by Bob retired
The innocent suffer more than the guilty
The small group walked silently alongside the coffin bearing the earthly remains of Janette to her final resting place. No one had anything to say as they approached the open grave. Tom was so blinded by tears he could barely see where he was going. This was his wife, his life, everything on which he had placed his hopes for a happy life. She was gone now, a relief for her perhaps, but a sad, sad day for Tom.
How many years ago was it she was taken from home by those men; it seemed like forever to Tom. He had tried everything he knew to get the evidence of her innocence put into the hands of those in power, to free her from her unjust incarceration, how many times had he failed? Now it was all over, the guilty party convicted and his beloved Janette exonerated.
Too bloody late, of course, much too bloody late. When she came home to the little cottage she could no longer face the world, the cruel incarceration had robbed her of any of the social graces needed to live in society. Only Tom saw the terrible pain of it in her eyes, she never saw anyone else, refused to return anything at all to the society which she said condemned her to all those years locked up with criminals for company and companionship. She could not forgive them. Tom saw it all, the pain, the desolation, and the frustration of being helpless to do anything about it.
Then the sickness came and she refused to go out to see a doctor, point blank refused. Tom was desolate, what could he do? The damn doctors only made house calls if you paid them, and Tom was penniless after years of visiting that damn jail in the next county. God alone knows how much Janette suffered, but she declined to go out at all. Only at night would she venture outside to look at the stars and wander about the tiny yard; and she dived back inside if anyone came close to her spot. Tom cursed the stupidity of the investigators of that murder many years ago, they should have seen she was innocent.
Death came to Tom’s house during the night, Janette passed away quietly while Tom was asleep. He didn’t even get to say goodbye to his love. The authorities were very helpful and were even going to pay for the burial service, and all the costs associated with it. So what? Tom blamed them for his loss of his love, they failed to do their job. But it’s now that matters, Tom had a promise to keep.
The coffin was placed over the hole in the ground and the vicar was about to read the sermon when Tom stepped up and opened the coffin lid. Janette lay there, no wrinkles of agony on her face anymore, she was at peace, even the sun seemed to brighten her features as it shone. The vicar looked at Tom:
“I had to do it vicar, It's the first time in eighteen years she's felt the sun on her face.”
Word Count 525