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My Darling (or not) Wife

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Not wanting to overcome the loss of his dead wife, Joey is forced to marry one of the most powerful women in the state, but when he signed the contract, he forgot to read between the lines, and starts living in a hell he insisted so much on calling paradise. Raquel is a strong woman who never knew how to love, just as she never received love. When Joey showed that he wanted a divorce for Raquel's mistakes, the woman became his worst nightmare, threatening him with the intention of making him keep the marriage, for fear of losing the only person who loved her intensely, even if he had to deal with her Joey's worst side. Amid lies and manipulation, Rachel discovers the letters that Joey wrote to Lucia, his dead wife. Questioned as to why he still writes to the ghost of his ex-wife, Joey contradicts himself and finds himself lost in the midst of Rachel's screams and insults. His marriage begins to crumble after Rachel opts for a betrayal, leaving the boy on the verge of precipice and contemplating divorce.

The Letter

D*mn days and their countless hours, the nights come and the nostalgia of the previous year overflows inside me. The regret of your departure, of not having stopped it when I had the chance, of not looking at you for a few more minutes and facing every trace of your face.

They say that grief shows itself in phases, and that soon I would accept the loss, but, being honest, I don't see myself capable of this. I have always been repulsed by people who did what you did, and even though I knew the laughter was a lie, I didn't think you would be so brave because you had such a small body.

I can't remember our last moments, whether they were happy or not. I only remember the sad look you gave me when I said that sometimes you became an annoying person. D*mn words, d*mn day.

Today I see myself facing what you used to do alone, taking short steps, taking deep breaths and looking up. I believe that tomorrow will hurt less, at least not as much as it hurts now. Or, grief will come, suddenly, and show itself present, as if it never left.

I remember the night we danced in the living room, holding a glass filled with the best wine in town, that blessed vintage, as you used to say. On the radio you played some Italian music that you liked a lot, but I never tried to know what it was or paid attention to the lyrics. Today I miss it, because I don't know how to find the song that kept you so close to me.

On Sundays we had lunch in a nearby restaurant, you loved the presentation of the pasta, the colorful sauces that came on top of the noodles in a funny shape, many times I questioned your tastes, and, also, I called you a child for them. I am sorry.

There was that day we went to a lake, you sat under the tablecloth, leaned on the grass, and looked at me smiling, simple things delighted you more than elaborate ones. Since your departure I have been thinking and believing that maybe I have not valued those moments as much as I should have.

I remember when we first met, you looked stunning in that black dress and you looked at everyone with fear. You always had this inferiority complex, of seeing yourself as a hardworking ant who didn't add much to society. I always made you aware that you were wrong, but you didn't used to listen to me.

After being so stubborn and getting involved with the wrong people, you met your predictable end, full of pain and tears, begging for a mercy that not even you were able to have. And today, you cool below ground, but stay warm in my memories, leaving your scent on sheets I would never dare wash again.

Well, I must hurry now, for I have kept my work even in the face of grief. I must survive, for myself, and for you. I am still in that wine cellar, the same one where we bought the best vintage wine. The same one where we met.

Waking up, getting ready and preparing myself psychologically for another day at work, greeting the neighbors who look at me with pity, enduring the traffic jam while listening to the radio, hoping that your song would play. It's been weeks now, and I haven't found her.

Everything was going well until a few days ago, my family respected the fact that I was grieving, even though they didn't accept me being depressed for so long. Things began to change after I was introduced to a woman named Raquel, owner of corporations, land, and one of the most powerful women in the state. Not as powerful as you, of course, but still, they say that some tremble at hearing her last name

I swear to you that I didn't intend to move on so quickly, I wanted to mourn her departure and dwell on this pain for much longer, but the idea of a new marriage for money didn't seem so bad. I promise not to love her, not as I love you, and I will do everything possible to honor her memory.

