How did you do it?
How did you manage to trick us all?
Was it just easier for us to be tricked into believing you, to be charmed by you, than to pull down our life like a house of cards? Or was it really a brilliant disguise?
Are you conniving and smart, or do you simply stumble through life, making it up as you go along?
There were, of course, those who could see through you. There were the people back “home,” back in Ireland, who warned me you were no good. But then they all had vested interests and I didn’t listen. I thought they were jealous.
I believed you when you said we would travel the world together.
We never did.
I believed you when you said you were ill. I sat by your side and worried and you let me, because you liked the attention.
What was it about you that first caught my eye? Was it your promises, promises that were easy to believe, promises about a life of adventure and roaming the world? People do do that, and you had lived here and there. So why would I think you were lying?
Was it your charm? Your sarcastic wit? Your confidence, which in the end, was all put-on?
My friends back home, friends you’d never met, warned me off you when I wrote to them about you. But how could they know? What did they know? I thought they were just dubious of the unconventional life we dreamed of. They, with their steady jobs and steady homes and steady days, how could they understand the wandering, possession-free life that we dreamed for ourselves?
We arrived in Canada on a cold January afternoon and even the immigration officials questioned you. And then there was my mother. She hated you, vehemently, at first. Though later she would be duped, too, charmed by a man who managed reflect back, in some small way, the people who surrounded him.
But you were never, really, anything like my people.
My father never trusted you. He said you were a con man. And how right he was, though he was always suspicious of that kind of thing, so I dismissed him.
You said you had money, that it would take some time to have it transferred, but in the meantime could I just pay for this and that, and some more. And you would pay me back. But you never did.
And there was no money. Not ever. And now, all mine has gone to. It slipped through your fingers like foul water.
To this day, you accuse me of taking all your money, though of course, it was the other way around. I can’t fathom how you could accuse me of that, after all I have paid for, after all you have extorted, after all the others from whom you have stolen.
But I think even you believe your lies now.
If only I had listened to all those people. If only I had run far away. If only when, eight months later, I was sure you were lying and drinking and hiding while I worked, if only I had left you then.
We would all be free.
But instead, I believed you. I thought the best of you. And slowly, I trusted you again. I stayed to long. I left when it was too late.
Now we are all tied together forever.
And I will never be free.
I will always live with a dark shadow of fear hanging over me, the fear that one day you will come to reclaim your son. Not out of love, but out of spite. And that you will twist him, twist his mind and his sweet heart, that you will mar the one beautiful, pure creation you had a hand in forming.
It should never have been you.
I chose so very wrong.