The Anatomy Of Love

December 9, 1896
Margaret Spooner

“There is more to life than your anatomy books.” Edgar said.

He was right. I would not have argue with him were it not for his lousy timing. The night before an anatomy exam is hardly the time to debate the subject’s relative importance in the scope of life. Clearly, there is more to life than what is on the inside.

“Not now, Edgar.” I said.

“If not now, then when?”

“Next week. You are coming home with me for Christmas are you not?”

“No, with the train station burned down and the nearest boarding platform is two days ride, three days by wagon. I am not going and neither are you.”


“It is only Christmas. Besides, we will still be together.”

“Only Christmas? It is not Christmas without family.” I said.

“We are each other’s family now.”

“You are not my husband yet and if you try to keep me from my family, you never will be.”

“I will decide what is best and I will not tolerate threats from you. Is that clear?”

I should have backed down then. It was the right thing to do. Edgar does love me, of this I am certain. Still, being separated from my family at the most wonderful time of year is not a sacrifice I am ready to make. The matter of the train station aside, I feel trapped.

“I have made no threats. I am going home for Christmas.”

“The trip is too dangerous, we are staying here.”

“You are a coward. I am going home and you can do as you wish.”

Edgar raised his hand high in the air as if to slap me, but then changed his mind. He turned on heel and stomped away like a spoilt boy. It was mean, but I laughed until the door slammed shut. Then I cried.

Morning came too soon. Dr. Phallic passed out the examination books and then quietly took his seat at the front of the room. It was hard to see the questions on the page because of the questions in my mind.

Is Edgar the right man for me?

Does Edgar believe in the same things I do?

Will Edgar allow me to be a doctor?

Why did mother change her mind about Edgar?

Do I really love him?

Does he love me?

Does he know me?

Do I know him?

Do I really want to marry him?

Why does he want to marry me?

The questions blurred the reality of the exam. Time ran and out and my answers felt incomplete. It was not the physical anatomy leaving me baffled, but the anatomy of love. How am I supposed to know if Edgar is the right man for me?

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