The Last Word

by Sarah Goldsmith

It’s your fault you’re here, you know. If you’d just supported me, cared for, looked after my dreams and helped them grow, then none of this would be happening. I gave you everything. I have always helped you, shared in your successes, seen you through the disappointments. Not once did I belittle you, mock you, crush your hopes and laugh at the tears you cried.

Not once did I demand to have the last word. No, that was your right.

Not once did I override your feelings, your needs, your desires. It’s always had to be done your way, hasn’t it? Who cares what I think? I’m just the little woman, I don’t have the right to an opinion. I don’t have the right to disagree with you, do I? You’ve told me so often enough.

The constant criticism. You know how much my poetry means to me, yet you cannot resist the opportunity to pick it to pieces, laughing at a typo, dismissing my words as nonsense. You have to have the last word on that, too, don’t you? “Never mind, Jess, not everyone can be clever. Best stop now.”

If I make a mistake, or misunderstand something, then it’s because I’m stupid. How many times have I heard you say, “are you sure you went to university, Jess? I can’t believe you got a degree! You can be so incredibly thick.” If you make a mistake, it’s because you have so much knowledge in your head that the wires simply got crossed.

Of course, you have the monopoly on intelligence, don’t you? How often you remind me of your vastly superior intellect to my feeble mind. I don’t have the mental capacity to choose where we go, or what we do, do I? No, you have to have the last word on that, regardless of how much I detest the places or things you choose. But I suppose that’s why you do it, isn’t it? Having the control over me, making me squirm, enjoying my discomfort.

Your constant need to have the last word proves what a mean, jealous little bully you are. Yes, just a snivelling, cowardly, pathetic bully.

Oh, you look surprised. You never thought the worm would turn, did you? Am I scaring you? You haven’t taken your eyes off the gun, have you? Oh don’t worry, I won’t use it. Far too messy. No, I thought I’d leave you here. No one will find you; that’s the beauty of these old, forgotten ruins. Just think, all those people thrown down into these dungeons over the centuries, so many tormented souls to keep you company. Oubliette. Such a lovely sounding word. And do you know what it means? What am I saying, of course you will know, being the super intelligent being you never tire of telling me you are. Just in case though, I’ll remind you. It means to forget. And that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to forget you ever existed. I’m going to forget your spite, forget your jealousy, and I will be free.

Looks like I get to have the last word now.