Remembering a murder – Excerpt from Alias Grace – Margaret Atwood

I said that I remembered some of the things I did. But there are other things they said I did, which I said I could not remember at all.

Did he say, I saw you outside at night, in your nightgown, in the moonlight?

Did he say, Who were you looking for? Was it a man? Did he say, I pay good wages but I want good service in return?

Did he say, do not worry, I will not tell your mistress, it will be our secret?

5ae78ba0968d1137f605ad438ad8005cDid he say, You are a good girl? He might have said that. Or I might have been asleep.

Did she say, Don’t think I don’t know what you’ve been up to?

Did she say, I will pay you your wages on Saturday and then you can be gone out of here, and that will be the end of it and good riddance? Yes. She did say that.

Was I crouching behind the kitchen door after that, crying?

Did he take me in his arms?

Did I let him do it?

Did he say Grace, why are you crying?

Did I say I wished she was dead? Oh no. Surely I did not say that. Or not out loud. And I did not really wish her dead. I only wished her elsewhere, which was the same thing she wished for me.

Did I push him away?

Did he say I will soon make you think better of me?

Did he say I will tell you a secret if you promise to keep it? And if you do not, your life will not be worth a straw. It might have happened.

I’m trying to remember what Mr. Kinnear looked like, so I can tell Dr. Jordan about him. He was always kind to me, or so I will say. But I can’t rightly remember. The truth is that despite everything I once thought about him, he has faded; he’s been fading year by year, like a dress washed over and over, and now what is left of him? A faint pattern. A button or two. Sometimes a voice; but no eyes, no mouth. What did he really look like, when he was in the flesh? Nobody wrote it down, not even in the newspapers; they told all about McDermott, and about me as well, and our looks and appearance, but not about Mr. Kinnear, because it is more important to be a murderess than the one murdered, you are more stared at then; and now he’s gone. I think of him asleep and dreaming in his bed, in the morning when I bring in his tea, with his face hidden by the tumbled sheet.

In the darkness here I can see other things, but I can’t see him at all.


2 thoughts on “Remembering a murder – Excerpt from Alias Grace – Margaret Atwood

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: