I was happy.
Such a simple word, but I could feel it. Just over a year ago, I married a man my father had met during one of his travels abroad. William was a man of good means, and he came from a prosperous family. When we met we instantly liked each other. I was lucky. After a few months of courting, he asked my father for permission to marry me. It was all so proper, and my father not only gave his blessing, but was excited at the prospect. I thought I was happy. We married shortly thereafter and moved to the city. We immediately started on creating a family.
William wanted several children, and it was of importance for him to have a male heir to his family’s estate. After only several months, I discovered that I was with child. A few months later, Ruth Margaret was born in November during the burrow’s first snow.
Happiness is almost unimaginable now. All emotion has been replaced by tactile pains. It is so cold, and no matter how many times I ask, I am told I do not need another blanket. It is during these cold, dark and quiet moments when it happens. I wouldn’t call it a hallucination, more of a daydream. These are the only times that I truly question my sanity. She comes to me more often now. When the doctors and nurses are more abusive than usual, I close my eyes and there she is. My beautiful Ruth! It makes me wonder. Does she remember me?
William was disappointed with a daughter, and he desired our next child immediately. Despite his hesitation towards her, I have a hard time turning my attention away from her. Ruth was truly a wonderful girl and hardly made a sound. She will make a fine lady someday.
After a month of William’s attempts to touch me, he became frustrated and told me to visit the doctor. The town doctor said if I did not obey my husband’s demand of my time, William and I will never conceive another child. I nodded in agreement with him, because honestly, what is my other option?
The doctor did not understand the difficulty I was having recuperating from the birth of Ruth. The labor was reasonably easy and there were no major issues, but I just can’t seem to leave the comfort of my bedroom. Ruth’s demand of my time plus my duties to William, I have not a moment to myself. I often find myself staring out my window. I would love to say that I daydreamed as I watched the people walking down the street, but in truth I stare blankly, mind empty.
That blank stare is even more common now. How could it not be? Thinking that life is wonderful and happy is a lie that I have discovered since my time here. There is nothing kind about life. It is hard, painful, and cold. It is so cold. The thought of my little Ruth sends an unusual warmth through my body.
To Be Continued…