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What you do dear

Is none of my concern

Whichever feather bed 

you decide to rest your head

Can suit you nicely, 

better than my own

I am not a puppeteer

You are not a marionette

You decide what's best

Lest we forget 

I am not your mother

Father sister  brother

I am just a girl 

And you are just a man

I know what I like

And you might

only like the sight

of me but that

alone is a delight 

Simple thoughts

that wayward

lost you've

stumbled on

That is lovely

dear that is

comfort enough

for me my dear



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'Hope, you don't have to use it on your wedding night.'

She handed the pistol to Hope, right after the vows, right before the reception.

'I'm just kidding, darling. Don't worry. He's a good man. You did well sweetheart. He's a good man. You'll be fine.'

Hope's paper-thin smile tried to grow as she stared at her grandmother's reflection in the mirror. The mother-of-pearl grip sparkled in her grandmother's hand, bathed by the Chapel's cheap buzzing lights.

'There's a bullet for you, just in case.'

Hope had left the gun on the table.

A week earlier, drunk off self-pity, she had taken it out of its case and walked to the kitchen, where she stuck the barrel in her mouth and proceeded to take pictures of herself to send to Ray.

In a rare instance of good fortune, her phone ran out of battery before she could indulge her sense of pithy revenge. She woke up and pried open her tear-salted eyelashes then made sure to delete an…