A Golden Life

I had never met anyone like her. I never had anyone treat me as an equal. In my whole life I could count all the people I knew on each of my hands. She was but one finger.

The first time I had met her was when she was five years old. I was nine. Her father couldn’t bear the sight of her because she had the same eyes and hair as her dead mother. She was given to my uncle, a big oil baron, and here she lived with us. In trade she would clean the big home and receive a bed. She was treated horribly by the same people who treated me as a freak. I was born with a disfigured and twisted arm. One of my legs was shorter than the other. They called me a freak and treated me as one. She never did.

I would listen to her cry in her room at night. I began to comfort her, sneaking into her room at late hours. We made this our way of meeting. We would look at the stars and talk about dreams and tell each other stories. We would write secret letters about our future plans. We wanted a cottage. Maybe a small farm like the one she had. I had never lived outside of my uncle’s wealthy home but her dreams were my dreams and they sounded perfect.

Each day our feelings grew stronger. We’d become lovers.

I would gaze into her blue eyes and run my fingers through her golden hair. The happier she was the shinier it appeared.

“I promise you that we’ll run away together.”

I rubbed her stomach. I was rubbing the life that lived inside her. It was our baby.

“Not tonight. Someday we will.”

By the time she reached the age of twenty my uncle had noticed her for her beauty as well. He wanted to spend time with her and to take her for walks in the garden. I would watch them through my window walking hand in hand, anger raging inside me.

“He has asked me to marry him, Tom. I want our baby to have a future. He can give that to us.”

“I can give that to you! I can give you that life.”

I couldn’t wait any longer. I couldn’t take the chance. What would happen to me and our baby? I needed to know that we had a chance to live a good and half way decent life.

But it didn’t happen.

One night as we were preparing to run away my uncle stormed in holding one of our notes detailing our plans to escape. I tried to escape but was caught by his thugs. We were separated and I was taken to the factory where hot oil was thrown onto my face. I was badly burned and beaten. Thinking I would die they brought me to the forest hoping that I would meet my end in the wilderness.

But I didn’t.

I was found almost dead by a man who lived close by. He was an inventor of sorts. Mostly crazy gadgets he had welded and pieced together. They didn’t have a purpose. They were just thoughts he’d drawn out. I became his next project.

The animals had chewed on me somewhat but I was told I could be fixed. He rebuilt my arm and leg with iron and copper. As I used them I could hear the gears move and my steps had a clank to them. It took me awhile to get the knack of walking and using my new arm but nothing could repair the burns on my face.

I told the the old inventor my story about how I had fallen in love with a girl I came to call Miller and how she was going to have my child. That she was to marry my uncle who had kept us both prisoner in his home.

Months went by before I could set out on my own and I was certain that Miller had married the baron. Our child was being raised by the very man I hated. The thought of it made me feel ugly inside. With each passing day, my anger grew. I knew I needed to try to keep true to my promise. I could give them a life and a chance of real happiness. But would she still want me? I was hideous and looked like a monster.

I watched at first. Some days I would see her walking through the garden. Occasionally, she brought our baby with her. She was a beautiful and healthy. I longed to hold them both. Every time I thought of touching Miller I wondered what sort of opinion she would have of me. Would she think I was grotesque? Some mechanical, crazy man? Would she even know it was me?

I stood quietly and within minutes my uncle appeared. He stepped out and greeted my love and baby with kisses. In jealousy I fled. I knew I had to act fast. I hoped there was still a chance for us to be a family. I prayed that she still had the same dreams as we once shared.

I waited until night. It was pitch black outside and tried to be as quiet as I could. I climbed the terrace and went in through the open window. The room was softly lit by a candle burning on a desk. I could hear my baby moving in her cradle. I smiled and moved the blanket to see her face. She was beautiful. She had the same hair as her mother and she had my eyes. She was perfect.


I looked to see Miller standing in her night gown. She walked to me. I told her to stay. I didn’t want her to see my face. She insisted and pulled the hood away from my face. Tears formed in her eyes and she covered her mouth. She was disgusted but was too sweet to say what she really thought. She touched my face and looked at my arm and then my leg. I had never been perfect but she always over looked that. Now that she was married to my uncle I had to understand that she had changed.

“I’ve come for you and our daughter.”

“I’m not leaving. This is our home now, Tom.”

“This is our prison. What is a life when you feel you can’t escape every once and awhile? You feel the need to be secure when nothing ever really is. We can build a better life. We owe it to her.”

Miller agreed and tears formed in her eyes. I knew then that she still felt that she needed to stay. Was it fear? Had she felt now, married to the baron, that she owed him something? I never asked.

“Take care of her.”

I scooped my infant daughter in my arms gently and kissed my love goodbye. Her tears were wet and warm against my face. Her lips trembled.

“Come with us,” I whispered.

She smiled softly and replied as I always said to her,” Not tonight. Some day I will.”

I kissed her again once more and didn’t look back. I ran into the dark night with my baby daughter in my arms.

Here we’ve made a life of our own. We live in the country in a small farming town. We don’t have a lot money. We don’t have a huge house. We have what we need and that makes us richer than most.

Most days I wait for Miller. Some times we wait together. We sit and tell stories and I play with my young daughter’s hair and tell her how much she is like her mother. I wonder and wait. That’s all I can do. I hope we’ll be together soon so the three of us can live a golden life together. Not tonight but some day we will.

People also view

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *