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Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Health · #1580658
When dementia loosens the tongue, the truth will come out.
“Mrs. Wyman, here is your medication.”

“Thank you my dear. Do I know you?”

“Yes, I am Sarah, your caregiver. I know pills are hard to swallow so I broke them into smaller pieces.”

“Do I get to have tea?”

“I have it right here.”

“He hated tea and would never have afternoon tea with me.”

“Who was that?”

“Oh, he was quite the looker, that man was. I saw him before my sister did. He was across the room dancing with another girl. She was a loose one that girl.”

“Did you dance with him?”

“Of course! He danced with Anna, then stopped right in front of me and asked me to dance. We were meant for each other. I knew it the moment he took me in his arms.”

“You married him?”

“Yes, eventually.”

“So you had a long engagement?”

“No, it really was very quick. My father and his father came to an arrangement. He had no choice by then.”

"You HAD to get married?”

“Oh no my dear, I saw them. They didn’t know, but I saw them.”


“They were crafty, but I was watching and I saw Anna take him out the door and into the garden.”

“You followed?”

“The garden was the most beautiful part of our house. Father brought plants from all over the world to grow in the garden. I studied books he wrote on each plant. He was a professor, did you know that?"

"I heard he worked for the University."

"He wrote what the plants looked like, what they smelled like, and if they were poison, sweet or bitter to eat. Some plants can heal if taken in small doses, but can kill if taken in large doses.”

“You studied horticulture with your father?”

“He liked me to sit and listen while he talked about the plants. He smiled at me.”

“Did Anna, your sister, study with you and your father?”

“We don’t talk about her. She is gone to us.”

“What happened?”

“I followed them into the garden and they went right to the gazebo. He was kissing her and then he was on top of her, and her ball gown was over her face. Her feet were kicking the cushions and I saw there was mud on her shoes. Then he stood beside her and laughed, and when she sat up, he slapped her across the face and walked away. She was crying. I was glad.”

“Why were you glad?"

“She seduced him away from me. She deserved to be slapped. What was she thinking going into the gazebo with him?”

"Why didn't you tell anyone?”

“We were married right in the garden, in the very gazebo where she seduced him. I chose the spot. I wore a beautiful dress, it was white silk, and I had lovely roses in my bouquet.”

“What happened to the girl in the gazebo?”

“I was so excited that night, but he never came to my bed. I thought he was being kind.”

“He must have come to you. I have spoken to your granddaughter.”

“I have a granddaughter? I don’t think so.

“She comes to visit you every day.”

“That is so nice of her. Who are you my dear?”

"My name is Sarah. What happened to your sister?

“She was never quite right. She was always thinking, and talking about what she thought. She read books she stole from Father’s library. She put them back, but I saw the ones she took and told father. He put a lock on the door and said, 'Women should not read or write; it upsets the natural order of things.' ”

“Anna just wanted to know more. What is wrong with that?”

“What for? Women don’t need to know anything more than how to run a household, order food, sew, play an instrument and be a loving dutiful wife.”

“That is quite a list. Did you have to memorize it?”

“I have quite a memory. My father said so. I remember all the plants and which ones were poisonous.”

“How long were you married when you had your daughter?”

“She was such a beautiful little girl. We were so happy. I brought her home from my aunt's house.”

“You stayed at your aunt's house until the baby was born? ”

“That is where SHE was. Father sent her there after they found out that she was with child. He never looked at her again. I brought the baby home after she was born. No one thought she wasn't mine.”

“Your sister Anna had the baby; you took her and raised her as your own.”

“I bought beautiful clothes for her. She was the most beautiful baby.”

“What happen to Anna?”

“Bella Donna.”

“Is that what you named the baby?”

“You stupid girl, no that is the name of a purple bell flower.”

“What happened to Anna?”

“She loved tea. She drank it every afternoon.”

“What kind of tea was it?”

“Bella Donna tea, flavored with rose hip.”

“You poisoned your sister?...!”

“Larkspur is another wonderful plant along with Hemlock. Do you know someone famous was killed with Hemlock?”

“Yes, I know.”

“May I have my tea now? Are there any scones?”

“Yes, but here we call them biscuits.”

“You are so nice to talk to. You look like someone I know.”

“Yes, I am your granddaughter and caregiver.”

“That is nice dear; do I have a daughter?”

“Yes, she passed away last year.”

“May I have more tea and scones? I do so love scones with my tea. My little girl loved to have tea with me every afternoon.”

“Now I have tea with you.”

“Do I know you? How nice you came to visit.”

Published in Oasis Journal 2009
© Copyright 2009 Quick-Quill (thekindred at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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