by CJ Dyneley
Depressing piece of prose for an old English class.
I write this letter to you knowing full well that you might never read it. Most people, now, would see this address and my name and throw the envelope away without even opening it. I hope that you will read this, though. I have so much to say. Perhaps I can put your mind to rest as to why… All this had to happen.
The judge mentioned “malice aforethought” at the trial. That isn’t right. There wasn’t even an ounce of malice present in the hotel room that night. Only love.
I loved your daughter. You understand better than anyone else what that disease was doing to her. There were days were you wouldn’t of recognised her if you'd seen her in the street. Do you remember those bleak, bleak days where she was too weak even to stand? I know I do. I think about them every day.
You saw her as often as possible, but I was the one who was there for her constantly, day in and day out, to see her growing sicker and sicker all the time, her beautiful blonde hair growing thin and lank. Please understand; I’m not trying to blame anyone, especially not you - Just trying to explain.
She didn’t want you to be too sad. I told her that it was inevitable, hurting people, if she made the choice to let it all go. It was you who she worried for the most. She chose the blue hotel room to do it in because it was your favourite colour. See? Claire always thought of you, even at the end.
She never forgot about you, Jeanne. Even in her final moments.
Now comes the difficult part of the letter. I wish I could know what you would want to hear and what you would wish to avoid, but I cannot know this, and so I can only tell you what I feel you should know.
She did not feel any pain.
I am quite sure she did not feel any pain.
There was nothing angry, painful or distressing about it. Claire just went to sleep. It was exactly as she wanted. You know what she was like, so charming and pretty... How could I not do whatever she said? I was helpless too, Jeanne. Helpless because of her.
I don’t want pity. I know that it is very unlikely that you are thinking of pitying me at this point, but still, try to understand that I am not scraping at your feet for forgiveness. I just want to be fair. So far, neither of us have been very fair to you, have we?
Prison makes no difference to my state of mind. Without Claire, I am not whole - But being incomplete is preferable to watching the most beloved part of yourself rot and die away. I am sorry for what I have done to you, but I am not sorry for doing it. I will not scream and cry. My life ended along with Claire’s, that evening, in the hotel room. The rest of the time I spend in this cell is just endless fog with no lighthouse shining my way.