Sealing night: Rebecca

image by Elvert Barnes

Deleted scenes from the cutting room floor: an extract from Sisterwives

Practical things.  These were the things I focused on, the day of the Sealing: the cooking rota, the mouths to feed.  The last minute alterations to the dresses the girls would wear.  While at the same time trying to keep Mariah and her brood out of trouble and persuading Sarah that pink would be the wrong colour for the flowers in the Meeting House.

No one warned me about the end of the day, when all that was left were crumbs on plates, and the girls’ dresses were torn at the hem.  My mother, Ruth.  Tobias’s mother, Leah. They knew, because they had experienced it too.  And yet they didn’t tell me.  How I’d need something solid so I leaned against the wall for support.  How I’d have to stuff my fists into my mouth to stop me from crying or from crying out.

I wanted them to stop.

I wanted it to be me, not Ammie, in bed with Tobias.

There was no noise.  But the silence that was the worst thing.  Because I knew what they’d be doing, in the darkness, just the two of them alone.  It was bad enough to rehearse his movements in my head but it was as though I could actually feel them.  His hand on my thigh as he traced hers.  That spiralling motion he made with his fingers.  Ghost movements, ghost gestures.

And, after that, every time he touched me that way, I wondered if she’d feel it too.

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