With a creak of centuries-old metal, the door swung open. He walked in, careful not to make any sound. She hated the fact he sometimes shuffled his feet while walking, she said it was vulgar. At least she used to. It had been a while since she had stopped speaking altogether. He stepped around the armchair to reach where she lay serenely- it was a large room, she always complained about the cold wind. Tonight he’d made sure the windows were fastened.
“She makes a beautiful bride”, he thought and half-smiled as he scattered the pearls, aglow with her skin’s moonlight hue. In the next moment he twitched his head, as if to displace an irritating fly- there was a lingering sense of Déjà vu. He couldn’t remember- it must be something that happened long ago.
Shrugging, he continued his chore, a few pearls making a plopping sound as they escaped and rolled across the cold marble floor. He meticulously went after the errant beads as they darted away from his reach. He was struck by another memory, clearer this time-of the day they had taken their vows.
She had had a royal wedding. The guests had showered her with these very pearls, not flower petals, as they blessed the union. He frowned as he pictured the memory- she had looked pained as the pearls touched her body, thousands of them. Well, he mused, she was always ungrateful, nothing was ever enough for her.
The last pearl nestled into the folds of her wedding gown. With a smile he kissed his bride’s lips. She looked sad; it irritated him to see her. He banged the lid shut.
For the third time in as many years, Mr. Wood buried a wife.