Today will be my first meeting with this woman, and, in any case, if I please her, I can refurbish her headstone as you always wanted before you died. With a wreath of artificial red flowers surrounded by a little house in which you will rest forever. A photo, a phrase and beautiful writing, like those exaggerated calligraphies you loved to see on the Internet.

Remember when we were planning the wedding? You made sure to spend a lot of money to have a random woman write the names of our guests, something that both you and I could do. I must admit it looked beautiful, you always did have good taste in such frivolous things.

For a while I succumbed to the desire to drown this longing mixed with remorse in some doping drug, I even tried a few. But even though I tried lots of something to sedate me, I knew that it was momentary, and that tomorrow the weight of reality would hit my chest and throw me to the ground again. It's complicated, my love, you here would be a relief, you would take away all the uncertainties and show me the right path I should follow.

I long for the warmth of your close breathing, your wet kisses, your naked body next to mine, your soft, muffled moans, your nails that dig into my back and tear down through my skin. How I missed your s*x, I fear that I will never have the same pleasure as before and will have casual s*x with random women, with the intention of some of them giving me what you gave me every day.

This woman, Raquel, seems like the wild but elegant type, something like The Godfather, I'm not sure, I haven't had the opportunity yet to see your miraculous deeds, as they say. Did I tell you that we are going to meet today? It's not really a date, we are going to decide some terms of this marriage. I don't understand what this can add to her, since the woman has everything, I don't have much to offer, if that's what she expects.

I am putting on that white button down shirt you gave me, I think it would go very well with a wine stain accidentally deposited there. My hair has grown, in fact, it is shoulder length, I couldn't go to the hairdresser, I was barely willing to leave the house, so renewing my look is one of my least concerns.

I thought about putting on a black coat, you know I feel very cold and any misdirected wind gives me the chills. A pair of dark pants, a pair of casual sneakers and that's it, I don't have much to do. I know that if I were with you I would find myself beautiful even without clothes, but unfortunately it is not your presence that awaits me in that restaurant.

The bills have weighed heavily after your departure, I can barely organize myself with so many bills knocking on the door. I don't know what to pay first, how to get out of this hole that I ended up in, I think that's why I considered the proposal of the contract, it was the only option available to pay off these debts and be able to fix my life now that I no longer have you.

I promise to keep you informed of everything that happens, and I will fulfill everything I have told you, no one is capable of winning me over from the moment that I am already me, and not even your dead body could change that. I know that it wasn't what you wanted, but I'm not ready to get over it yet, and in a way I don't think I should rush into it, everyone deals with grief in a different way, and this is the way I've found to deal with mine.

I started asking for food to be delivered to the house, I can no longer do the market like before, things have become so insignificant now, sometimes I think that eating and sleeping are not as necessary as before. In the early morning hours I find myself awake, looking at the whitish ceiling that you thought you would paint blue one day. The wine bottles are dusty, if you were here you would fight me for the neglect.

Maybe I should clean up the house, get some of this morbid air out of my nostrils with every breath I take, change the sheets, wash the clothes that are having an anniversary in the washing machine. Maybe, I don't know.

The neighbors came here a few times, bringing leftovers from the Christmas dinner. The first one without you. Faced with so many questions about my health, what humiliated me the most was the famous phrase: You have to help yourself.

I confess that I can't, I tried every day to overcome this great loss that haunts my nights and extends them until the next morning. I haven't gone to therapy, I haven't looked for a professional, I thought that if I just sat still and watched the days go by, I could undo the lump in my throat that forms every time I remember you.

I haven't been able to cry either, the tears just don't fall anymore, my face never felt that warm water that carries so much remorse and sadness. Many times I looked in the mirror and saw my desolate face, maybe if I remembered your death I could empty myself a little of this unacceptance that surrounds me.

I went through the bargaining phase, praying that this is just a very bad nightmare, asking some God to bring you back to me, exchanging my life for yours. I would go to church, even become a believer if I had to, so that when I woke up, your face would be the first thing I would see again. Still, it didn't work. "We can't bring the dead back to life" my mother said when she noticed my despair a few weeks after the accident.

