I instantly recognized the writing on the envelope. With shaking hands, I took a knife to make a slit.
Out fell a card with a plain front. Opening it, I gasped. Three words had been scribed: my name at the top; Ya’aburnee, carefully written in graphic hand. Then the name seared across my mind and across my back: Ezekeual.
How, how had he found me? The women’s centers promised anonymity. New names, new looks, new jobs. As far away from the abuse and torture they could place us.
Ya’aburnee, you bury me. The horrible fate he had waiting the night I didn’t come home.
What now? The word was meant to mean true love that no one could change. One unable to live without the other. Both should die to preserve the perfect peace and love.
Not the sum of a madman’s heart.
You will not bury me and I will finally dig a grave for the pain, the fear, the foreboding, the waiting. Yes, one of us would die before the other, I thought, as I loaded the gun. But it ain’t going to be me.