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The Second wife 

 

This story happened just after the Second World War. The lady in question was a young energetic nurse in the army who spent 5 years tending wounded soldiers.

As the war ended, the young woman who was now in her early thirties came back to her parent’s family. Being a little older than the girls of marrying age, she was passed by or ignored by the eligible bachelors.

While still working at the hospital, she met a man who was already married but had left his wife or that’s what he told *Sarah. He asked her to marry him. There was hesitation on her part especially that the parents would most likely not agree. He was of another religion and was already married and a little older than her.

As expected, the parents did not agree because of the reasons which were obvious to her right from the start. However, being independent after a few years away from the family and in the army, she decided to go against her family’s will. She was thinking of her future.  She needed a partner in life and children to satisfy her maternal instincts.

Needless to say, she left the family and secured a job away from her town as nursing is a sought after profession in any town. She married the man and became a second wife but with no contact with the first wife. Two years or three into the marriage, facts became to surface. The most painful was that he was not able to have children. That killed her dream of becoming a mom. Another fact that it was the first wife who had kicked him out and not him abandoning her.  It seems he still had a soft spot in his heart for her but the feeling was not reciprocal.

There was more about this man. Sarah found out what would haunt her for the rest of her life. He used to drink liquor heavily and could not hold a job. Many times he would come home late either by taxi all bruised from fights or by police cars picking him up from the side of the road. Not only that she had to support him, but also nurse him back to health. The cycle went on for years.

Her dilemma was that she was a little older, she could not establish a new life and she could not go back to the family that she had abandoned years earlier.

They were together for over 30 years and he had not contributed to the marriage neither in affection or monetary help.  He would leave sometimes for a week or two without telling her where he was. She endured and kept the household together by working at the local hospital.

Sarah became sick from exhaustion and a miserable life with her husband. She lay in a hospital bed and he would show up to see her once in a while when not drunk. He needed her to give him money to keep up the rent and pay for food and expenses. She had jewelry at the house which he sold but could not get his hands on the safety deposit box at the bank in which she kept documents, valuables and money.  All during her sickness, her nieces and nephews kept at her bed side. They felt sorry for an aunt who had suffered all throughout her life.  The husband was just waiting for her to die and he did not hesitate to make that fact clear to the family.

Sarah’s condition worsened and the doctors told the nephews and nieces to inform the husband of her condition.  They kept calling him at home and there was no answer. Finally one of them went to the house and knocked at the door, rang the bell and shouted but there was no answer. With the help of the police, they broke down the door and found the husband dead on the floor.  The coroner decided it was heart attack.

Sarah was informed of his death as she was dying. No tears were shed.

Upon clearing the house which their aunt Sarah shared with the husband, they came across his last will and testament. He had left everything to his first wife although everything had belonged to his second wife Sarah. They found numerous love letters to the first wife which were never sent.

 

*Sarah is not her real name
Source withheld

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