If I could go back in time for a few minutes, seconds that is, I would have done everything differently. You wouldn't go to work alone, you wouldn't walk on sidewalks that you didn't even pay attention to. You had an ugly habit of crossing without looking to the side, I warned you countless times of the danger this could cause, and yet, you kept doing it.

You had some suicidal tendencies, but you never showed any trace of sadness until the last year.

Sometimes I wonder if I missed something, if you warned me about something and I didn't notice. If I should take you to a therapist just in case. I know that the cause of your departure is nothing to do with this, but a simple accident doesn't enter my head, I can't accept it, Lucia. It was so sudden and fast, without warning, without any evidence of any person who might have been there before taking his life. And, honestly, the crime scene looked more like a suicide than a common accident.

A year has passed and everything seems as confusing as it was on the first day, I don't see clarity in the police reports from that time, I can't find and understand a why since it never existed, and if it did exist, why isn't it right in my face so I can get some clarity?

It is unfair, and the more I think about it, the more hatred for everyone I sow. You are gone and I can't remember our last day together, the words we exchanged, if I even said I loved you or at least kissed you. Nothing comes to mind but the shallow memories of the seven years we spent together.

Every two steps I take forward, every step I climb, it seems to me that I am further and further away from what I really need. Destiny has become uncertain and scary, as if I have never lived before you, as if I have just discovered what I am, but not in a good way. I don't remember my life before you.

Am I wrong to accept this marriage? Am I dishonoring your memory? It's been a year, but still, it seems like just yesterday you were here in the living room, sitting with me on the couch watching some cliché romance movie while crying over the couple's passionate kiss. You pointed to your mouth as if you were asking the same thing, and I, all silly, moved closer and sealed our lips. Our love was like something out of a movie, and I feel like I didn't enjoy it enough.

The bells on the clock on the wall signal that it is time to go to sleep, dawn is coming and sleep has abandoned me again. I thought about watching some interesting movie that will take me and make me forget a little of all this misery, even though I know that nothing can get you out of my thoughts.

Lord of the Rings seems like a great idea to me, it is long and can become tiresome if I watch it repeatedly. The absence of sleep becomes more and more frequent, and in order for me to get enough sleep without intervening with some sedative I will need something to help. Tomorrow is the day that I will meet that woman I told you about, and I don't feel as excited or anxious as I used to be with you in our first days of dating.

I know it is wrong to want to compare, even because she is not you, but imagining myself with someone else who doesn't understand me as you easily did, makes me lose all hope in love. There is that belief about past loves and reincarnations, so if you have come back in another body, please find a way to let me know.

Desperation hits my door hard when I start researching these things, I still think you might come back, maybe as a cat, since you have always loved cats. Forgive me for being allergic and never having given you the opportunity to have one, making you happy has always been my priority and maybe a pet would have prevented all this.

I'm beginning to think that I haven't passed the bargaining stage, considering the things I'm telling you now. It's just that acceptance is a very big step for a guy with short legs like me, and I'm afraid that by accepting, I will slowly start to forget you, as happened with other couples who lost their love and in a short time already had another one.

Sometimes I think that I would never have another crush, even though as a teenager I had the same thoughts after a disappointment in love and still ended up finding you. The thing is that I don't know if I can handle another loss, I feel my days passing like arrows, but the nights become too long and cold, as if winter came and went in the morning.

Grief is so funny, the emotional pain becomes physical after a while, my whole body aches and it gets harder and harder to breathe. My throat burns when I try to say his name, cigarettes have become my only company, and wine... Ha, the wine... It is my best friend, and the only one that can withstand my pounding on these terrible solo nights.

Writing to you has become my snuggle, to relate my anguish in the hope that you will see it from above and feel a little sorry for me, that you can see the damage you left behind and the hell it has become to have to live one day at a time. I feel like I've been pinning all my faults and regrets on you, when in fact, you are not to blame at all.

