3WW, "Lovesick"

The words over at Three Word Wednesday are grace, jitter and thin.


She knows he’s much, much too thin and it pains her when they’ve not seen one another in consecutive days and there’s that initial shock that almost comes out in a gasp, which she instead stifles by sucking on her teeth and breathing heavy.

His joints are all knobby and sharp, skin stretched taut like a drumhead. He smiles gauntly and his teeth protrude where his gums have receded. He can see it in her eyes, the jitter of being here in the apartment, so close a proximity to his apparent wasting away. Good, he thinks. Very good.

He shuffles to the sofa in socks that his calves no longer can hold up and settles in, leaving nary an impression in the cushion.

“Sit,” he says, motioning with a bony hand toward a rocking chair, since he knows that doing something, even just rocking a bit, will get her to open up.

She does as he commands, kicks off her heels and with the tips of her stocking feet, pushes herself into motion.

He coughs, a long and tortured rattle and this brings tears to welling in the corners of her eyes. He composes himself by wiping away the foamy rope of saliva that’s  bubbled up on his lips with the back of a hand. He hides the hand under the other in his lap.

“So,” he says.

She plants her feet, stops all motion and leans forward, elbows on her thighs, hands together as if in prayer, her chin resting on outstretched thumbs.

“There’s no grace in this,” she says.

He laughs, which causes his wild mane of hair to quiver, accentuating the grotesqueness of his withered features.

“You were the one who said no one ever died from a broken heart,” he says. “You insisted it, in fact.”

Tears are streaming down her face and she refuses to look at him.

“Love isn’t supposed to be this hard,” she whispers. “But yes, goddammit, I’ll marry you.”

But he doesn’t hear this; his ears are filled with the crushing ta-dump, ta-dump of his heart, which is in it’s final throes toward death. 


Ren said...

Oh, lawsy! Talk about waiting until the last minute! LOL
Awesome read :)

VL Sheridan said...

Oh, how sad. And there's an undercurrent of cruelty swimming through this. Nice work.

Grandma's Goulash said...

Timing is everything. His was a bit off, but yours is perfect. Lovely twists.

My 3ww: A Strange Partnership

K said...

This is a sad, strange, selfish tale. He seems to have alllowed himself to waste and whither to prove a point, to prove her wrong, to hurt her worst. How sad that she meant that much to him. How sad that this still forced her hand.
You transported me Thom.

Andy Sewina said...

Hi Thom,
Dead good! (pun intended) I love the way you do this!!

Fear Not the Darkness but What lies Within said...

How sad she waited too long and now he's dying for her love literally.wonderfully told story

Nico said...

Thom, At first I thought she was visiting her aging father in a nursing home or something. Great (if twisted) portrayal of the effects of love taken to obsession. Great writing!

oldegg said...

What life will she have with such a control freak as this. Is she ever making a mistake or not? Beautifully descriptive but ultimately cruel. Well you certainly got me worked up ThomG.

Susannah said...

Emotional blackmail that backfires! Very nicely done!

jaerose said...

As ever your characters are so intriguing..who should we pity in this scene..maybe by the last line I was relieved that she might not actually have to be wedded to him..but she will be wedded to his death..either way he wins..now I think I can say what a bastard! Jae

earlybird said...

oh my goodness - what a sweet ending! Reprieve. What a hideously selfish character. Very well written Thom.

Old Altonian said...

An awesomely cruel story Thom; cruel on her, and cruel on your readers. How can we think of green fields, and sunshine, and real ale after reading that. Which means - you achieved!

The Rusty Pen said...

Such heartbreak! I feel terrible that he couldn't hear the one thing he wanted to.

Great story, fabulous imagery; your characters always come to life for me.

Donna Hole said...

Dude; that last line broke MY heart.


Peter Dudley said...

I echo K's comment above. As always, you display your extraordinary talent for us.

Anonymous said...

Whoa. The lengths people will go to, eh?