He lies there on our disheveled sofa, a painting of abject wretchedness framed with self-hatred. Contempt crawls up my back, while my eyes try to see past this Golem burning in the fires of Mount Doom.
The gold he has chased after—that shimmering precious metal that promised him so much bliss—has reduced him to this.
My husband glances at my countenance and looks away. My thoughts trickle around his form. Is he worth it? Is he worth the effort I must pour into him to make our marriage work again?
This man has thrown his vows of love unto death into the sewer and embarked on an adulterous vagabondage that led him far, far away from our children and me. And now he says he is sorry. Now he says it is all over. Now he wants forgiveness.
That would be too easy. I want him to hurt. I want him to suffer the way I have suffered this long year and more. I want him to know what it is like to be rejected and treated as worthless, over and over and over. I want him to cry over the loss of me. I want him to lie awake at night and come to my house in the morning and see another man by my side. I want him to see that man hug his children. I want him to regret this for the rest of his life.
Holy Spirit flickers, gasping in the presence of such a maelstrom of malevolence.
I see myself in life as it could be. I make my own choices every day. No one can hurt me. I need no approval. I trust no one. I come home from work only to have children surround me, begging for my love. I ache for a supportive hand. I lie alone in bed at night. I am a bitter woman.
Holy Spirit's flame struggles to surge.
I see this man as he used to be, the man he still is...somewhere deep inside. He rests on a chair holding our newborn, contentment on his visage. He lies next to me, his breathing in my ear, his arm around my waist. He stands and laughs with me, rejoicing in my happiness. He musses up our son’s hair as they run outside together. All of these are our Kodak© moments of the past…but perhaps…perhaps…
Now it is my turn to make a choice.
Unseen hands cup the flame, a shield from the mistral seeking my mental valley.
Have I never sinned? Have I never entertained thoughts that traveled from hell to be with me? Have I never known the reprieve of forgiveness?
Holy Spirit’s flame flares in resurrected power.
I walk to him, to the one I had trusted with all my heart—the heart that now lies in vapid weakness—and hear my words fall on his begging hands.
“There is too much good in you worth keeping. You made a choice. I forgive you for that choice. I want you here, with me. We can get through this.”
I reach for him and pull my Golem out of the fire. His grasping fingers do not reach back to the flames—they reach forward for me. Am I truly his precious one again? We’ll see.
Together, we watch the fool’s gold melt into the flames.
Together, we will sweep up its ashes.
Golem is dead. New life has begun.
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