionally, but the more she thought about her recent actions, the more she realized it was happening.

She didn’t want it.

The woman didn’t want to be married. It was too soon. Not only that, but she had so many things to take care of. So did he. But again…how could she say no?

He’d begged her not to leave him. He told her how he had been abandoned before. Could she do that to him? Could she be so ruthless? So selfish?

Tears squeezed out of her already bloodshot eyes and she began to sob.

What could she do to fix this? Was it even possible? She felt as if all the air from her lungs had escaped- as if there was nothing left of her but the husk of body left behind.

She wanted to be there for him, to help him through his troubles; Julianni knew what it was like to be alone. But what was she willing to give up to do that? How much of herself was she willing to sacrifice? Or had she already sacrificed it all?

A clock within her home let loose a soft chime, delicate and soothing in its sound.

And then, solitary silence. So much that it was deafening.



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