On a cold street corner in Boston, sit a ragged, fragile woman. She was so skinny, her cheek bones were exaggeratedly defined, and it looks as if her skin just lay over bones. To every other Bostonian this woman looks like every other poor beggar on the streets, but to a certain onlooker it was a familiar face. This limp woman was Abigail Williams, and the pedestrian walking by was Elizabeth Proctor. After the death of Elizabeth’s husband in Salem during 1692 due to the conviction of him by Abigail, Elizabeth gave birth to a son John, married Jacob Smith, and moved to Boston to get far from the town that changed her life forever. Abigail on the other hand left Salem to go start a new life in Boston, though when she got there she was unable to make money and became another homeless woman on the street. On a cold brisk day in late November, as Elizabeth is finishing her errands, she passes by the same street corner as always but today there was something different about it. Standing limp, frail, and dirty is Abigail Williams. Elizabeth, though wanting to confront her, just passes by, trying to conceal her identity. A few days later, a Sunday, Elizabeth is returning from church when she again walks past that same street corner where again Abigail stands, looking even worse than before.
“Continue home, boys I forgot to pick up something for supper” Elizabeth says sweetly to her family.
After much contemplation Elizabeth gains the courage to finally confront Abigail after years of trying put the complications of Salem behind her. Her heart was pulsing so much that she thought Abigail would be see it. She did her best to steady her nerves and calm the shaking in her voice.
“Abigail Williams?” Elizabeth asked cautiously.
Abigail slowly turns towards the voice she remembers so vaguely. It had been 6 years since the two women had last seen each other. Abigail could barely breathe and her heart, along with Elizabeth’s, pulsed so fast it seemed to be continuous.
“How do you know-” Abigail stops herself and a blank look overtakes her face. “Elizabeth Proctor? Is that you?”
Stunned by Elizabeth’s unchanged appearance and physique, Abigail was speechless. Abigail’s skeletal figure, though very changed, was still recognizable.
“Yes, Abigail it is.” Elizabeth says in her normal sweet voice. “It has been a while since we last saw each other.”
“Yes... it has” Abigail says taken aback by Elizabeth’s friendly tone.
They both are surprised by the fact that they have met again, after all of the chaos in Salem a few years back. Unsure what to talk about they both wonder if it was meant to be that they meet again.
“Abigail, you caused many innocent people harm before you left Salem, and then you run away like a coward. Many people still morn over the terribleness of what you did.” Elizabeth says sternly.
“I know Elizabeth, and I regret it every day. I left and now look at where I am. I am just another person on the streets of Boston. I suffer every day and I don’t have a single doubt that it is because of my wretchedness in Salem.” Abigail says hoping for sympathy.
Abigail did horrible things in Salem, some of which most cannot forgive her for. Elizabeth on the other hand forgave John before he was hung in Salem a few years before, and she knew that she could not keep pretending she was alright without forgiving Abigail.
“Abigail, I can tell you really do regret it. I cannot go on pretending that you didn’t change my life forever, and that I live a normal life with a normal family. I forgive you Abigail. I know that my forgiveness is not going to change what happened in Salem, but I want us to be able to live without guilt, and detestation towards each other.” Elizabeth said with a nurturing tone.
“Elizabeth, I appreciate your forgiveness, and this guilt has been with me since the day I left Salem, even though I didn’t show it, I didn’t mean for John to be hung. I should really be the one apologizing.” Abigail says passionately.
Suddenly a feeling of relief over took them both. The sense of a release of guilt, and lack of forgiveness put both women more at ease.
“Abigail, I hope you make the rest of your life worth it, and I am glad that we can put the past behind us, and we can live with the problems of Salem behind us.” Elizabeth said.
“Thank you Elizabeth.” Abigail said then, just as if nothing had happened she walked away.
They both continued on their way and every once in a while Elizabeth and Abigail would cross paths around town. Though they had hard pasts with each other, those were behind them and they sustained a friendly attitude with each other. Both women’s lives were changed not only for the better, but for the best. Abigail went on to live without the guilt, and Elizabeth forgave her for her wrong doings because that is who she is a person, and if she didn’t it would have not fit into her personality.