I felt the life slip from her fingers that once gripped my hands that tightened around her neck. Tighter and tighter, I wanted to be sure she was dead. What she had taken from me, the lives she'd destroyed, had been a part of me, now I would take from her the only thing of any value, her life.
As her lifeless body tumbled from my fingers, my mind took me back to our youth, to a time when all I thought of was the young man who hid in the stables. She was jealous even then but I was able to put her off to some degree, able to keep the boy I loved interested in me.
• * *
Ethan Frederick was born on a warm spring night in the country town of Middleboro. He had an elder sister by the name of Martha who aided his mother in his care for the most of his life. It was said that his sister named him. "Ethan" was the decided name and that's how he was registered at the local church. Robert Fellows, the boy he'd later fall in love with, was born the same night just down the lane from the big house Ethan's family owned. Robert's father worked for Ethan's.
Early in life Ethan learned that his sister had a means of getting herself into trouble and if he were anywhere near at the time, him as well. His father told him often that they were a family of "means", but he had no idea at the time what his father was talking about. Ethan had always dreamed of being a cowboy "Ride Em Hard", you know what I mean, he'd say. I know what he meant and it was anything about horses. Ethan had always known he like boys, it was in his being, in his heart. It was the most natural thing in the world.
Robert Fellows became the love of Ethan's life just about the time he discovered his sister's knack of getting herself into trouble. Robert was a tall bright eyed lad and Ethan fell in love with him the first moment he laid eyes on him. He gave Ethan a look with those sparkling green eyes of his that made his head spin. "What no work to do", his sister would bark at Robert. "Leave him alone", Ethan hissed at her. "Oh I see, your throwing me over for him are you?" That was just what he was doing but didn't realize it at the time.
I'd hated her from the start, that mean little girl in church that even the priest wanted to smack, the snitch that everyone hated, that was Martha.