It happened Joey. Get over it Joey. I tell myself that, and maybe if I did something to achieve this overcoming that everyone talks about, it would be easier from here on out. If I can do it? No. Will I try? Maybe, but I don't see how now. I am stuck in the sh*t, Lucia, I can't move or else I sink deeper and deeper.

The famous grief and its phases, when will I reach the stage of acceptance? Will it take much longer? Am I doing something wrong, besides absolutely everything? Did I let something go? Have I forgotten something? These questions haunt me, do not let me sleep, eat, overcome?

The depression is becoming more and more present. I feel like I'm about to finish, my strength is running out, and everything looks so chaotic from down here. I have been trying my best to find a remnant of happiness in the midst of this turbulence. In vain, for months now, I have been getting back on my feet for a few minutes, hoping not to collapse publicly.

Sometimes it overflows, my face cools and I feel nothing but the burning of my eyes. The redness of my skin cries out for the tears to fall at once. I look around, analyzing every wall in this dark room, and yet, I feel myself in a clarity of uncertainty that keeps me below ground.

Confused, understated, months ago I stopped understanding this condition that makes me a person without credibility, and even though it hurts, I stopped trying to make everyone believe in something I can't. To believe that one day I will get over his departure.

Acceptance is a two-way street, sometimes it is a blessing, sometimes it is a curse. Grief still haunts me, sneaking around corners and sucking out my momentary joys.

Sometimes I don't feel that I should cherish happy moments for so long. Sadness has become home, like that puppy you unwittingly brought in when you found it on the street, so that it wouldn't starve outside. The difference is that I didn't invite this depression, it came, as if it wanted nothing, and became the hostess of my life.

Being happy is not easy, I think it requires a lot from me at this moment, but striving for an overestimated improvement is also unfeasible. I tried, I swear I tried.

Every day the struggle is different, harder and harder, and as much as the fear of the impossible is visible, I believe there is still an early hope. One day it will come, time or another, but until then, what will I do? The idea of living on dope is not so bad, sleeping for hours with the intention of not waking up so early is more attractive than waking up and following the routine. The hopeless and funeral routine.

I have learned to value the few good moments I have witnessed. The breeze of the wind on a starless night, the meow of the cat that doesn't come near you, but is there, almost asleep under the ashen table. And when you bring out your favorite cigarette and feel the bitter freshness running down your throat and into your lungs.

You know I hate smoking, holding a cigarette between my fingers and burning myself every time it comes to an end, however, taking out the late-night rage on a piece of paper that blisters a few tobaccos, is even better than screaming until I lose my breath.

The work is regular, the effort becomes in vain when I lose myself for a few seconds in these thoughts that haunt my days arduously. I am surviving, in a way that I can barely stand up and fill my lungs with air, but surviving. Maybe tomorrow will be better, maybe not, the uncertainty of the days keeps me alive.

Of course, I have no one to witness my defeats, no one to help me when I fall, but still, I get up, wipe off the sweat, and start my tiring day. With you here it would be different, much easier, I wouldn't have to deal with everything alone, because you were my pillar, and without you, I am falling apart.

I just wanted you to know these things, again, tomorrow I will give you news about how this fake meeting went. It's not my last letter to you, I promise.

From your love, who can't stand the days going by without you by her side, Joey.

The Date

"Where are the fucking pants?"

Joey said as he mumbled in the corners, rummaging through the shuffled clothes in the closet, frowning at each failed attempt to find the pants Lucia had given him on their first wedding anniversary. Keeping things that his late wife had given him made him feel that she was close to him and wished him luck wherever he went. 

After much searching, he finally found it, put it on, finished fixing his hair, and looked at himself in front of the mirror. He took a deep breath, knowing that this step would be definitive for the rest of his miserable life. In a short time he would reach his destination, there were still less than 30 minutes left and the journey had become too long. As he walked kicking the rocks, Joey reflected on the words he would say to Rachel, since he had to show himself good enough for the woman. 

After a long walk, he reached his destination, looked at the tall building in front of him, stunned, gathering all

Heroes

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