Sally Mae


There was a girl in my class who wore a smile every day. Her hair shined like the gold it so closely resembled, and her cheeks held a slight pink tint wherever she went. Everything about her screamed innocence, making us question our own moral failures. Around her we were servants of evil, hiding in the dark, destroying life wherever we went. She always thought with optimism, never complaining. Her name was Sally Mae.

My love for Sally Mae is the only truth I know. Decades later with wrinkled skin and hallowed eyes, the only thing that remains besides my tired bones is my undying love for her. We didn’t speak often, just passed each other in the hallway. Occasionally, our hands would brush when going to reach for something, sending tingles down my spine. I loved her, with all of my heart and all of my being. And I think that she loved me.

My mother told me that I should go and talk to her, ask her to join me for lunch sometime. The only conversations I seemed to have revolved around her shining hair and gleaming eyes. I ignored my mother, knowing that Sally Mae would never love me as much as I love her.

A few years went by and we all went off to college, my dreams of being with her diminishing. Sally Mae would never love me, even if she was my love. By the time we were twenty-six, she was engaged to be married, her fiance’s name Richard Berry.

When I heard the news I was distraught. My love for her still shone brighter than any sun or any constellation that humans could name. She invited me to her wedding, and I knew then that I had to go. I needed closure.

So I packed my bags and flew across the country, ready to see my Sally Mae. When I found her, it was at a restaurant where she invited me to sit down with her and chat. Her fiance had a business call so we were all alone, with all the time in the world to talk alone. We discussed our lives, triumphs and failures, loves and losses. An hour into the dinner she laughed, the sound similar to an angel. She told me that she used to have a crush on me, and that she regrets never going out for a dinner like this in high school.

On the night of her wedding, we ran away from her ceremony to say a final goodbye. We shared a hug and quick drink, toasting to the happiness we shared  together and the happiness we find separately. On that night, we knew that we would never see each other again. So, for our last goodbye, we shared a gentle and loving kiss.

Now, over fifty years later, I am sitting in this jail cell, guilty for first degree murder of a woman named Sally Marie Mae. They say it’s a tragedy, that she was killed on what was supposed to be the happiest night of her life. They call me a monster. They’ll never understand. I truly love Sally Mae.