To his family, every word she said was a lie. Her denouncement was either rambling grief or an attempt to convince the world that Roland had faults. As if he ever could.
“You must believe me!”
She was difficult to reel in, even by the sturdier parishioners, but they couldn’t reel in her truth. It continued to blast as they hauled her down the aisle, and Roland’s precious family continued to call her “that madwoman”. Variations of “I knew that madwoman would be the end of him” were hurled at her in chunks, and she felt each one like they were his fists. Yes, they were his fists. She could never mistake a single knuckle. She could nearly smell the Jack Daniels. But not his family. They could never smell it over the aroma of the prize posies he’d planted all those years ago. Those flowers had long since withered, but they never saw it. Just how they never saw Roland withering away. Just how they never saw his poor wife withering in his shadow.
The men threw her to the pavement, but she was no stranger to those sorts of scrapes. She kept Bactine in her back pocket. Too bad she was wearing a dress.
She looked up to see a bottle of first aid spray and the sweet face of the woman holding it.
“Thanks. Did you know Roland?”
“Why do you think I have the spray?”
Her scratches burned, but she smiled. Finally: there was someone to believe her.